Kookaburra Cup: Central North finish second on the ladder

GUN: Jack Hamilton followed an unbeaten 90 against Illawarra with a rapid-fire 85 against Newcastle.

GUN: Jack Hamilton followed an unbeaten 90 against Illawarra with a rapid-fire 85 against Newcastle.

Central North has finished second in the under-14 Kookaburra Cup after immediately rebounding from a loss to beat Newcastle in the final round in Armidale on Thursday.

Sent into bat in the 40-over match at Jack Vallance Oval, Newcastle made 8-152. 

Ryan Simpson saved his best for last for Central North, claiming 4-23 off five overs.

Central North reached the target in the 34th over for the loss of four wickets.

REWARD: Jake House was named in the combined Central North-North Coast side.

REWARD: Jake House was named in the combined Central North-North Coast side.

Central North skipper Jack Hamilton, of Tamworth, smashed a 82-ball 85 batting at No.3.

No.4 Lachlan Page chipped in with a 44-ball 37 not out.

Undefeated Western won the tournament, beating Central North by four points.

Central North had eight players selected in a combined Central North-North Coast side who will play in the eight-team State Challenge in Dubbo this month.

ON YA: Max Farmer was also named in the combined Central North-North Coast side.

ON YA: Max Farmer was also named in the combined Central North-North Coast side.

They are Hamilton, Page, Callum Henry, Max Farmer, Jake House, Jed Collins, Landen Price and Matt Holmes.

Singleton-based Central North coach Barry Smith said the side’s ability to play “smarter” cricket was the most pleasing aspect of the tournament.

The side’s two losses came in Twenty20 matches, and Smith said that was he result of the players’ lack of exposure to high-level Twenty20 contests.

He said: “I think that was telling. But that’s all part of the learning to be done.”

Commenting on the Newcastle win, he said: “We chased down 152, which is a pretty good score at this age. We got them with four down and five overs to spare, which was pretty impressive.”