Central North building up for Cup defence

CENTRAL North’s Bradman Cup title defence is a step closer after Sunday’s Northern Inland U16s trial at Gunnedah.

Northern Inland selectors picked a handy side to take on Hunter Valley at Scone next Sunday and from that match the zone team will be chosen to go to the Country Championships in January.

National U16s reps James Psarakis and Max Houlahan spearhead the batting lineup and are both veterans of last year’s success.

“It’s a pretty handy side,” team manager John Kilborn said.

“James is left over from last year’s Bradman Cup side and so is Max.

“I think they’re the only ones but all of these players are playing in either first or second grade in their towns.”

The region is well represented, with players from Tamworth, Narrabri, Armidale, Moree and Inverell part of the 14-man squad chosen.

Campbell Baker will keep wickets and is part of a good batting lineup that also includes the two Aussie reps, City United first grader Ryan Hansen and Northern Tablelands pair Sage Cook and Lachlan Elks.

Most of the players named can also roll their arm over and that provides plenty of bowling options.

“We’ve got a handy medium/fast attack,” Kilborn said.

“Perry Stapleton is a left-armer and Chris Coulton, Matty Dunn, Toby Fox and Mitch Lennon are all right-armers.

“Jake Brayshaw is left-arm chinaman and Will Burke and Richard Wilson are leggies.

“Elks can bowl and Cook bowled a few as well.

“We could just about bowl 12 of them.”

There was also an under 14s trial played at Kitchener Park on Sunday while a number of under 15s were present at the under 16s trial at Wolseley Park.

Northern Inland under 14s and 15s sides will be named later in the week.

The 14s will play in a zone trial against Hunter in Tamworth on December 9 to pick a team for the Kookaburra Cup while the Northern Inland 15s will compete in a carnival in the Hunter Valley in January.

NORTHERN INLAND U16s: James Psarakis (Tamworth), Max Houlahan (Moree), Ryan Hansen (Tamworth), Sage Cook (Inverell), Toby Fox (Tamworth), Lachlan Elks (Armidale), Campbell Baker (Tamworth), Mitch Lennon (Inverell), Matt Dunn (Tamworth), Chris Coulton (Tamworth), Perry Stapleton (Deepwater), Jake Brayshaw (Narrabri), Richard Wilson (Inverell), Will Burke (Tamworth).

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