Pair of 16-year-olds steal the show for South

RILEY Ayre and James Psarakis might have set some kind of record when they blasted a fifth wicket partnership of 225 for South Tamworth against Bective-East in their NICU Tamworth first grade match at Scully Park 2 on Saturday.

The two 16-year-olds might have been the youngest cricketers to register a double century stand in first grade Tamworth cricket.

Psarakisblasted 156 off 162 balls while Ayre was a lot more sedate in his 78 from 129 balls.

Together they rescued South from a precarious 4-45 and took it to 5-269 before the premiers were bowled out for 312 in just 64 overs.

Bective will resume its  run chase at 4-27 next Saturday.

For Ayre and Psarakis it has been a busy period.

Both were in the Northern Stars Under 19 side, a regional Northern Inland/North Coast side that played in Country Trials in Sydney last week.

Ayre, a Year 10 student at St Joseph’s Aberdeen, captained the Central North Under 17s earlier this season and made the Country Under 17s who played City in two games at Bradman Oval, Bowral.

He scored a half century in the second game and was picked in the State Under 17s.

“We go to Hobart and play in the Australian Under 17 Championships from December 10,” Ayre said after his impressive half ton on Saturday. “I’ll bowl spin and bat seven or eight.”

Ayre is delighted with his decision to travel up and play in Tamworth.

“It’s great, coming up to play with South,” he said.

“That was good today. But that wasn’t a good way to get out”

Ayre was run out when James Hammond smashed a straight drive back at off-spinner Luke Paterson. 

It deflected from his hands onto the stumps with Ayre backing up out of his crease.

“It’s not a good way to get out,” he said.

South skipper Richard Rowlings believes his club “will get good value” out of Ayre later in the season.

After his State Under 17 commitments are out of the way, South will benefit from not only his batting but 


They are already feeling the benefits of Psarakis’s batting and bowling talents.

After opening the batting in the first grade side’s grand final win last season he is becoming an imposing young figure.

On Saturday he hit 23 fours in his 156.

It followed a 150 for his Tamworth High side against Farrer and a 160 for the Tamworth Blues in their Hunter Valley Junior Under 16 game.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks,” Psarakis said.

“My first first grade ton. I saw them awesome.”

He said being able to have a hit in the indoor shed of club stalwart Robert Chandler  at Taminda is also a big benefit.

“I had a hit this morning,” he said.

“It’s great, a self-loader so you can set it to any level you want.”

Psarakis was disappointed with his form for the Northern Stars Under 19s but hopes to ramp up that representative form when he plays for the Central North Under 16s in the Bradman Cup again early next year. 

He was part of the side that won Central North its first Bradman Shield earlier this year.

It’s been a big year for the Tamworth High School Year 10 student who turned 16 in Dubai playing for the Australian Under 16 side last month.

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