BATHURST'S under 12s team might not have got the result that they wanted in Sunday's latest round of the Western Zone Cricket junior competition but they gave their opponents an almighty scare.
Their game against hosts Orange looked done and dusted when they found themselves 7-40 in pursuit of 116 at Country Club Oval.
That's when Bathurst duo Tyler Harris and Finley Pike decided to knuckle down in the middle.
Harris scored at a consistent pace in his unbeaten 34 runs while Pike defended well in his 10 off 55 balls, as the pair nearly brought their team up to triple figures together.
Pike's eventual dismissal was quickly followed by the 10th and final wicket, leaving Bathurst all out for 100.
It leaves the young Bathurst side going into February's next round still on the hunt for their second win but it's an effort that made coach Matt Fearnley very proud.
"I've got a really strong bowling team with kids like Ryder Burke, Henry Storey, Sam Hunter and Riley Moxon. They've all led from the front with their pace. But we just haven't quite been able to bat out our 40 overs in our games," he said.
"But only one player in my top six has played district cricket before, so it's a very young side. So there's some inexperience there and that will come with time.
"To be under the pressure of 7-40, and then for Tyler and Finley to get us up to 8-95, is just stuff you dream of your seniors doing. To see two juniors doing that is phenomenal.
"What we've lacked in the top order is patience with our shot selections. What Finley showed is that if you bat for some time you can have someone down the other end who can put loose balls away."
Bathurst started their campaign with a five wicket loss to the Western Girls side but hit back in a big way in round two by rolling Mudgee for just 22 runs after scoring 158.
In the space of just a few matches Fearnley has seen his team learning a lot from the Western Zone competition experience.
"Our main goal is to have fun and build up experience. That experience is everything. Every time you play you get better and better," he said.
"They're handling the pressure quite well. We were right in the mix against the girls, we just lacked a few runs. That Western Girls team are a quality side. They're an under 14s team who played in a few carnivals leading up to this season.
"Then in that latest game against Orange I'm sure we would have had them very worried towards the end."
Patrick Bird (3-25) and Aryan Lankathilaka (3-32) were Bathurst's best bowlers in defeat.
The team's next game will be at Loco Oval against Dubbo on February 4.