CENTRAL North flexed its collective muscle in the McDonald’s Country Cricket Championships, being the best under-15 country zone at Raymond Terrace.
Coached by Singleton’s Luke Knight, the side boasted local duo Ebony Butler (Branxton) and Taylah Knight (Singleton), as well as players from Maitland, Scone, Tamworth, Narrabri, Wee Waa, Gunnedah, Inverell and Armidale.
The under-15’s first match, in the T20 format, was against Illawarra with Central North being sent in to bat.
The team finished 3-82 with Jessica Davidson (14), Dahlia Glennie (24 not out) and Zoe Fleming (14) scoring the bulk of the runs.
In reply, Illawarra ended on 4-82 for a thrilling tie.
Fleming bowled the final over and only conceded one run.
She picked up 2-14.
Lara Graham took 2-11 off three overs, while Jasmine Goode and Davidson completed economical spells of 0-12 and 0-8.
In match two, Central North won the toss and batted against Riverina, finishing 3-121 with Davidson (26), Kareena Dawson (35) and Fleming (28 not out) the main contributors.
Riverina was dismissed for 37 with the wickets shared by Goode (1-9), Davidson (1-5), Knight (3-7), Graham (4-4) and Butler (1-0).
The third encounter was against the strong North Coastal side, who was the defending champion, with the winner to make the final.
Central North then amassed 5-71 with Fleming (11) and Graham (15) the standouts.
North Coastal was 5-55 but when Graham picked up the sixth wicket, as well as the introduction of Fleming (3-5), the team was bundled out for 66.
Remaining wicket-takers were Davidson (2-10), Knight (1-12) and Graham (3-10).
Central North faced the City line-up in the final, won the toss and reached 7-64.
Dahlia Glennie (14) and Fleming (12) got among the runs.
City passed the Central North total in the 15th over – 2-65.
Goode (1-8) and Davidson (1-14) both bowled four economical overs.
Prior to the event, Central North had five players (Graham, Goode, Glennie, Davidson and Knight) selected in the State Challenge teams to select the NSW sides for the National Championship.
And, after a successful carnival, Fleming was added to this group.