The stocks of Orange City’s Blake Weymouth and Cavaliers’ Hugh Middleton continue to rise, the duo are one step closer to NSW All Schools selection after helping their Western side to fifth at last week’s NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) Championship at Barooga.
Despite only being in years eight and nine at Orange High, respectively, Weymouth and Middleton held their own at the open state titles and were rewarded with selection in NSWCHS’ under 15s for next month’s All Schools trials in Sydney, as was Mudgee’s Lochie Endacott.
The trio’s Western side bounced back from two tournament-opening losses to secure consecutive wins on the third and fourth days, the latter of which was over Sydney East in the fifth-place play-off.
“They did a great job,” Western quick Harry Pearce, one of Cavaliers’ two other reps along with Kaleb Cook, said of Weymouth and Middleton.
“Being so young it can pretty tough at these carnivals but they really held their own. Blakey opened the batting every day and didn’t take a backward step. Hughy didn’t bowl a lot, but when he did he bowled really well, and batted seven or eight as well.
“It’s great experience for them, we actually had a really young side. I think only three of us can’t play next year, so for the young guys to do well and for the side to come fifth, it’s good signs.”
Pearce looked to be in contention for open CHS selection after bumper showings on days two and three, but ultimately just missed out.
He was far from disappointed though, explaining he was pleased to finish the carnival well before lauding Cook’s efforts behind the stumps too.
“I bowled pretty ordinary on the first day,” Pearce laughed.
“It was much better on days two through four and I did hear I was being spoken about which is awesome, but that’s cricket.
“Cooky was a bit the same, he didn’t score many the first two days but knocked up a 33 on the third day and had a not out on the fourth. He kept well too, took a few catches and stumpings.”
Dubbo’s Brock Larance, an Australian under 16s representative, did earn selection in NSWCHS’ first XI.
It’s not hard to see why either.
After failing the first day he took 3-22 and smashed 61 against Hunter, before thumping an incredible 133 in Western’s win against North Coast on day three. He was duly named player of the tournament.
“He’s a freak, there isn’t really any other way to describe him,” Pearce laughed.
“His half century was off about 30 balls, and he’s not doing anything silly it’s just the way he bats. The ton was just incredible too.”
Bathurst’s Mitch Taylor also scored a NSW gig, making the CHS second XI.
Western was beaten by two wickets on the first day, North West successfully chasing the red and greens’ 152 with two wickets in hand.
On day two Hunter made 6-211, Western ultimately fell 56 runs short at 155.
Fifth was pretty good, it would’ve been easy for us to drop our heads after the first loss but we didn’t.Western quick Harry Pearce
The side opened its account on day three on the back of Larance’s ton, making 287 before skittling North Coast for just 70. Western went on to trump Sydney East in the fifth-place play-off on day four, winning by six wickets.
“Fifth was pretty good, it would’ve been easy for us to drop our heads after the first loss but we didn’t,” Pearce said.
“We were pretty close against Hunter, a few little things cost us. A couple of dropped catches and that sort of thing cost a few runs, which hurt. The last two days were good though.
“We were right up there, even with such a young side.
“Personally for Cooky and I it was a good carnival to finish our school rep cricket on, we’re both done now. It was great fun, a great bunch of guys and [Tim Berry] is a great coach too.”
Weymouth and Middleton head to the NSW All Schools trials on December 4 and 5.
They’ll be a part of two CHS squads, NSW Combined Independent Schools and Combined Catholic Colleges will send two as well.
All the players will be split into four teams for the two-day trial, after that the provisional All Schools squad for next year’s School Sport Australia Cricket Championships in Brisbane will be named.