Look out for our young guns


The future of North Otago cricket looks exceedingly bright.
Look out for names like Blake Martin, Toby Johnson, Sam Senior and Logan Wilson in the coming years.
They were among the leading performers in a talented North Otago team that finished a meritorious third out of 14 teams in the South Island primary schools tournament in Dunedin last week.
It is one of New Zealand sport’s strongest and longest-running annual tournaments and has produced dozens of Black Caps, so for one of its smallest provinces to finish third is a significant effort.
“Finishing third at that competition is a pretty impressive result,” North Otago co-coach Roly Senior said.
“We were ecstatic. It was beyond what we thought we might achieve.
“We had a very inexperienced team. There were only three kids back from last year, and we had three year 6 kids. They were just a really good bunch of boys who all contributed at some stage.”North Otago opened with a first-innings loss to one of the two Christchurch sides before posting first-innings wins over Marlborough, Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury. The final day was rained off.
North Otago’s bowling and fielding were consistently excellent, Senior said, culminating in the dismissal of Mid Canterbury for 45 and South Canterbury for 32.
“We bowled South Canterbury out in just over an hour and it’s probably the best bowling and fielding display I’ve seen from a team at that age. We took about six catches behind the wicket. We just caught everything.”Martin claimed 15 wickets, including an eight-wicket bag against Mid Canterbury, finished third in the MVP standings and was named in the tournament team.
“Blake bowled very well. He’s got a bit of a future in cricket.”Sam Senior finished 13th in the MVP standings, Johnson and Wilson made useful runs, and Jacob Fowler grabbed a four-wicket bag in the final game.
The North Otago team also honoured the memory of team-mate Jack Martin, who was killed in a boating accident on Boxing Day.
Co-coaches Roly Senior and Stefan Mavor spoke about their vice-captain at the opening ceremony, which was attended by Jack’s parents, and teams wore black armbands.
“We had a chair for Jack with his picture, bat and cap.
“ The first team we played gave us a bat they had signed for Jack. Then Marlborough gave a koha; they raised some money for a wee project Jack and his dad had going. We had the chair there every day and people could pay their respects. So Jack played a big role in our week.”

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