In a Tamworth First XI brimming with teenage talent, it was young quick Joey Mead whom Tamworth captain Tom O’Neill singled out for praise.
Perhaps that is not too surprising, given they are both paceman.
Also, on Sunday away to Inverell they will both back up from rep cricket duties: Mead from captaining Central Norths’ Bradman Cup side in Albury, and O’Neill from playing for the Bush Blues at the national country championships at Shepparton.
“You can just throw him the ball and you know what you’re gonna get,” O’Neill said of Mead.
“He’s not the quickest going around but he never misses his length … He’ll probably get most wickets for Tamworth this year.
“He’s just been a really good, honest performer. You don’t have to be the quickest bowler in the world. But if you can hit those lengths, nine times out of 10 you’re gonna do really well.”
Tamworth travel to Inverell knowing they must win the penultimate-round encounter to have any chance of making the final.
Tamworth are third on the ladder, with one win from three matches.
They have a bye in the last round.
O’Neill is confident Tamworth can rebound in Inverell, provided he and the other bowlers “hit our lines and lengths”.
In his first season captaining side, O’Neill highlighted the emergence of young talent as the most pleasing aspect of the current campaign.
“There’s been a lot of young fellas come up and they’ve performed,” he said.
“Like, there’s been a young fella in each match who’s performed, which is good.
“And that’s what we need for cricket going forward: these young players performing at that higher level.”
Tamworth: Tom O’Neill (c); Liam Rodgers; Brad Smith; Simon Norvill; Joey Mead; Tait Jordan; Jack Richards; Lachie Barton; Brad Redshaw; Lachlan Cooke; Tom Fitzgerald; Chris Langston.