Young guns get nod
By STEVE SPINKS
CASINO Cavaliers young guns Sam Irvine and Wade Sweeney are the only Far North Coast representatives in the North Coast cricket team for the Northern NSW Country Championship at Gosford from November 11 to 13.
In the team selected on Thursday, Sweeney and Irvine got the nod to represent North Coast for the second straight season.
Last year, Irvine impressed at the championship by scoring a century and a half-century.
However, he still missed selection in the NSW Country team.
The side will be captained by Coffs Harbour's Darryl Parmenter, a former Sydney first-grade veteran with Randwick-Petersham.
He will bat at No3, with Irvine likely to go in at No4.
Sweeney will form part of a four-pronged pace battery including Taree's Josh Anderson, Grafton's Matt Ryan and Coffs' Brad Guthrie.
Guthrie is another member of the side that has had Sydney first-grade experience.
Far North Coast could have had greater representation in the team but senior local players including Brett Crawford, Ian Gregory, Adam Shields, Brett Ruttley, Al Nowlan, Kent Shay and Luke Shay were unavailable.
A number of leading players from other zones were also unavailable.
However, selectors believe this will be a stronger team than the one that competed at Newcastle last year and lost every match.
Northern NSW and Southern NSW country championships are held, with the NSW Country team for the Australian Country Cricket Championship selected after the carnivals.
Selectors are in the middle of choosing a North Coast Under-21 team to play at the same venue in the Northern NSW Colts titles in early December.
The North Coast open team is:
Darryl Parmenter (c) (Coffs Harbour), Jordan Moran (Bellingen), Trent Thompson (Taree), Sam Irvine (Casino), Todd Gill (Coffs Harbour), Matthew Ryan (Grafton), Josh Emerton (Taree), Josh Anderson (Taree), Wade Sweeney (Casino), Hugh Campbell (Coffs Harbour), Brad Guthrie (Coffs Harbour), Paul Cox (Taree).
Coach: Geoff Chessells (Port Macquarie).
Manager: George Denton (Port Macquarie). Irvine and Sweeney will line up for the Casino Cavaliers in their rain-shortened Far North Coast LJ Hooker League match against Alstonville at Hill Park Oval, Wollongbar, today.
All Hooker League matches lost a day to rain-affected wickets last week, so they are now one-dayers.
In other games, Marist Brothers will take on Ballina Bears at Heaps Oval, Lismore; Norths-Goonellabah RSL meet Southern Districts at Nesbitt Park, South Lismore; Lennox Head host Eastern Districts at Saunders Oval, Ballina; and Tintenbar-East Ballina will lock horns with Lismore Workers at Kingsford Smith South, Ballina.