Lachie Barton is in the midst of a concerted effort to wring every ounce of potential from his teenage body, to see how far he can progress in the sport.
An intensive off-season in the nets, supported by his father, famed shooter Clive, a two-time Olympian, and his 15-year-old brother Kurt, a right-arm quick who plays with him at Bective East, has paid dividends.
Barton has been among the runs this season – rewarded with his debut selection in Central North’s under-18 side for the Country Colts Championships in December.
“There’s a few teams I wanted to make this year,” he said. “So I put a bit of work in to try and get better, and it’s paid off.”
Barton made the Central North Colts side after compiling 131 runs in three innings, at an average of 65.50, at the inaugural Northern NSW Pathway Challenge in Tamworth in September. His highest score was 91 not out.
For Bective, he has scored 94 runs in three innings, at an average of 47 and with a highest score of 63 not out.
He will play in Tamworth’s War Veterans Cup competition-opener against Armidale at No.1 Oval on Sunday.
On Saturday he and his brother will line up for the Bulls on day one of a two-dayer against North Tamworth at Riverside 2.
Kurt made his top-grade debut this season, adding more youth to a side who, according to Barton, has only four players aged over 18. “It’s a pretty young side,” he said.
In two one-dayers, Kurt has taken two wickets at an average of 28.
“He can move the ball … He had a lot of batsmen from Old Boys struggling [in an October 27 clash],” Barton said.
Intriguing, Barton’s uncle George, also a renowned shooter and two-time Olympian, played first grade for Bective East with his brother, Clive.
Barton recently finished Year 12 at Farrer and is working on his father’s sheep and crop farm opposite Goonoo Goonoo Station. He plans to learn a trade in Tamworth.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Old Boys and South Tamworth clash at No.1 Oval, and City United and West Tamworth meet at Riverside 1.