Runs keep flowing for top-order batsmen
MARIST Brothers top-order batsmen Lachlan Barnsley and Sam Martin have been making a name for themselves in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket this summer.
Barnsley, who is only 16, has scored 353 runs including three half- centuries from opening bat in his first season in the top grade.
Martin, 19, has had a breakout year and cemented himself as the leading run scorer in the competition with a brilliant 126 in a two-day game against defending premiers Cudgen last month.
He has already scored 624 runs with Alstonville all-rounder Steve Mison his closest rival on 523 while Cudgen's Caleb Ziebell is the third highest run-scorer with 493.
The young duo will be tested in five rounds of two-day games starting when Brothers take on Pottsville at Seabreeze Oval, Pottsville, today.
"It's been great batting with Lachlan, we keep each other honest and work well together,” Martin said.
"He has so much natural ability and to handle things the way he has is unbelievable.
"The best thing about this season is we have plenty of guys in the top order like Jack Cooper and Brad Cleaver who can score runs. We haven't relied on one person to get the runs and to be honest there is no real weakness in this team.
"Luke Collings is one of the most switched-on blokes in the competition and we're lucky to have that sort of experience too.”
The best thing for Brothers is Barnsley still has two more years of high school while Martin is about to start a teaching degree at Southern Cross University in Lismore.
Martin started playing Hooker League in 2014-15 and has already scored more runs this season than his previous two combined.
"I don't really know what it is, things have just really clicked this season,” Martin said.
"It's a humbling experience to see your name ahead of guys like Abe Crawford, Sam Irvine and Andrew Lindsay.
"I'd love to keep going with it now and finish the season with 800-900 runs.
"I didn't think I was hitting the ball that well against Cudgen but I was stoked to score a century against that bowling attack.
"Cudgen are a team you want to play against and I don't want to jinx it but I think we have a team that can win the competition.”