CENTRAL North had to settle for second place in its Bradman Cup Country Under 16 Championship in Nowra yesterday.
Playing Illawarra at Hayden Drexel Oval, Nowra, Central North lost the final by 32 runs after Illawarra made 188 and CNZ was bowled out for 156.
It was a disappointing end to a good week, CNZ manager John Kilborn said.
“They played the better cricket on the day,” Kilborn said of the Illawarra side.
“We let ourselves down a bit with some poor fielding and catching although our bowlers did bowl very well. That was a pleasing thing.
“While we ran second, we finished ahead of them on aggregate,” he joked.
CNZ beat Illawarra in last year’s Bradman Cup final to win its first ever Bradman Cup and there was a little symmetry with that win for CNZ as well.
“Last year both Max and Jimmie got ducks too,” he said.
He was talking of top-order bats Max Houlahan and James Psarakis.
They had been in good form with the bat leading into yesterday’s final but Houlahan went fourth ball when he got a delivery that jumped off a good length, took the shoulder of his bat and dollied up to an eager Illawarra fielder.
Ryan Hansen (18) and Jayden Park (43) then steadied with a slow 65-run partnership before skipper Psarakis came and went quickly.
He had scores of 49no, 110no and 93 going into the final but was trapped lbw for nought.
A few balls later and Jaymes Thomas (1) was gone as well.
“Losing three of your top six for one run wasn’t good,” Kilborn said.
“But Jayden and Brandon Smith (42no) did bat well against some good bowling and got us up there,” he said.
Illawarra’s Phillip Astle (3-18) and Kain Flynn-Duncombe (3-36) were the pick of the Illawarra bowlers.
Earlier, Glen Innes’s Perry Stapleton snared 4-30 from his 10 overs and got an important breakthrough in his second spell, ending the partnership between Daniel Constable and Aaryn Kornberger.
They were Illawarra’s two top-scorers, with Constable making 73 and Kornberger 56, and put on 106 for the fourth wicket.
They were the only batsmen to cause Central North any real trouble and, from a strong position at 3-149, they lost 7-39.
Stapleton and Matt Dunn (2-33) were a big reason for that.