HE was one of the youngest players on the field, but when Blayde Burke sent St George's skipper on his way for a first-ball duck in Tuesday's Brian Booth Cup match it was a telling moment.
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In claiming that prized scalp for the Western Zone under 16s invitational side, Bathurst spinner Burke played a key role in helping restrict the Saints to 8-197.
It was a total Western Zone chased down in the space of 37 overs to post a five-wicket win and claim the prized cup.
While Burke was named in the Western division of the NSW Male Youth Academy squad earlier this year, he was only called up to the Greg Rummans coached side to face the Saints after the withdrawal of another bowler.
But Rummans and his Western Zone team-mates were glad to have him.
"Blayde's a really good player, he's a really good prospect. He knocked over their captain first ball, so that was pretty handy, that meant we were chasing 200 instead of 250 or more," Rummans said.
"Blayde bowled really well, he was consistent, he was full, he was hard to get away.
"Our spinners really did a good job. The Saints have some good players and they were reasonably comfortable against the pace bowlers ... but our spinners came on Blayde and Ayden Hunt and Max Richardson and Tom [Blowes] bowled a few overs off off-spin as well and we tied them up through the middle."
The annual Brian Booth Cup is played between Western Zone and St George as a way to honour the Perthville legend.
Now 88, Booth played 29 Test matches for Australia and skippered the national side in two Tests of the 1965-66 Ashes series.
As well as playing in Bathurst as a junior, Booth played club cricket for St George.
"Brian was there to watch and he didn't know who to barrack for, but he was happy for us. I think he was impressed with our boys, particularly the way we batted," Rummans said.
"He had a chat after the game to the three Bathurst boys and Murray Staines who is from Lithgow but plays his cricket in Bathurst."
Playing at Harold Fraser Oval, hosts St George won the toss and batted first.
Spring Hill's Max Richards struck in his first over to have St George 1-5, the Western quick going on to finish with 3-33 off eight overs.
Fellow opening bowler Blake Dillon from Dubbo also found success with 2-23 off six, but it was not only pace that worked for Western.
Good fielding - both Bathurst's Hugh Taylor and Parkes' Jack Milne pulled off run-outs - and smart spin bowling played a role too.
Burke was the seventh bowler used and in claiming the prized scalp of Saints skipper Jackson Ingram, went on to finish with 1-13 off seven overs.
With 198 to chase for victory, openers Taylor and Staines got Western off to a good start. The Bathurst District talents put on 69 runs for the first wicket.
"Our two openers played quite well off their hips early on, Hugh Taylor and Murray Staines. They enjoyed their work," Rummans said.
"They had two very big, very fast bowlers open the bowling for them the Saints, I think they are two of the quicker ones running around in Sydney at the moment.
"They might have been a bit unsettled by our two left-handers, they drifted into the hip a little bit, but Hughy and Murray handled it really well.
"They just clipped them away, we were 0-55 after 10 overs, so that was a good start from our boys. When you're chasing 200, if you can knock off 50 in 10 you're on your way.
"We sort of talked to them about not being intimidated by the city kids and understanding they are on the same level and treat the game that way. I think Hughy gets it and Murray figured it out along the way."
Staines made 26 and Taylor 35 to set a good platform for Western before Orange's Tom Blowes (55) and Milne (20 not out) went on with the job.
Blowes hit five boundaries and cleared the rope three times, Rummans saying: "He was pretty impressive, he's got a bit going for him."
The Brian Booth Cup was part of Western's build up to the annual Bradman Cup, which starts on December 3.
Though another planned match against Penrith on Wednesday was washed-out, Rummans was impressed with the players who made the trip to Sydney.
"It was nice to beat St George, that's my old club," he said.
"I did say to the boys that there were certain things we were looking for from them because it does sort of go towards Bradman Cup selection.
"They way they played, this 12 that came to Sydney have given themselves every chance to be in the final team. There will have to be good performances outside the group to knock any of these boys out.
"The way they behaved and interacted and played - there wasn't an ordinary player against St George. Considering not many of them have played this season and training has been limited ... they fielded better than St George, they batted and bowled better than St George and deserved to win."
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