Cricket novice finding his feet
FROM backyard cricket with a plastic bat one minute to playing in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League the next.
That's the story of Workers Goonellabah player Adam Armistead's rapid rise in the sport.
This is only Armistead's third year as a cricketer but already he has some impressive statistics.
He is back from a stint in England after scoring more than 500 runs from April to September while playing for Penrith CC in the Cumbria District.
Armistead's trip was partly funded by the Northern NSW branch of the Lord's Taverners.
The 18-year-old's highest score in England was 116, and that signalled how rapidly the self-proclaimed L-plater has picked up the game.
"I had only played backyard cricket with a plastic bat before I started two years ago," he said.
"I'm over the moon with how I went over there because I was an apprentice up against guys who had played twice as much cricket as me.
"Now my goal is to play for NSW at any age level."
Armistead, a right-arm fast-medium bowler and left-handed batsman, scored 35 not out against Marist Brothers in his first Hooker League innings and 23 in the SCG Country Cup for Lismore against Casino.
Brothers' Jared Seiffert is also back from England after starring for Harrow St Mary's in Division 3 of the Middlesex League.
The left-arm paceman took 95 wickets and scored more than 500 runs with a highest score of 82.
"I did some groundsman and bar work and travelled around England," the 19-year-old said.
"It was an awesome trip.
"I played so many games - three a week on average.
"Over there, they focus on playing lots of games whereas out here the focus is on training hard and not playing as many matches."
And Alstonville opening batsman Kristiaan Ezzy rounds out the list of young Far North Coast cricketers who received Lord's Taverners funding to play in England.
Ezzy took the field for Richmond CC in south-west London.
The 19-year-old scored more than 1000 runs with a highest score of 89 not out. He also took 15 wickets.
"I made lots of friends and I recommend this trip to anyone," he said.
"Now if I can score 250 runs in the Hooker League, that would be nice."