TAMWORTH junior cricket teams, had invaluable practice matches at Riverside on Sunday in preparation for the new seasons of Hunter Valley and North West junior competitions.
While the Tamworth Under 12 Blues team tackled their Tamworth Under 13s at Max Sutton Oval, the North West girls’ side also had a practice match against the Tamworth Under 12 Golds at
Clive Barton is coaching the Tamworth Under 13s this season.
Many of that team played in the Tamworth 12s last season. They will begin their Northern Inland Cricket Council Junior season against Moree in Tamworth.
Narrabri will host New England in Narrabri, Armidale is at home to Gunnedah and the combined Coonabarabran Quirindi side has the bye.
Barton said Sunday’s trial game was invaluable despite the gusty conditions.
“We started training back in June/July,” the Olympic shooter told The Leader Sunday while mustering his young troops.
“We trained once a month. Last year we started a bit too late and had our pants pulled down the first couple of games.”
He said many of that Under 12 side are back again in the Under 13 side to play in the Northern Inland competition.
Bective-East stalwart, Bede Maher, is in charge of Tamworth Under 12 Blues.
“Simon Haire has the Golds,” Maher said during Sunday’s trial.
“The boys have been training well. This game is invaluable for them too – their first game.
“Everyone has shown promise – it’s now just a matter of getting out there and having a go.”
He said the help of former West Leagues (now West Tamworth) and Tamworth allrounder Peter Mead has been of great assistance.
“Peter’s been working on the fundamentals with their batting,” Maher said.
“We’re pretty lucky too, a lot of the fathers all played grade cricket. James Haling has a young bloke in the side and he’s been helping improve them.
“I couldn’t be happier with the preparation. We’ve been going since the middle of the year.
“We’ve been training every Sunday for the past eight weeks and had about 80 per cent attendance.”
His side plays in the Hunter Valley Junior Cricket Council and matches up against Singleton this
“We play on this ground too, ” Maher said of Max Sutton Oval (Riverside 3).