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NSW schoolboys in Tamworth, Origin vets in Armidale

DIFFERENT generations of the state’s best cricketers will be on display this week around the region as two very different competitions get underway this morning.

In Tamworth, six sides will line up for the opening of the NSW Schoolboys Cricket Championships while at the same time in Armidale, the best NSW veterans have formed five sides to take on the best Queensland has to offer in the State of Origin Series.

The region is also represented at both levels, with Narrabri’s Sage Cook and Ryan Meppem playing for the CHS second XI, while Tamworth and Quirindi players make up a fair few of the NSW contingent to play inArmidale.

Tamworth’s David Head gets stumped by Quirindi’s Rick Sampson. Both will play for NSW in this week’s Vets State of Origin in Armidale starting today. Photo: Barry Smith 311014BSG35

The State of Origin series involves five sides from each state in two divisions, an over 60s City and Country in both first and second XI, with an Over 70s side as well.

Different points are awarded for wins in different divisions, with each side playing two games and the state with the most points tomorrow afternoon will hold up the Cooper-Finlay Shield.

Tamworth’s Bob Haling will captain the NSW Country firsts, while Quirindi’s Terry Cohen will skipper the Over 70s, with both sides having plenty of local flavour.

NSW are current holders following a 3-1 victory at the Gold Coast last year.

Both states have plenty of former Sheffield Shield players scattered amongst their sides, a goal that every schoolboy playing in Tamworth will have on his bucket list.

Mayor Col Murray will open proceedings at Dick Edwards Oval this morning before four days of 50-over cricket and one day of Twenty20 cricket will leave one team crowned champions and a NSW side selected.

The carnival is steeped in history and has its origins in 1966.

Up until recently it was always played in Sydney, with Tamworth just the third time it has been taken away from its metro roots.

While CHS are favourites to take the title and have the deepest talent pool, last year it was Combined Catholic Colleges that won and they will once again be strong


The other sides involved are Greater Public Schools (GPS), Associated Schools of NSW (CAS), and Country and City Schools Cricket (CCSC), with CHS putting in a firsts and seconds.

Games will be played every day starting at 10am at the Riverside grounds 1 and 2, and from tomorrow until Thursday one game a day will be played under lights at No 1 Oval.

Carnival convener Tim Murray said it would be a great touch to play a game under lights.

“Many of the boys may have never played under lights and many won’t get another chance,” Murray said.

“It is a great experience for them.”

Being the best in the state, obviously there will be some boys who will get the chance again, with current Australian players Michael Clarke, Steve Smith and David Warner just some of the players who came up via this pathway.

“There is no doubt that it remains a part of the pathway to higher honours,” Murray said. “There will be some really good cricket played over the week.”

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