Youngsters showcase skills at inaugural talent carnival
The inaugural Mid West cricket talent carnival at GBSC Sports Park in Geraldton last weekend showcased the finest junior cricketers in the Mid West and Gascoyne.
Held across three divisions, the format of the carnival allowed players to be placed in highly pressurised game scenarios, and pitted against players of equal ability.
Watching with a keen eye over proceedings were Western Australian Cricket Association country coaching and talent specialist Job Van Bunge and Western Australian Cricket Association Mid West regional manager Ryan Hosking, who were thrilled with the overall standard and temperament of the cohort.
In the Joanne Starling under-12s division, teams were split into four teams and played a round robin carnival over Saturday and Sunday.
All matches were fairly even in nature, with several players pressing their cases for representative duty.
Dongara’s Archie Bougouard, who was selected as skipper for his side, again led the way with the bat.
Bougouard ended the 12s season in excellent club form and his performances in all matches saw him recognised as one of the best players in the division for the weekend.
Others who joined him were Digby Gallop, Declan McAuliffe, Nathanael Fox-Muhl, Jasper March and Shane Brown.
Brown, who travelled from Carnarvon, put on the style in the final pool game for team Black.
He finished the match unbeaten on 45 and backed up his efforts with the ball, claiming 2-5 against team Blue.
Adjacent to the under-12s fixtures on Saturday morning, the Courtney Keeffe under-14s division began with a 50-over-a-side representative fixture between the Geraldton Junior Cricket Association’s under-14s Junior Country Week team and a combined under-15 Mid West Talent Carnival All-Stars side.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the All-Stars burst out with early ascendancy with the upper order getting starts.
At 3-115, they appeared to be on course for a hefty total, before a dogged effort from the opposition saw them lose their final seven wickets for 18 runs.
Chasing 134 for victory, the GJCA’s country week side never got going, with Liam Dibben removing two of the opening three batsman to put them out of business.
Dibben finished with 4-28 from 10 overs, with Callum Marquis (2-6) and William Durmanich (1-1) also impressing with the ball.
On Sunday, the players reconvened for an internal-based fixture, with Kade Gillingham leading team Blue to a comfortable victory over team Orange.
Gillingham and Dibben were recognised as the Courtney Keeffe under-14s division players of the carnival.
For cricketing purists wanting to see gutsy displays of batting and perseverance, the Norm Jupp under-16s representative fixture on Sunday morning did not let them down.
The GJCA under-16s junior country week team won the toss and batted first against a combined MWTC under-17s All-Star team.
They may have been eventually dismissed for 126 off 47.1 overs, but the braveness of Josh DeLacy’s innings rose the spirits of all in and around the ground.
DeLacy, whose father Craig tragically passed away days earlier, toiled hard for 35 off 114 deliveries.
Chasing 127 for victory, the MWTC easily passed the total and finished on 8-220, with Hudson Toomey brutally efficient.
In a truly breathtaking innings, Toomey’s unbeaten 129 comprised off 20 boundaries and two sixes — and only came off 87 deliveries.
Players across all divisions pause for a carnival picture.
Regan Bassett, of Carnarvon, charges in during a Joanne Starling under-12s division pool match.
Under-12s player Luke Smallwood carried his good run of club form during the carnival.
Brock Ramirez, of Carnarvon, representing Blue during the Joanne Starling under-12s pool stage.
Black under-12s middle-order batsman James Gardiner defends a delivery.