SOUTH Tamworth will be without new recruit Riley Ayre again this weekend after he was selected in the NSW Country U17s team on the weekend.
The Central North captain was the second player named in the side to take on City in the NSW U17 selection trial at Bowral this weekend.
He was one of their best as they followed up last year’s Country Championship win with a runner-up effort at Raymond Terrace.
They were only beaten out of the trophy by bonus points, with CN and Riverina both registering three wins from their four games.
The loss came on the first day against Bradman Cup finals combatants from last year, Illawarra.
It was tough having them first-up and their batting didn’t quite stand up to its potential.
“With two new players we didn’t know how to play them or where to play them,” co-coach Rod Bryant said.
Once they ironed out those kinks and found their confidence with the bat they put some good scores together.
Ayre was prominent in a couple of those, scoring 59 in their 8-221 against North Coast on Saturday, and 38 from 31 in their first Twenty20 win over Southern on Sunday.
He also figured among the wickets in all three, highlighted by a 4-30 to help them dismiss North Coast for 190.
The other two games he picked up a wicket.
Tamworth’s Hamish Batley also had an outstanding carnival.
“He’s one of the players who would have been certainly in consideration for the Country team,” Bryant said.
“He was very strong with bat and ball.”
He probably didn’t get as many opportunities in the 50-over games but he shone in their Twenty20 clashes, hitting an unbeaten 28 from 14 deliveries to get them over the line against Riverina.
His knock included three fours and a final-over six that slanted the equation back their way.
The game before against Southern, he made 34 from 23 and also picked up 1-25 opening the attack after taking 2-36 from 9.2 overs against North Coast.
“We had some very strong performers,” Bryant said.
Armidale’s Will Frost was
He was one of the new faces from last year’s successful Bradman Cup side and was the second top-scorer against Riverina with 29.
The other Will in the side, Tamworth’s Will Chesterfield, also had an outstanding carnival and was probably close to Country selection.
“He was the pick of the off-spin bowlers on show,” Bryant said.
“He took 3-6 (Sunday) this morning off two, on Saturday 1-26 off six and on the first day he finished with 1-13 off his 10.
“He was very impressive all weekend.”
They did lose keeper Matt Everett after the first day, at least behind the stumps. His hand blew up after batting on the first day and he was unable to keep, but he did contribute a few runs.