VICTORY: Back row coach John Delaney, Alex Slade, James Hardyman, Hudson Bird, Josh MacTaggart, Liam Simpson, Chris Black (manager) and Mitch Black. Front row Daniel Hardyman, James McLeod, Harry Clarke, Harry Croker, Hayden Essery and Anita Handono. Absent: Keegan Hughes. THE Manning’s under 14’s representative side played in the final of the Mid North Coast interdistrict competition against Macleay at the Cedar Party Reserve on Sunday December 7.
The wicket, field and surrounds looked an absolute picture and impressed everyone who attended the days play.
Both teams and officials observed a minute silence prior to the commencement of play as a mark of respect for the iate Phillip Hughes.
Manning won the toss and elected to bat first and proceeded to produce their best and most disciplined batting performance of the rep season.
They managed to overcome a good all-round bowling and fielding performance by Macleay and batted out their allocated 50 overs to finish with seven wickets down and 226 runs on the score board.
All those who batted contributed to the team score through good partnerships. The leading run scorers were Harry Croker 72 and Harry Clarke 67 which included a fabulous third wicket partnership of 128 runs and an exceptional display of running between the wickets. Alex Slade 21 not out, Hayden Essery 13 and Mitch Black 10 not out, all continued their good form.
After lunch Manning took to the field and from the very first ball of the innings, which saw a Macleay opener dismissed, the pressure was applied and maintained until the fall of the 10th wicket.
As if to script, Manning produced their tightest bowling and fielding effort and gave just eight sundries away, largely due to Harry Clarke who captained the team with maturity above his years.
Josh MacTaggart and Harry Croker opened the attack and set the standard for all the bowlers who followed with their combined eight over spell keeping Macleay to 11 runs for the loss of 1 wicket.
Daniel Hardyman and Mitch Black followed with the ball maintaining the same pressure and it wasn’t long before the pressure showed and wickets began to fall.
Late in the middle session, injury forced Hudson Bird from the field and opened the way for our super sub fielder James Hardyman to continue his mighty fielding effort for the remainder of the innings.
The first ball of the 43rd saw the fall of the last Macleay wicket with the score on 132 and gave the Manning side a convincing victory.
Leading wicket takers were James McLeod three for 22, Josh MacTaggart two for five, Hayden Essery two for 21, Liam Simpson one for 12, Harry Croker one for 13, Harry Clarke one for 20.
The fielding effort across the field was of a high standard all afternoon with moments of absolute brilliance from Tuncurry’s Anita Handono and Hayden Essery. Harry Croker completed a fabulous all-round game when with the keeper’s gloves on in the middle session of play, took four catches and completed a stumping.
The rep side is made up of players from Taree, Wingham, Old Bar, Nabiac, Forster, Tuncurry and Gloucester.
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