NSW Blue blitzes junior awards day
By Tony White
NSW and Australia A cricket player Stuart Clark proved a smash hit as special guest at the Clarence River Cricket Association (CRCA) junior presentation awards at South Grafton High on Wednesday evening.
"The interest Stuart created was incredible," CRCA junior president Steve Whitton said. "It was wonderful. We had over 200 people attend, double what we normally get.
"He was a terrific ambassador."
The talented fast bowler was inundated by eager young autograph seekers before and after the award presentations.
And a video package of Clark's career followed by an interview with North Coast Zone Development officer, Brett Rankin, and question time, proved extremely popular.
Along with Nathan Bracken, Clark, who took 40 wickets this season, spearheaded the Blues attack that helped take the team to this year's Pura Cup title.
"Stuart signed a heap of autograph's and the question and answer section on what's he's achieved so far was very well received," Whitton said.
"For kids to get the chance to rub shoulders with a State and Australian A player is an experience they are likely to never forget.
"If we ever get another chance to get a Speed Blitz Blue player as a special guest we'll jump at the opportunity.
"It was a rewarding, fruit- ful experience."
Award winners were:
Under-16s: All-rounder - Brad Robertson (Souths); bowling - Brad Robertson (Souths); batting - Matt Hartmann (Souths); fielding - Jamie Firth (Brothers); batting average - Danny McLennan (Souths); premiers - South Services.
Under-14s: All-rounder - Justin Cotten (Brothers); batting - Quintin Pursey (Easts); bowling - Angela Payne (Souths); fielding - Quintin Pursey (Easts); premiers - East Royal Tavern.
Under-12s: All-rounder - Nick Wood (Coutts Crossing); batting Nick Wood (Coutts); bowling - Connor Norris (Easts) and Nick Fahey (Tucabia-Copmanhurst); fielding - Nick Wood (Coutts) and Ben Loveday (Easts); premiers - Coutts Crossing and South Services jointly.
Matt Hartmann - wicketkeeping award for five or more dismissals; Tim Tilse (********); Nick Whitton (Tucabia) and Scott Rankin (Easts) bowling hat trick award; Braden Dinham, Matt Hartmann and Brad Robertson (Souths) - centuries award; Nick Wood (Coutts) - most catches other than wicketkeeper all grades.
South Services won Trophy for overall minor grade champions.
Adam Mills (Souths), Ryan Dewberry (Tucabia), Bryce Speechley (Westlawn), Chris Chamberlain (Easts), Jamie Firth (Brothers), Thomas Maloney (Harwood), Jack Plater (United), Eran Rice (Yamba) - Westlawn Investments most improved and sportsmanship awards for All River Under-16 colts.