Narrabri cricketers Bernard O’Connor, Sid Harvey, Elsie Ford and Alyssa Ford recently travelled southeast to take part in representative Country Cricket NSW carnivals.

Tatts Cricket Club’s Harvey and RSL Cricket Club’s O’Connor teamed up for Central North at the Bradman Cup under-16s boys’ tournament, which was contested at various locations across Lake Macquarie, while Tourist Hotel Cricket Club’s Ford duo teamed up for Central North at the McDonald’s Under-19 Women’s Country Champs event, which was played at Raymond Terrace.

Both sides enjoyed success at their respective events.

Central North’s under-19s women’s side, which Alyssa Ford captained and was wicketkeeper of at the County Championships, won three of its four pool matches before earning third overall with a victory in the third-place playoff match.

Central North’s under-16s boys’ team won two of four Bradman Cup games to finish fourth on the eight-team ladder.

The McDonald’s Under-19 Women’s Country Champs were scheduled to get underway with 40-over games on Wednesday, however, rain delays saw the matches shortened to 30-over games which began between midday and 1pm.

Central North’s game was relocated to Warners Bay, where it won the toss and sent opponent Western into bat.

Western finished on 6-141 after 30 overs, setting Central North 142 to chase. It did so with ease, losing just three wickets before reaching the
required total in 20 overs to score a dominant seven-wicket win.

The Central North side then played two T20 matches the following day, one of which it won.

In its first match, it took on North Coastal, which it easily defeated by five wickets.

Central North sent North Coastal into bat after winning the toss and bowled them out for just 74 runs in the 20th over.

In reply, Central North lost just five wickets before reaching the required total in the 16th over.

Alyssa Ford batted at number three in that innings and scored 17 runs.

Central North was then beaten by the tournament’s eventual champs ACT/Southern Districts in the second match on Thursday.

Central North was sent into bat by its opposition and reached 74 runs before losing its final wicket in the 20th over.

Alyssa Ford entered at number three again in that innings and top-scored with a team-best 25, while Elsie Ford batted at number eight and chipped in with two runs.

Central North then managed to take four wickets, one of which was an Alyssa Ford runout, before ACT/Southern Districts reached its required total at the end of the 16th over to win by six wickets.

Central North then met Riverina on Friday morning at Raymond Terrace in the two sides’ final pool match.

Central North sent its opposition into bat and restricted it to 5-94 in 20 overs.

Elsie Ford took 1-9 in three overs in that innings, while Alyssa Ford took a catch behind the stumps.

Their side then chased down the 95 runs in 18.1 overs to register a five-wicket win.

Alyssa Ford scored seven runs from number three in that innings, while Elsie Ford entered at seven and remained unbeaten on no runs.

Those results meant that Central North placed second on its four-team pool ladder, which saw it qualify for the third-place playoff match.

It met Riverina again in that game which was also played at Raymond Terrace.

Central North was confident, having already beaten Riverina that day.

It managed to score a five-wicket win after knocking over Riverina for just 52 runs in the first innings before successfully chasing the required total in the 13th over.

Elsie Ford starred in that match by taking 1-3 from one over and a catch in the first innings, then scoring 10 runs after opening the batting in the second innings.

That victory saw the Central North side finish third, while ACT/ Southern Districts won the entire tournament after downing Central Coast by seven wickets in the decider.

Meanwhile, the 2021-22 Bradman Cup campaign resumed with round four games last Tuesday.

The first three rounds had already been contested on the North Coast early last month, where Central North won its round one 50-over game and lost both of its T20 matches in rounds two and three.

All four games Central North played last week were scheduled to be 50 over games, however, one was cut back to 25-overs an innings due to a rain delay.

The side won its round four game on Tuesday against Riverina, which was a 50-over match played at Cameron Park. The Narrabri duo played key roles in the victory.

Riverina batted first after being sent in and made 71 runs before losing its final wicket in the 23rd over.

Harvey took 1-12 from four overs in that innings.

O’Connor then opened the batting for Central North and scored a team-best 24 before he was dismissed, which made the score 3-46.

Harvey then replaced O’Connor and scored 13 runs before smashing a six to bring the match to its conclusion as he finished with an unbeaten 19 in a six-wicket win.

Central North’s round five game on Wednesday was scheduled to begin at 10am but was pushed back to a 1.30pm start due to a rain delay and was shorted to 25 overs an innings.

That match was played at Warners Bay against ACT Southern Districts, which sent Central North into bat.

Harvey entered the middle at number four and top-scored for his side with 33 from 36 deliveries to lay the platform for a successful innings.

O’Connor entered at eight and scored an unbeaten eight to guide the side to 7-127 off its 25 overs.

ACT Southern Districts also lost seven wickets during its innings but was able to chase down the required total with just one delivery to spare.

Harvey claimed 1-23 from five overs in the narrow loss. His wicket saw him remove opposition danger man Jake Smith who scored a game-best 56 runs. O’Connor provided the assist for that wicket with a catch.

Central North then lost its round three match the following day, again by a tight margin at Warners Bay.

It took on Greater Illawarra in a 50-over match and sent the opposition side into bat after winning the toss.

Sid Harvey claimed an economical 1-11 from six overs as Central North bowled out Greater Illawarra for 187 runs in 43.3 overs.

In reply, Central North fell just four runs short of victory after losing its final wicket in the 45th over on179.

O’Connor (9) and Harvey (1) batted at number four and five, respectively, in that match.

The Central North side played its seventh and final 2021-22 Bradman Cup match on Friday at Belmont’s Cahill Oval.

It took on Western, which won the toss and made just 53 runs in 26 overs after electing to bat first. Harvey took a catch in that innings, but neither of the Narrabri boys were required to bowl.

Central North then chased down the required total in 13.4 overs to score an eight-wicket win.

O’Connor opened the batting in that innings and scored nine runs.

Those results saw the Central North side finish fourth on the eight-team ladder following three wins and four losses after seven rounds of play.

ACT Southern Districts claimed the Bradman Cup glory after winning all seven of its games.

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