Tom Cooper
Tom Cooper

Flat track bully

Defying 'Dehli belly'

GREAT to see Corndale youngster Tom Cooper slide back into the thick of things with a well-made 50 for Eastern Districts against Tintenbar-East Ballina last Saturday after his recent Indian sojourn with the Australian team.

Tom returned from India a week ago with a good dose of 'Delhi belly', but he overcame the illness and jet lag to help Easts to an unlikely draw against the 'Bar.

Flat Track Bully learned that while Cooper was touring with the Aussies ? because of a scholarship he won for being player of the Australian Under-17 carnival earlier this year ? he was called on to bowl during a practice session.

Being a little nervous, Cooper decided to bowl against another youngster, 23-year-old Michael Clarke, who had just been selected for his Test debut.

Third ball, Cooper snared the right-hander's 'wicket' with his off-spin bowling when Clarke was caught behind by the practice wicketkeeper.

The Indian 'keeper went berserk, while Tom allowed himself a small fist pump or two, even though he really felt like doing his best Lleyton Hewitt impression with a massive 'C'MON!'.

It is history that Clarke went on to make 151 in his Test debut a few days later.

Maybe Cooper was partly responsible for Clarke's record-breaking ways.

Hooker young guns

SCHOOL is in on LJ Hooker League cricket grounds this season.

An injection of young talent found its mark for a number of first-grade teams in the opening round completed on Saturday.

Apart from Tom Cooper's 50 for Easts, Scott Hogden scored 68 not out and James Fosterling 26 for Tintenbar-East Ballina; Sam Adams 68 for Ballina Bears; Adam Gadowski 66 for Marist Brothers; Wes Koskela 42, Jon Avila 35 and Matt Legge 30 for Workers; and James Redmayne 30 not out for Alstonville.

Wade Sweeney (20) and Scott Shephard (14) shared a 10th-wicket partnership of 36 for the Casino Cavaliers, but it was not quite enough to secure a win over Souths.

Young fast-medium bowlers John Hampson (4-33) and Aden Cowin (3-36) impressed in their first-grade debuts for Norths-Goonellabah RSL, while David Tickle (2-35) for Tintenbar, Ben Johnston (3-28) for Alstonville and Matt Walter (1-16) for Workers also went well.

Wells done, Bryce!

KADINA High School student Bryce Wells enjoyed one of his best moments in cricket when he hit the winnings runs for Goonellabah RSL in an exciting Under-16 Pool B match against Marist Brothers on Saturday morning.

With one ball remaining in the one-day encounter at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah RSL was 8-104 in reply to Marist Brothers' 3-105.

Bryce, batting at No8, hit the last ball for four and was mobbed by excited team-mates as he walked off the ground.

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