Cricket: North Coast to take on Sydney first grade side Western Suburbs in Port Macquarie

CHRIS Cole, Josh Hyde and Brendan Badenoch are notable omissions from the North Coast representative cricket side for its pre-season trial match on Saturday.

The Mid North Coast region, however, will have a strong representation with Tom Burley, Ben Scowen, Ben Taylor, Ryan Williams and Jackson Korn all selected.

Scowen, Williams and Burley all play in Taree, while Taylor and Korn ply their trade up in the Kempsey competition.

It will be the first time Sydney first grade side Western Suburbs have visited Port Macquarie.

There will be a local connection to the Western Suburbs side through former Hastings trio Nick Cutler, Darren Bourke and Jono Cook.

Cricket NSW North Coast Zone academy coach Merv Bourke said it would be a significant step up for the local players.

“First grade cricket around here is probably around fourth-grade level in Sydney,” he said.

“But some of the players that have made the North Coast side could play second grade down there.”

Bourke said it was disappointing there were no Port Macquarie-based players selected in the side.

It remains unknown the exact reasons why the trio were not named, but he did remain confident in the next crop of young players coming through the ranks in the Hastings.

Tom Connolly and Jared Humphreys are two names which Bourke said were worth keeping an eye on.

“There is a good group of 14 and 15-year-old’s from Port Macquarie that are coming through,” he said.

Bourke said the North Coast side overall was a young one, but it had plenty of promise.

“Raman Phoonie is a top class young batsman from Coffs Harbour who is in the NSW Country/ACT under-19 squad,” he said.

“Lachlan Barnsley and Daman Rootes are also extremely talented batsmen who are only 18 and 20 years of age.

“Ben McMahon is a solid all-rounder from Clarence.”

Tim Welsford, a former Australian under-19 player, was a first grade captain-coach in Melbourne and will captain the side.

Welsford is expected to bat in the top order and bowls brisk medium pace.

The first ball will be bowled at 10am at Wayne Richards Park on Saturday.

The North Coast side is: Tim Welsford (Coffs Harbour), Lachlan Barnsley (Lismore), Doug Harris (Clarence), Jackson Korn (Kempsey), Brandon Honeybrook (Grafton), Ben Scowen (Manning), Ben McMahon (Clarence), Hayden McMahon (Clarence), Raman Phoonie (Coffs Harbour), Ryan Williams (Manning), Ben Taylor (Kempsey), Damon Rootes (Coffs Harbour), Tom Burley (Manning).​