Cooper is shining in big smoke
By STEVE SPINKS
AT the start of the 2004-05 cricket season, Corndale's rising batsman Tom Cooper was facing up to the best bowlers the Far North Coast had to offer.
But since moving to Sydney in February, the teenager has been facing up to the best of Sydney grade cricketers.
Cooper's progression continued at the weekend when his University of NSW team played Sydney University in the Sydney first grade final.
Uni of NSW went down by a solitary wicket in a pulsating finish.
But Cooper showed some true class scoring 55 in the second innings of a low scoring match.
In the first innings, Cooper was dismissed for 15 by Australia and NSW representative leg-spinner Stuart MacGill.
Lismore's Andrew Neilan was another member of the UNSW side.
The wicketkeeper, in his seventh season in Sydney, had a solid match taking five dismissals, including three stumpings.
One of Neilan's dismissals was former Clunes batsman and NSW representative Matthew Phelps.
Phelps made scores of 16 and 17. He was caught behind by Neilan in his second innings.
But in the end it was Phelps who had the last laugh as Sydney Uni claimed the win.
It was Phelps' first Sydney premiership after more than a decade in the city.
It capped off a terrific season for the right-hander after he was part of the NSW team that won the Pura Cup a fortnight ago.