Thunder makes a lasting impression
FAR North Coast Thunder was the top performing team outside of Sydney in the Lismore Workers Club Under-12 cricket carnival this year.
Thunder missed out on playing in the final against North Shore after a narrow three-wicket loss against Parramatta in a 45-over game on Thursday.
Parramatta chased down 245 with just three balls to spare while Thunder finished fourth after an 11-run loss against Manly on Friday.
The fourth-placed finish puts them among the best performing local teams since FNC won the carnival in 2007.
Thunder batsman Rory McLean was named the FNC player of the carnival off the back of his performances in the top order.
McLean opened the batting and scored 50 not out before he retired in the 45-over game against Parramatta.
He spent over an hour at the crease and hit seven boundaries along the way.
McLean was also unbeaten twice on 30 in games against North West Sydney and Newcastle President's X1 earlier in the week.
Thunder were coached by Tintenbar-East Ballina stalwart Phil Dalli and and his son Kai was a shining light in the top order.
He scored a half century against Parramatta and finished the week with 150 runs and five wickets.
Brayden Kernaghan was solid with the bat and with the captaincy while Kahn Johnson took 11 wickets including a five-wicket haul against Mid North Coast.
Harry Kershler showed plenty of promise taking wickets and following in the footsteps of his father and former NSW spinner Anthony Kershler while Emily Hosking held her own bowling.
The team also included Thomas Batchelor, Will Brown, Harrison Doherty, Oliver Walker, Jed Mulcahy and Hamish Weekes.
"Some of the team (had) played a bit of rep cricket at school level but for a lot of them it is their first carnival experience,” Phil Dalli said.
"They're a relaxed bunch of kids and they've enjoyed each others company.”
The second FNC team was the Sixers and they have plenty of potential as a development squad.
Some of its best players were Charlie Evesson, Riley Weir, Blake Perkins and captain Mia Viel.
Ballina and Lismore also had teams in the LJ Hooker Under-13 carnival at Ballina.
It was won by Manly who were coached by former Australian test opener and cricket commentator Michael Slater.