Maitland district juniors shone bright in a Hunter Valley representative team that went through a four-day carnival undefeated in Raymond Terrace this week to claim the title.
Hunter Valley's under-15 side won each of their pool games against Hawkesbury, Newcastle and North Coast to face Mid North Coast in Thursday's grand final.
The Hunter Valley side, made up with mostly Maitland district juniors, dismissed Mid North Coast for 109.
"It was a really really good win," Hunter Valley coach Andy Coyle, a City United club cricketer, said.
"They're a really great group of boys who have been playing together since under-12s. This year was their fourth playing this carnival together and they won it undefeated."
Coyle said fielding was a big aspect of the side's game this carnival. Hunter Valley won the toss and batted first in Thursday's deciding game, putting on a decent 169 off 50 overs.
Captain Harry Scowen, an Eastern Suburbs club cricketer, claimed the team's highest individual run total, 45, including two sixes, followed by clubmate Charlie Walker, 34 not out, and Nate Blundell, 21.
"I was really happy with how we played. We fielded really well this game and all tournament. To get 169 on this pitch [Jack Collins Oval] was really good," he said.
Hunter Valley player Jaxon Brooks, from Raymond Terrace Lions, was another standout. He was named most valuable player in two of the side's four games.
Coyle said he was really happy that the carnival was able to go ahead as scheduled, as COVID-19 had forced the cancellations of other representative cricket events this summer, and with the caliber of play.
"Hunter Valley cricket looks really strong, very promising, with the quality of the juniors coming through the ranks," he said.
In other cricket news, Maitland product and Kent all-rounder Grant Stewart has been welcomed with open arms by University in the team's bid climb the ranks of the Newcastle District Cricket Association ladder.
Stewart, who has been contracted to Kent since 2017, returned home in December. He has helped Uni to wins over Hamilton-Wickham (one-dayer) and Cardiff Boolaroo (T20), taking 1-28 and 1-12 and scoring 9 not out and 30 respectively.
The 26-year-old plans to return to England, if COVID restrictions allow, in mid-February to prepare for another season with Kent.