college logoA strong mix of youth and experience makes up the 11 players who will tackle Mid Canterbury’s first Hawke Cup match of the season when they take on Otago Country in Alexandra today.

The match, which was supposed to be the second in the Hawke Cup season, is now officially the first after Mid Canterbury’s first match was abandoned due to the flooding in Rangitata cutting off access for the baggy green and golds to get to Timaru for the match.

Coach Garfield Charles has chosen a starting 11 which boasts some in-form players from age-group representative cricket, plus some proven performers who will be asked to step up and lead from example, laying a solid platform for the new players.

The side hit the road during the middle of the day yesterday to head to Central Otago for the match and did so with some new faces in the van.

16-year-old Angus Jemmett has been given the opportunity to further his potential with a call-up into the side, making him one of the youngest debutants for Mid Canterbury in Hawke Cup history.

Jemmett, who hails from one of Mid Canterbury’s most prolific cricketing families had a strong Under 17 representative tournament for Mid Canterbury prior to Christmas, finishing in the top 10 run scorers for the tournament as well as making the top 10 wicket takers list as well.

Despite his youth, the Ashburton College student possesses a cool head out in the middle and the experience of the most elite of regional cricketing competitions will only further enhance his prospects for the future.

He’s joined by fellow youngsters, Devon Flannery who has been named as 12th man and also Will Graham who got his first taste of the Hawke Cup scene last year.

Jemmett and Flannery got a taste of senior representative cricket earlier in the season when they were both a part of the Rob Biggar Memorial winning side against South Canterbury.

Experienced shoulders such as the Southby brothers, James and William will be tasked with leading the way and joined by other familiar names; Nick Gilbert, Des Kruger, Archie Redfern, Matt Tait, Richard Turpie, Jay Houston and Shaun Stagg.

Otago Country will be wary of the threat Mid Canterbury pose, especially when the ball is thrown in the direction of Turpie, who 12 months ago produced one of the most remarkable spells of bowling in Mid Canterbury cricketing history when he ripped through their batting line up taking to take 8-13 off nine overs, including a hat trick.

That spell took Otago Country from being in a position to push for success, to absolute desperation as Mid Canterbury went on to win and book a Hawke Cup challenge against Southland.

From that match against Southland, there have been three changes to the side.

Jemmett, Graham and Flannery come into the side replacing, Alex Hooper, Matt Winter and Deon Biggs.

The two-day match kicks off this morning and will run into Sunday with a win for either side going a long way to helping them book a spot for a Hawke Cup challenge later in the season.

Mid Canterbury: James Southby (C), Nick Gilbert, Des Kruger, Archie Redfern, William Southby, Matt Tait, Richard Turpie, Jay Houston, Shaun Stagg, Will Graham, Angus Jemmett. Devon Flannery (12th man). Coach: Garfield Charles, Manager: Mike Southby, Scorer: Bob Bruhns.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 11 January 2020