Justin Smith was one of four Rocky cricketers to represent the CQ under-16 team.
Justin Smith was one of four Rocky cricketers to represent the CQ under-16 team. Allan Reinikka

Grammar boy a junior star

FACING Queensland's premier bowlers wasn't a worry for Rockhampton cricketer Reegan Brown.

The Central Queensland's players' player award winner, along with fellow Rockhampton teammates Coen Oats, Justin Smith and Curtis Duff, returned home from the week-long State Junior Cricket Under-16 Championships held at Brisbane's Grammar School last week.

CQ coach, Rockhampton's Brendan Handley, said the under-16 side played well in what was a tough draw.

"We ended up winning two from five games and with the ones we lost being very tight," Handley said.

Brown, who plays for the Rockhampton Grammar School, was named players' player of the CQ side, with teammates voting him as the best player for the carnival.

"In the first game he batted very well with a 60 not out score, he also contributed well with the bat for the rest of the carnival," Handley said.

All-rounder Duff bowled exceptionally well taking a couple of wickets, however, he was unlucky with a few dropped catches off his bowling.

"He's a left arm orthodox spin bowler, the best bowler in our side and towards the end of the carnival started getting a fair bit of curve," Handley said.

It was Oats' first time playing at state level, bowling a good line and a nice length throughout the carnival.

CQ took on the undefeated Gold Coast side in their final game of the carnival and was unlucky not to defeat the champion team.

"We only just went down to the Gold Coast. We did really well bowling them out for 166, however just fell short with the bat and didn't make those much needed runs," Handley said.

"Justin Smith was our opening batsman, he hit some good 20s and 30s, keeping a solid platform in our final game."

The 2011 CQ side was competitive throughout the carnival, placing ninth overall.

"We are a team which has a lot of different players who contribute to the side," Handley said.

The CQ boys missed out on Queensland selections but that will not deter Handley or assistant coach Mark O'Keefe from coaching the side again next year.

"Myself and Mark have taken the boys away the last two years, the boys are a pleasurable bunch to take away, giving us no grief both on and off the field," Handley said.

The under-12, 13 and 14 CQ sides also took on some of the state's best young cricketers, returning from the Queensland Junior Championships last week.



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