CELEBRATING : Casinos Sam Irvine.
CELEBRATING : Casinos Sam Irvine.

Irvines happy to be Blue as NSW win country champs

By ADAM HICKS sport@northernstar.com.au CASINO'S Sam Irvine and the NSW Bush Blues began celebrating early yesterday morning when NSW were declared the Australian Country Cricket champions in Mackay.

"We woke up this morning and all we needed was for it to rain and we'd won," he said.

"We woke up and it was pouring down and everyone had a beer at 8.30am. Everyone is in party mode at the moment."

NSW Country were crowned carnival champions after their match against Queensland Country was abandoned.

Both teams were undefeated during the championship, but the Bush Blues claimed the Cricket Australia Shield by just 0.95 points.

In the wash-up, three late wickets in the first innings of their round four wash-out against Western Australia, proved the difference with each wicket worth a bonus 0.03 points.

Irvine said the tournament was a great experience.

"Unreal, absolutely unreal. I had an absolute ball up here," he said.

"The bunch of blokes we were playing with, everyone was really tight, there was a real sense of camaraderie."

Irvine travelled to the championships with the goal of winning selection in the Australian Country team, but didn't have the best time with the willow.

"I never was much of a shot," he said.

"You've got to make runs and I never got a great deal of runs. I got a 40 and a 20 and a couple of other double figures and that was about it.

"I would have liked to have done better. I'm not really happy with how I played."

Irvine returns home tonight and will begin making plans to move to the Gold Coast after being accepted to Griffith University to study primary school teaching.

NSW scored 1148 runs and snared 46 wickets for the championship while nearest rivals Queensland hit 963 runs and took 49 wickets.

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