Hosts attempting to  improve recent form

ARMIDALE will be attempting to win its first Walter Taylor Shield since 2005 when the 2014 version gets under way in Armidale today.

Eight teams will contest the 22nd instalment with Hastings making their first appearance.

Penrith is also returning to defend its title.

The teams have been split into two pools of four and will play each team in their pool in a 50-over game.

The top teams from the two pools will then meet in the final on Thursday.

“The carnival is always good to play against different kids,” carnival convenor Ian Reeves said.

It can be a good gauge of where their skills are and creates friendships.

Reeves said the home side was a very young side.

“We don’t have many Under 15s,” he said.

“Half the side is made up of Under 14s.”

It will be the first time they’ve played together as a side with the U14s component playing in the 14s rep side in the North West Junior competition and the older boys the 16s.

The 14s are undefeated after two wins and a washout.

Angus Dawson will lead the side and is the only player backing up from last year’s Walter Taylor side.

He’ll be one of their main batsmen along with Darby Chalmers, Liam Neeson, Nick Farrer and Wally Davidson.

Matt Campion, Sean Neimeyer and Jack Carey will also figure with the bat, as well as the ball.

Carey and Campion are among the younger contingent and both made the Northern Inland Under 14s side.

Carey has been among the runs and is coming off an unbeaten 75 last game for Armidale.

Neeson has also scored a 78.

The attack will be led by siblings Tim and Pheobe Stace with Daley Wood, Neimeyer, Campion and Callum Evans providing the pace support.

Carey and Tom Lashlie are the main spinners.

Armidale will today be in action at the sportsground against Hunter Valley.

In the other first round games WPHC meet Lismore, Hastings plays Tamworth and Ballina is up against Penrith.

All games start at 9.30am.

ARMIDALE: Matt Campion, Jack Carey, Darby Chalmers, Wally Davidson, Angus Dawson, Callum Evans, Tom Lashlie, Liam Neeson, Sean Neimeyer, Tim Stace, Phoebe Stace, Daley Wood. Coaches – Peter Carey, Blair Chalmers.

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