BAILEY Brien’s unbeaten century helped Bathurst get their Mitchell Cricket Council under 19s competition off to a winning start on Sunday at home against Mudgee.
Only a day after helping rescue St Pat’s Old Boys with a half century in club cricket Brien carried his form over to the representative game, the opener clubbing 121 not out to help Bathurst reach 4-223.
Brien’s knock alone would have been enough to see off the visiting Mudgee side at The Scots School.
Mudgee’s middle and tail couldn’t go on with the job as they were all out for 118 after losing their last eight wickets for just 50 runs.
Ben Cant (31) played a strong supporting role alongside Brien to produce 104 runs for the opening partnership while Mitch Taylor was the pick of the Bathurst bowlers with 3-18 off 10 overs.
The efforts come as little surprise to Bathurst District Cricket Association president Campbell Graham who spoke glowingly of the city’s development across the age group.
“It’s a credit to the clubs themselves by developing these junior players moving into senior cricket. Probably 10 to 15 years ago you wouldn’t have seen many 13 or 14 years old players in senior cricket,” he said.
“These guys are coming through with a lot more senior cricket under their belts by the time they get to the colts age group. It puts them in good stead for playing against kids their own age.
“Obviously the Bathurst District Junior Cricket program has its place as well. You look at some of the teams from a few years ago that went through undefeated. That’s lead to the quality of players we’ve got coming through now, those guys like Bailey Brien and Mitch Taylor.”
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Brien terrorised Mudgee’s bowlers during the corresponding match last season where he hit 58 in Bathurst’s 151 run win.
He started Sunday’s game in equally dangerous fashion by hitting five boundaries on his way to 50, repeating his efforts from a day earlier by belting a six to bring up his half century.
His partner in crime from the St Pat’s game, Connor Slattery (20), assisted Brien later in the Bathurst innings, as did Hugh Parsons (14).
Mudgee’s openers departed to leave the score at 2-28 before Lachlan Endacott (24) and Michael Dowell (21) tried to play their way into patience knocks.
Dowell took 17 deliveries to get off the mark while between the pair they faced 102 dot balls.
When the partnership was broken up the rest of the visitors’ order struggled to fill the void.
Taylor and Jack Goddsell were both on a hat-trick during the Mudgee innings.