In The Zone with Peter Argent

After an inconspicuous start in round one, the Mid North side coached by Scott “Scooter” Smith with James Lang as team manager, collected a pair of wins to finish their 2018 SACA Country Cricket Championships under 16 tournament last week, which was held in the Barossa Valley.

On day one, December 10 the Mid North ran into a potent Eyre Peninsula side at Stockwell Oval - that would make the grand final.

Their opponents made 9/221 and then bowled Mid North out for a modest total of 28 in just 25.1 overs.

Pleasingly the team regrouped quickly and the side was more competitive against Fleurieu and Districts on day two at the Saddleworth Oval.

Opener Baiden Wilsdon collected 4/26 in the opponent’s total of 194, while skipper Jack Tiller took 2/47 and made an impressive 82 runs in the Mid North’s unsuccessful run chase.

At Sandy Creek Oval on day three, Mid North collected a thrilling four-run victory over Yorke Peninsula in a heart-stopping encounter.

The Mid North lads batted first and on the back of 35 from Ollie Dignan and 51 from Tiller, they made 162.

With Baiden Wilsdon (3/31), Hugh Jackson (2/28) and Will Bowman (3/40) among the wickets in what was cliff-hanger, the Mid North side bowled Yorke Peninsula out for 158.

In the seventh versus eighth play-off at Tanunda Oval on Thursday, Mid North batted first and made 8/163 from 31 overs in a rain reduced game.

Ollie Dignan, at the top of the order, made a handsome 54 runs and he received support from Jackson, 21, and Tommy Lynburn, who remained 28 not out.

Upper North finished on 4/102 in reply from 33 overs .

Jack Tiller collected the batting trophy for the tournament with 133 runs at an average of 33.25, and shared the fielding trophy with Hamish Stewart from Upper North.

Dignan added to his performances with the bat by winning the under 16 wicket-keeper trophy.

The Barossa and Light side won the title for the second time in three years and Eudunda-Robertstown Cricket Club all-rounder Angus Handke collected the Player of the Championship award.

EUDUNDA PAIR IN SA OUTBACKS SQUAD

Two Eudunda girls are taking part in the 2019 SA Outbacks women's team for the Australian country cricket championships (ACCC) to be held in Shepparton, Victoria from January 5 to 11.

Teenagers, wicket keeper Nikki Grosser and medium pace bowler Emma Hartigan, have made the finals squad along with Emma Faint from Marrabel.

Former Crystal Brook cricketer Kevin Frick will be in charge as coach for the fourth consecutive year and another Mid North export and former SA Scorpion Cara Fiebig will be the team’s captain for a second successive season.

This year’s SA Outbacks women team, with Frick as coach, Fiebig as captain, along with Faint and Grosser as members of the team, were champions in January in Geraldton, Western Australia.

“The key this year for us to be competitive will be about sharing the load,” Frick told The Argus.

“Emma (Hartigan) is relatively new to the game of cricket having played just for the last couple of years.

“Nikki will share the wicket keeping duties with Kylie Rattray.

“Naturally the leadership of Cara last year was an important component and we will look for her to continue in this role.

“Emma Faint is an experienced player at Outbacks level.

“We have two games on day one and then we follow that up with a game each day after that, hopefully concluding with another grand final appearance.

“Our batting is strong down to number six and we have a variety of bowling options. This is another exciting challenge for us.”

The women’s division of the ACCC started with its first competition in Mount Gambier in 2016 and the SA Outbacks have been highly competitive each year.