Narrabri paceman up to speed for CN

MOREE quick Chris Holland is ready to swing back into action for Central North at Wollongong this weekend.

The 18-year old has endured an injury-disrupted season after pulling his quad playing for Moree in the second grade Group 4 rugby league minor semi-final.

“I’m looking forward to it. I like going away to bigger competitions,” he said.

He missed out on the chance to earlier in the season when he had to withdraw from the Northern Stars U19s because of the injury.

It was really only a couple of weeks before Christmas that he got the ball back in his hands.

“It’s starting to come out better and better,” he said.

The last couple of games for Narrabri – he moved to Narrabri to play this season – he’s bowled pretty well and aggressively.

He’s just looking for a bit more consistency.

Against Tamworth last Sunday his first spell was “all right” but they were able to take to him a bit after that.

This weekend will certainly be a test but one Holland is relishing.

“I always like a challenge,” he said.

He’s part of what is a relatively young side. Five of the side – Holland included – played in the zone U17s side that won the Country Championships last season.

Holland played a key role in the win. He bowled at the death in the final and helped Central North record a six-wicket win.

This season he’s linked up with Golf Club in the Narrabri competition and is enjoying his cricket there.

“It’s been heaps good,” he said.

“The team has been good to me. I’m liking cricket at the moment.”

He’s also made quite an impression with the bat.

“At the moment it’s probably the main thing that I’m doing,” he said.

The recent Twenty20 games he’s been opening the batting and bowling, and is a big part of the reason Golf Club will be defending their Twenty20 title next weekend.

“I like opening the batting,” he said.

“I’m not sure I’m the style of batter to open in anything other than Twenty20s though.”

He said he’s worked a fair bit on his batting this season.

“Because of my injury I couldn’t do much with the ball. I thought I’d better chip in with the bat,” he said.

He doesn’t expect to be batting too high this weekend but could be a weapon in the lower order.

At the Central North trial he top-scored for Northern Inland with a quickfire 42 from 21.

On the bowling front he’ll be a key prong in the pace attack and probably come on at first change, with Angus McNeill and Ben Neaves likely to handle the new ball.

Both played for the Central North opens earlier in theseason.

CENTRAL NORTH U21s: Nick Pearson (capt), Luke Fox, Harrison Kelly, Angus McNeill (Tamworth), Riley Ayre (Denman), Jackson Cox (Singleton), Chris Holland (Moree), Tom Irwin, Aaron Mahony, Ben Neaves, Grant Stewart (Maitland), Rigby Vane-Wood (Patterson). Coach - Tom Groth.  Manager Gerry Gehrig. Scorer - Deb Batley.

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