Tamworth U12s primed to land title

TAMWORTH U12s are itching to get on the pitch this weekend, especially with the prospect of picking up some silverware.

The Clive Barton-coached and James Smith-managed side is off to Cessnock to take on Maitland in the Hunter Valley Junior Competition finals.

The Tamworth U16s have also qualified for the final and will also face Maitland.

Barton said it had been a great effort from the boys to make the top two.

“They’ve come a long way,” he said.

They finished the round fixtures with three wins and a loss but did get the better of Maitland last time they met.

“We won but only just,” Barton said.

“We got down to the last batsmen.

That was before Christmas.

Since then their only cricket has been the Lismore Carnival in the first week of January.

They had a tough week there playing the likes of Newcastle and Manly.

“We copped a couple of hidings,” Barton said.

But they did take a lot away from it.

“They learnt a lot,” he said.

In the time since, they’ve been working hard on the things that they were caught short in at the carnival.

“We’ve worked on things like our running between the wickets,” Barton said.

“We’re hoping it vastly improves.”

“We really got shown how to do it at the carnival, and fielding as well.”

They’ve shown good signs in training and he’s expecting another 30 to 40 runs out of them.

The boys have been training every Wednesday and even had a hit-out last Sunday, now all they want to do is play.

They’ve wanted to since the carnival, Barton said.

For most of the side it’s their first season of rep cricket. Only Cooper Kelly was in the U12s side last year.

He’s one of several bowlers in the side. Barton said they’ve pretty much got a team of bowlers.

They’ve all been doing their job, as have the batsmen.

“Everyone’s contributed and done their job,” Barton said.

“They’ll play 40 overs split over two 20-over innings.”

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