LOCHLAN Elks is something of an x-factor when he leads the Armidale side onto Armidale Sportsground against Hunter Valley in their opening Walter Taylor Shield Under 15 Carnival in Armidale today.
The talented young allrounder from Glen Innes will spearhead Armidale’s WTS week, Armidale coach Henry Cupitt said.
“He’s a very handy young cricketer,” Henry Cupitt said.
“He bats and bowls and can keep as well. He’s got the whole package. That’s very convenient for our side.”
The Walter Taylor Shield Under 15 Carnival begins in Armidale today as does the Tamworth Under 14 Carnival in Tamworth.
Normally they are playing in successive weeks but this year is unusual and both are played in the same week, making it a hectic time with carnivals also in Lismore (U12), Ballina (U13) and Taree (Stan Austin Under 16 Shield).
Add that in with the Bradman Cup Country Under 16 Carnival in Nowra plus the CBA Australian Country Cricket Championships in Bundaberg and you have a plethora of representative cricket from Under 12 up to senior.
Waler Taylor Shield organiser Andrew Brissett said his committee deliberated agonisingly about the carnival dates but in the end “bit the bullet” and played the WTS the same week as the Tamworth Under 14 Carnival.
They also had to come up with a WTS side to replace Hornsby, who pulled out late last week.
“We had to have a big ring around but we managed to get a side together,” he said.
“We’ve had to include a few over-age players as well but it does ensure there is no bye.”
The Armidale District Cricket Association Invitational side will play Tamworth first up today at Moran Oval while Armidale plays Hunter Valley in its opening game at Armidale Sportsground. Penrith and defending champions Ballina match up at Lambert Park and Lismore tackle West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook at Harris Park.
Henry Cupitt is coaching the Armidale side and the Armidale representative bowler, who plays for TAS, in the local A Grade competition believes his team will acquit itself well.
“We do have a lot of bowlers,” Cupitt aid.
“We have plenty of options, both pace and spin and we do have a good batting side as well. A couple of the boys have been playing first grade with me in the TAS side (in Armidale first grade men’s comp).
“Will Waterson and Will Archer are both good young players.
“Waterson had got a couple of scores in first grade, scored 30 odd against Higllgrove recently and Will Archer has been playing first grade all season. He’s a handy leg spin bowler too.”
In Tamworth the local Under 14 Carnival is being co-ordinated by Tamworth Under 14 coach Simon Hood.
He said the dual jobs don’t pose any great problem.
“A lot of the work organising the Under 14 Carnival has been done,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of helpers who will be there during the week to make sure it runs smoothly.
“And we do have a good little side. They’re all looking forward to the carnival. It’s up to each of them to perform well on the day. It’s all about experience for them. Two of our players have never played in a carnival so it’s going to be great experience for them.”