Three of Gunnedah's most promising young cricketers padded up against some of the best juniors in the state at Grafton last week.
Peter McCormack, Carter McIlveen and Henry Johns represented Northern Inland at the NSW Youth Championships.
Introduced this season, the championships are designed to streamline the Cricket NSW pathway for underage players and are being played across three divisions - under-13s, under-14s and under-15s.
McCormack and the under-14s were the first to hit the crease. Playing in the Sixers conference Northern Inland finished with two wins from their five games.
After starting their campaign with a win over Lake Macquarie, they then went down to a strong Hunter Valley side in their second game on the opening day.
Starting the second day in similar fashion to the first they beat Central Coast before rounding out the carnival with losses to Newcastle and Far North Coast..
McCormack (1-20) was one of their three wicket-takers against Far North Coast as they almost defended 6-117. The run chase went down to the wire with the coastal side reaching the victory target with only two balls to spare.
There are still another two rounds remaining, as there are for the under-15s. They will be played on October 27 and November 10.
They began their campaign with three wins after accounting for Far North Coast, Newcastle, and Hunter Valley.
Johns played a pivotal role with the ball. He was Northern Inland's equal top wicket-taker with five and a best of 3-15 to help them restrict Newcastle to 8-78. .
Coach Mitch Woods was overall pleased with how the side performed.
"They went quite well," he said.
Their biggest issue was they were, bar the Newcastle game, "very slow starters" with the bat in their Twenty20s. But aside from Central Coast, who Woods thought were "head and shoulders the best side we faced" they were competitive in every game.
Lake Macquarie only chased down their 7-101 with five balls to spare.
"It was just our slow start - we didn't post enough runs," Woods lamented.
That will be something to work on for the next games - setting totals and being a bit more aggressive.