IN a tough NSW Youth Championships campaign for Central West's under 13s, 14s and 15s teams there were still plenty of memorable individual moments for Bathurst players.
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Central West's under 15s fared best of the group during the recent action in Dubbo, finishing their campaign in fifth, while the zone's under 13s and 14s were eighth and sixth respectively.
Bathurst's Gilby Glawson found a half century for the under 15s side in their win over the ACT Kings and Cooper Stephen top scored with 46 not out against CAW Murray.
In under 14s Riley Larnach managed to pick up his second five-wicket haul of the championships and fellow Bathurst player Jayden Brasier notched up several big games with the bat.
There were also promising signs for the future of Bathurst cricket with Lochie Shoemark's all-round efforts for the under 13s, plus more excellent bowling performances from Buster Goinan.
The Championships began with two rounds held over two weekends (November 27 and December 11) and concluded with five rounds across Monday to Thursday at Dubbo.
Central West under 15s co-coach Colin Starkey said the team will get a lot out of the competition.
"They get a lot of experience out of it and it allows them to grow into their full potential as players," he said.
"Cooper Pullen stood really tall throughout the whole competition, Cooper Stephen really started to come into his own and Gilby Glawson did the same, plus he excelled in the co-captaincy role with Toby Middleton."
Starkey said seeing Western Plains Outlaws take out the Youth Championships title in their age group should serve as a great motivator to lift for next season's step up into a new competition.
"Effectively next year they're all playing each other for positions in the Bradman Cup side when it's selected," he said.
"Cooper Pullen, for example, would be up against other batsmen from Western, like Cooper Townsend and Cooper Giddings. There's a lot of competition there."
Under 15s' Cooper Pullen continued the strong form he showed with the bat in his century against Western Plains, scoring a team high 70 not out in the team's narrow one wicket loss to Illawarra Highlanders.
The Orange player also led the way with the ball by taking 3-29.
Bathurst's Ali Wally (3-14) had the best figures in the team's five wicket win over Southern Districts and Stephen scored an unbeaten 46 in the loss to CAW Murray.
Glawson (68) and Hayden Griffith (38) put on 122 together for the first wicket in the win over ACT, while Orange's Baxter Brown (2-16) and Bathurst's Blayde Burke (2-33) were strong with the ball.
In Central West's under 14s campaign, Riley Larnach took 5-35 in a loss to the Illawarra Highlanders while Jayden Brasier (46 not out and 2-21) had a great all-round performance in a defeat to Southern Districts.
The team bounced back in a seven wicket win over CAW Murray where Callum Munns took 1-8 from his two overs and Brasier top scored with 34 in a solid team batting performance.
Orange's Fletcher Byrne (33) top scored in a loss to ACT while the Bathurst duo of Larnach (2-6 from four overs) and Flynn Waddell (22 not out) were great in defeat to Great Southern Marlins.
Meanwhile, Shoemark (49) started his week with the under 13s in a positive way while fellow Bathurst player Buster Goinan took a stunning 2-3 from his four overs, which included three maidens, although the team couldn't get by Illawarra.
However, the team struck back with wins over Southern Districts and CAW Murray.
Orange's Oliver Garard (62) and Molong's Ben Brazier (3-8 from four overs) were excellent against Southern, and the Bathurst duo of Beau Larnach (2-10) and Goinan (2-11) took CAW Murray apart with the ball.
Shoemark (3-10) then excelled with the ball in a loss to Great Southern Marlins.
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