THOSE in the know at the Orange District Cricket Association know young Kinross star Nick Duffy has a big future in cricket, with his leg spinners beating a number of seasoned batsmen throughout the 2011-12 summer.
But Duffy, 16, says his selection in the Western Zone under 17s side to take part in the Rod Hartas Trophy this weekend in Bathurst was based on his work with the willow, not his tweakers.
With five overs to go against St George’s under 17s in a trial game last month, Duffy helped guide his side to victory with the bat.
“I even hit a six at Riawena Oval,” Duffy smiled.
“I think I’m a bit lucky making the team. I think it was my batting that got me in.”
As improved as Duffy’s work with the bat is, and despite his recent feats at the crease, it’s his bowling that’ll be called upon by Western Zone against the likes of Gulgong and Lithgow over the next two days in Bathurst.
The Rod Hartas Trophy was introduced to the President’s Cup weekend eight years ago and is contested by the Mitchell Cricket Council’s smaller centres.
The Western Zone boys will contest this year’s trophy to avoid the bye, and tackle Lithgow at Morse Park 2 today before backing up against Gulgong at the same venue the next day.
Molong is the other side in this year’s competition.
“It’s a really good opportunity for us young boys heading into the (Country Week) carnival at Raymond Terrace,” Duffy said looking ahead to the weekend’s clashes in the Hartas Trophy.
“To play a few older blokes who are a bit more experienced and know the game a bit better than us, bowling against them, it’ll be a really good challenge.”
However big the challenge, Duffy said being effective with the ball was simple.
“My bowling hasn’t been too bad, it’s just one or two bad balls an over, really, that I’ve got to get rid of,” Duffy said.
And it’s those one or two bad balls an over cricketers from Gulgong and Lithgow usually put straight back over the bowler’s head.
“Exactly, it’ll be very good challenge,” he added.
“It’ll be good to see where I’m at coming into the next tournament.”
The next tournament for the Western Zone is the under 17s Country Carnival at Raymond Terrace at the King Park Complex on October 23 and 24.
Duffy said although coach Trent Colley will be out in the middle with Orange throughout the President’s Cup weekend, the Western Zone boys know how to attack their final preparation leading into their biggest challenge.
“(Colley) really focuses on the 11 on two mentality,” Duffy said. “We’ve all got to work as a team and really hound those two batters out there, build pressure and bowl in partnerships as well.
“We won’t let them scare us because they’re older and bigger than all of us. We’ll treat it as a normal cricket game.”
Western Zone play Lithgow at Morse Park 2 from 10am today.