Competitive carnival ahead, young cricket guns meet at Cowra

Bathurst’s Ryan Peacock will captain Western/Riverina in the Under 18s State Challenge in Cowra. Play begins this Friday and will run through until Sunday.The last time Cowra hosted a three-day cricket carnival a young Adam Zampa emerged on the scene as a future Australian representative, that was during January, 2007.
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More couldbe unearthedthis weekend, with Friday markingthe opening day of the NSW Under 18s CountryChallenge, pitting together four teams made up of 48 of the state’s best country cricketers.

Western and Riverina combine as thetournamenthosts, whileCentral North/North Coast, Central Coast/Newcastle and ACT/Southern/Illawarra make up the competition.

Bathurst starRyan Peacock will captain Western/Riverina, whichincludesfellow Western ZoneplayersLuke Powell and Ben Parsons, also from Bathurst,Ben Knaggs and Charlie Kempston from Dubbo, Charlie Greer from Orangeand Grenfell product Hamish Starr.

Coach Robbie Jackson expectsa high standard of cricket, particularly from opening roundopponents ACT/Southern/Illawarra –who Jackson’s side will meet at Twigg Oval on Fridayfrom 10am.

“This will probably be some of the best cricket these guys have played,” Western/Riverina coach Robbie Jackson said.

“[ACT/Southern/Illawarra] has great depth and some quality cricketers.We’ll have to be ready for what they dish up.

“It’s a great opportunity to play against other quality cricketers.”

Jackson identifiedRyanPeacock andyoung tearaway Hamish Starr, as well as Riverina batsman Jack Harper and all-rounder Mitch Cleeland, as the four key players.

Each side is scheduled to play each other in the 50-over format, giving players opportunity to be noticed for selection into next season’sNSW Country/ACT under 19s side.

“Not only does it act as part of the selection process for 19s, but it’s a good opportunity to play such a high standard of cricket before going back to local finals,” Jackson added.

Friday’s other match features Central North/North Coast and Central Coast/Newcastle at Holman Oval.

All matches will be played at Holman and Twigg Ovals with play scheduled to start at 10am each day.

Cowra District Cricket President Greg Nicholls says the close proximity of Holman and Twigg Ovals makes it an ideal location for a high performance three-day carnival, givingselectors easy access toboth games.

“You talk to people and they love the set up here with the grounds right next door.

“That’s what makes it so attractive for a three-day carnival,” he said.

On Saturday, Western/Riverina take on Central North/North Coast at Twigg while in thefinal round they play Central Coast/Newcastle at Holman Oval.

Western/Riverina

Ryan Peacock ©, Charlie Kempston, Hamish Starr, Ben Parsons, Ben Knaggs, Charlie Greer, Luke Powell (Western),Caleb Barras,Eddie Keogh,Jack Harper,Josh Staines,Mitch Cleeland,Avery Weilandt (Riverina).

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