Gloucester’s Ryan Yates was a part of the Macquarie Stingers squad at the Regional Big Bash T20 cricket round played at Port Macquarie.
The side failed to win a match but coach David Burley said the side only has to improve marginally to be a major contender.
“We could have won all three games,’’ Burley said.
The Stingers were beaten on the last ball in the opening game by Northern River Rock.
Northern River won the toss and elected to send the Stingers in and they responded by scoring 7/182, with opening Chris Cole making a half century, while Bailey Smith was unbeaten on 28 and Dave Rees made 24. The Rock hit the winning runs off the last ball, losing seven wickets in the process. Smith, with 2/29 had a good double while Sam Whitbread finished with 2/28 and Rees 2/34.
“Our middle order let us down in the first game,’’ Burley said.
“We got off to a good start but didn’t really make the most of it.’’
Coffs Harbour Chargers batted first in the second match and the bowler responded by restricting them to 9/153. However, the Stingers could only manage 142 in response. Ben Taylor (3/28) and Cal McKiernan (3/30) were the best of the Stingers’ bowlers. Cole smashed 34 in the run chase and Rees 24
The Stingers made 203 in the last game against Northern Inland Rock. However, the Rock batsmen were up to the task, hitting the winning runs in 18.2 overs. Ryan Yates was the batting spearhead for Macquarie, smashing 64 while McKiernan made 27 and Rees 24.
Coffs Harbour were the overall champions and will be heading to the SCG for the State finals.
Burley said opening bowler Whitbread from United was strong in the three games while Cole was in good form with the bat, hitting 50 and then 37 in the opening two fixtures.
Bailey Smith also bowled well. Burley said the decision to go in with a spin orientated attack worked, however, he added that medium pacer Dave Rees from Wingham performed admirably with the bat and the ball
He said a number of younger players in the squad will be all the better for the experience and tips the Stingers to be contenders for overall honours in 2019.
Next year’s tournament will be played in Tamworth. Burley has indicated he’s keen to keep coaching the Macquarie side.
Meanwhile the opening round of the Mid North Coast Premier League will be played on Saturday.
It has been confirmed that opening bowler Ryan Williams will captain the Taree West side.
Ricky Campbell will again lead United while Ben Scowen and Michael Rees will share the duties at Wingham.