Ben Livingstone and Ed Mongtomery led from the front for the Northern Inland under-15s as they began their NSW Youth Championships campaign with three wins.
The pair, who served as the sides captain (Livingstone) and vice-captain (Montgomery) at Grafton were their two leading runscorers and both hit unbeaten half-centuries.
Livingstone struck 55no in their final round win over Far North Coast. He also scored 31 in their first-up loss to Lake Macquarie, who were undefeated to lead the Sixers Pool with two rounds to play (October 27 and November 10).
Montgomery just shaded him by three runs for Northern Inland's highest scorer for the carnival. His best was a swashbuckling 52no off only 29 balls as they chased down Newcastle's 8-78 inside 12 overs.
He also hit 16no and 24 and was prominent with the ball snaring 3-40 and 1-19.
"That was good from the leadership group," coach Mitch Woods said reflecting on Livingstone and Mongtomery's efforts.
The former also proved himself with the ball.
Not really noted as a bowler, he "performed very well" bowling his nude spin, picking up four wickets with a best return of 2-18.
Charlie Henderson and Ben Chick also made notable contributions with the bat.
Chick hit 35 and with Livingstone put on 56 for the second wicket against Lake Macquarie while Charlie Henderson made an unbeaten 43 in the loss to Central Coast.
With the ball Brock Parsons snared 3-17 as Northern Inland dismissed Hunter Valley for 96 while Henry Johns nabbed 3-15 against Newcastle.
They did suffer a bit of an early injury set-back with quick Sam Anderson reinjuring his knee in the first game on the second day whilst fielding, which Woods said "changed a few plans".
He was overall pleased with how the side performed.
"They went quite well," he said.
Their biggest issue was they were, bar the Newcastle game, "very slow starters" with the bat in their Twenty20s. But aside from Central Coast, who Woods thought were "head and shoulders the best side we faced" they were competitive in every game.
Lake Macquarie only chased down their 7-101 with five balls to spare.
"It was just our slow start - we didn't post enough runs," Woods lamented.
That will be something to work on for the next games - setting totals and being a bit more aggressive.