16 year old cements his place in team after impressive debut
SAM Martin had a tough baptism of fire in the LJ Hooker League competition - but so far he's proved up to the task.
The 16-year-old earned his first call-up for Marist Brothers in the competition just before Christmas and has cemented his place in the team's upper order.
He enjoyed an impressive debut, making a solid 41 against Murwillumbah.
It was a good effort by the Goonellabah player - even if it was a little tougher than he had anticipated.
"The first ball went whizzing past my head," he said with a grin. 'I don't think I saw it.
"It is a bit scary in the LJ Hooker League. I was a bit nervous.
"I think I've settled in a bit now. I'm seeing the ball a bit better.
Sam's arrival has coincided in a welcome upturn in fortunes for the Lismore side, which has endured an inconsistent season.
After claiming an outright win over Murwillumbah, Brothers also claimed first innings' spoils against Terranora to re-ignite their charge for this season's finals.
It has been a memorable sporting time for Sam, of Trinity Catholic College Lismore. He was recently part of the success Baseball Queensland under-18 side at the recent national youth titles.
Ask which of the two sports he prefers though and you see a bit of doubt in his eyes.
"It's a tough question," Sam said.
"I think it's probably cricket in summer and baseball in the winter.
"They both help each other out with hand/eye co-ordination and my batting in particular.
"Hopefully I can stick around for Marist Brothers and make some more runs."
Meanwhile, teams are now preparing for an important round of action as the regular season enters the final straight.
The pick of the weekend's fixtures is probably day one of the clash between league leaders Lennox Head and third-placed Ballina Bears.
LJ HOOKER LEAGUE LADDER
AFTER SIX ROUNDS: Lennox Head (42 pts), Cudgen (35), Ballina (34), Alstonville (32), Marist Brothers (32), Casino (30), Tintenbar-East Ballina (27), Terranora (10), Pottsville (9), Murwillumbah (7).
This weekend's matches: Cudgen v Murwillumbah (Reg Dalton Oval, Kingcliff), v Pottsville v Casino Cavaliers (Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville), Lennox Head v Ballina Bears (at Meegan Crescent, Lennox Head), Tintenbar-East Ballina v Marist Brothers (Kingsford Smith South, Ballina), Alstonville v Terranora (Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar).