Youngster shows class for Lismore
HE may be only 16 years of age and making his debut at Far North Coast Cricket under-19 Inter-District level, but Lismore's Blake Taylor showed no signs of nerves in yesterday's final against Ballina at Fripp Oval.
Taylor's team won the match by 13 runs, enabling Lismore to continue their dominance of the four-team representative competition.
The Kadina High School student played a prominent role in the win.
Taylor scored 36 runs after coming in to bat at number seven and then took the tidy figures of 0-10 from six overs.
Taylor knocked on the door of under-19 selection after blazing 115 not out recently for Lismore's under-16 side against Ballina.
Yesterday his side posted 210 but he came to the crease under pressure at 5-75.
Taylor, along with Jake Nind (61) and Kale Hare (34) then helped his side post a competitive total.
"I've coached Blake a bit and he deserved his chance," Lismore coach Tony Cowin said.
"He looked really good with the bat when he scored that 100 and he was one of our best today."
Taylor has enjoyed a fine summer. He is in his second season of the Far North Coast Cricket LJ Hooker League and has represented FNC in the Bradman Cup and the Combined High Schools opens side.
Opening batsman Jake Nind rescued Lismore from early trouble.
The visitors were 4-19 but Nind played a calm knock.
The Southern Districts all-rounder said Ballinacaptain Nathan Hoey put him under pressure early on with some verbal barbs.
"Jake batted superbly; it's the best I've seen him bat in a long time and he should've got 100 but he holed out," Cowin said.
"Then everybody else chipped in with some runs."
That included the diminutive Kale Hare, who came in at number eight.
"It was pleasing to see Kale get some runs," Cowin said.
"He's tried to belt too many balls in the Hooker League (for Workers Goonellabah) this season but in this game he just hit the bad balls and found the gaps."
Ballina's chase got off to a good start with Jarryd Thompson (33), Nathan Hoey (32) and Nathanael Scott (39) striking the ball well.
Scott looked in good touch after he dispatched Adam Armistead to the boundary twice in an over before he holed out to legspinner Jake Hellyar.
"Jake took 4-16 and Nathanael's dismissal was the key wicket for us," Cowin said.
"If he stayed in, they win the game."
Ballina bowler Jacob Stephenson took 5-42 from 10 overs including the key wicket of Nick De Giusti but said his side's lower order could have done more in its run chase.
"We looked set at one stage but we lost quick wickets," he said.