By Geoff Newling
and Grant Robertson
NORTH West players couldn’t be in better form ahead of today’s CHS Boys Championships in Penrith.
The region’s best schoolboys take on North Coast in the opening game today and hope that by the end of the week they will be playing off for a podium finish.
Matt Kent is one of three wicketkeepers in the North West side.
He has been selected along with Matt Everett and Campbell Baker.
The 18-year-old Year 12 student from Inverell High is looking forward to his first state CHS carnival.
He also had something of an interesting weekend leading into this carnival.
On Saturday he kept for his Tamworth club side, West Tamworth.
He claimed four catches and a stumping against a South Tamworth side also including NW skipper James Psarakis, who was run out for 50.
Souths were all out for 178 but Kent’s West Tamworth side is 8-59 after he was bowled by Angus McNeil for two.
“We started well, I got four or five catches and a stumping,” Kent said.
“That was the good but we didn’t bat well.”
Yesterday Kent was also in the Connolly Cup side captained by Matt Everett that played Inverell in a Cup semi final at No. 1 Oval, Tamworth.
“That should be interesting,” Kent grinned. “It’s the first time I’ve played Inverell in a rep game.”
He knows and has played with most of the Inverell side.
He scored 26 in Tamworth’s massive total of 4-321.
James Psarakis also played in both games at No 1 Oval on the weekend and scored more than 150 runs.
“That was a good hit out for next week,” he said.
Psarakis smashed 102 from 57 balls for Tamworth yesterday to go with his 50 from Saturday and even took two wickets with the ball.
He will play at his third CHS carnival this week.
“We haven’t got a team of stars, but we’ll go alright,” Psarakis said.
When Psarakis was dismissed Everett replaced him at the crease and continued the scoring.
He finished with 71 not out.
The keeper then took five catches as Inverell was bowled out for 148.
“It’s really good,” Everett said.
“It couldn’t be much better for Jimmy and I.
“He got 100 and I got 70-odd.”
Armidale’s Michael Dawson and Scott Brennan were also tuning up for the CHS carnival.
Dawson scored a great 81 not out for his Hillgove Colts first grade side on Saturday while off-spinner Brennan took a hat-trick in the Armidale Premier League on Friday night