Hunter Valley's junior representative cricketers have claimed two titles and a very credible third in the opening fortnight of the New Year.
The under-16 team went through the Stan Austin Carnival, at Taree, undefeated beating Mid North Coast in the final.
The under 15s won the final of their invitational series by defeating Mid North Coast by 33 runs at Robins Oval on Thursday.
The under 13s missed a spot in the final of their 16-team carnival at Ballina, which featured teams from NSW and Queensland, losing to North Shore in a rain-interrupted semi-final.
However, they finished third backing up to defeat Tamworth by 22 runs after a fine bowling performance to dismiss them for 80. Jed Collins won the best bowling average award for the carnival.
The under 12 team had their first taste of cricket at representative level at the LJ Hooker Carnival in Lismore and finished with two wins and a draw. Hunter Valley’s Harry Skowen was named fielder of the tournament.
Hunter Valley had five players – Beau Parnell, Tom Druery, Alex McNeil, Tommy Dixon and Hunter Ball – in the Central North Zone which finished third in the annual under-14 Kookaburra Cup competition played at Griffith last week.
Central Northern finished with three wins and a tie against Southern/ACT from their five games. The title was taken out by Illawarra.
The under-16 Bradman Cup starts in Newcastle on Monday with Maitland competition representatives in defending title holder Central North’s team including captain Will Fort, Jacob Page, Matt Lynch, Callum Gabriel, Aiden Bills, Rex Greave (injured) and Singleton’s Isaac Barry.
East Maitland’s Sean Gibson had an outstanding final claiming 5-21 with the ball and backing up with 45 not out as an opening batsman at Hunter Valley defeated Mid North Coast in the final of the Stan Austin Carnival, at Taree,
Gibson combined with Northern Suburbs’ Logan Smith (32 not out) to eclipse the Mid North total of 94 in just 17 overs.
Raymond Terrace’s Aiden Bills was the other chief wicket taker in the final with 3-28.
Gibson finished with Hunter’s batting average award with 42. Northern Suburbs’ Callum Gabriel was second with 34.5 including a top score of 63 against North Coast in the opening round.
Courtesy of his five-wicket haul, Gibson also topped the bowling equal on seven wickets with Upper Hunter’s Josh Cooper.
A five-wicket haul by Isaac Barry helped Hunter Valley to a 33-run victory in the final of the under-15 cricket carnival in Maitland this week.
Barry, from Singleton, and East Maitland’s Will Stoneman were the chief destroyers with 5-12 and 3-15 respectively as Hunter Valley dismissed Mid North Coast for 70 after posting 103 in their innings.
Stoneman backed up with the bat, top-scoring for Hunter with 35. Opener Sam Parkinson was next best with 11 as the visitors did a terrific job to curb Hunter’s scoring.
Mid North must have thought they were in a chance when they dismissed man of the series Matt Lynch for three, but Hunter were able to cobble together a winning target.
Lynch was only dismissed once to finish with a batting average of 207 over the carnival to win the batting trophies as well.
Leg-spinner Stoneman won the bowling awards with 13 wickets at an average of 5.5 and best figures of 7-12.