Penrith win back-to-back

Armidale's Darcy McDermott.
Armidale's Darcy McDermott.

The state’s best junior cricketers stepped up to the crease in Armidale last week for the annual Walter Taylor Shield. 

For the second year running, Penrith claimed the shield after dominant display in the final. 

The boys from Western Sydney took on Camden Haven and recovered after a shaky start to record a convincing victory. 

They were in trouble early at 3-9 before opener William Stubbs held on for a 53-run stand in Penrith’s total of 169.

The reigning champions then tore through Camden Haven to bowl them out for just 59. 

Stubbs made an impact with the ball as well, finishing with 3-7.

Player of the carnival Ben Bradshaw made his mark with 4-33.

Armidale District Cricket’s junior vice-president Michael Dennis said the hosts’ carnival didn’t go the way they hoped, only securing a win on the final day against Hunter Valley. 

"We don't want to make excuses. Armidale played well but unfortunately they perhaps put down a few too many chances at crucial times which could have been the difference between winning and losing games,” he said.

"They showed what they could do on the last day and they will go away with experience and I am sure when we get to the representative games in February, they will be better for it.” 

With Twenty20 being added to the competition for the first time in its 25 year history, there was plenty of exciting cricket played in front of spectators and parents.

Dennis said there were plenty of highlights across the carnival. 

"We had some exciting games, the Twenty20s went off alright and one had a super over between Hunter Valley and Ballina,” he said.

"In the super over, Ballina got three runs on the last ball to win 11-10 in the super over. 

"That was exciting particularly as Ballina had just won a close game against Tamworth the day before. 

"They had a game at night where Ballina beat Penrith, which was very exciting as well, and they got the runs in the last over.

"That was Penrith's only loss and then they got into the final on the quotient and they won the final.” 

The carnival held a Pink Stumps Day on Thursday to coincide with the Sydney Test Match. 

The idea was put forward by the West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook team who also bathed Rologas fields in pink and raised $2,100 on the day. 

Armidale versed Penrith on Pink Stumps Day where local breast cancer nurse Rachael Stevens attended and tossed the coin. 

Dennis said the idea was met with plenty of enthusiasm and players and supporters got into the spirit. 

"Pink Stumps was a huge success. Everyone embraced it and there was pink everywhere, so it was really good to see people supporting that,” he said. 

Pink Stumps was a huge success. Eeryone embraced it and there was pink everywhere, so it was really good to see people supporting that.

Michael Dennis