WA U17s Finish Eighth At National Champs
20 December 2012  

Western Australia's Under 17 Male coach Lindsay Flinn says there were plenty of lessons learned from the National Championships which concluded in Hobart on Thursday.

WA finished last, managing just one win and suffering four defeats during the Championships, although the side were in good positions to push for victory in several matches.

The team's final game saw them go down to tournament winners Victoria, who were reduced to 6-118 before scrambling their way to 236. WA fell short in reply after slumping to 7-39. They were bowled out for 180.

"In their first innings we had Victoria on the ropes a bit but then we couldn't bowl them out," Flinn said. "It was like the New South Wales game and the Queensland game. It was a familiar theme unfortunately."

In their third game, WA posted 287 and had Queensland 7-249 before their tailenders got them over the line, while it was a similar story against NSW.  WA made 289 and had the Blues 8-172 before their tail completed the job, with Flinn's side unable to bowl them out.

"We really lacked penetration and depth with our bowling," Flinn said.

WA also lost by one run in their opening 50-over game against Northern Territory, having needed just two runs off the final three balls.

Flinn added: "There's a lot of talent in the group but we just couldn't really play well in the key moments."

However Flinn said there was plenty to take away from the National Championships.

"We learned a lot about the players' temperament especially in the second week when it gets really hard," he said.

"There's those guys who fall away and guys who step up. It's a good way to identify players. It's the only chance you get because they don't play under that pressure back home.

"You can't really make that judgement until you're here. Some guys have done well and some have been disappointing."

Flinn highlighted several members of the side for praise including Joondalup batsman Clint Hinchliffe, who made 59 and 89 against Queensland and NSW, along with Midland-Guildford's Bevan Bennell, who took 10 wickets in the first three games.

"Clint Hinchliffe was very good. Bennell was a good player in the first week but tired a bit. He needs to get fitter," Flinn said.

"Rhys Hampson was very good, the second week especially. He really came on and had an outstanding game against Victoria where he took 5-73 off 30 overs and made 69 batting at number eight.

"The captain Cameron Steel was good, he batted well at times and bowled well too. He's a promising cricketer.

"Jake Lewis is a really good young player too, he's got another year in 17s. He's lacked a bit of confidence but got 30 against Victoria which was a positive."

Joondalup wicket-keeper and batsman Jaron Morgan top scored for WA during the Championships with 194 runs, including a century against Northern Territory. Claremont-Nedlands' Steel was next best with 177 runs at 44.25, while Hinchliffe made 165 runs.

Bennell was the best of the bowlers with 12 wickets, while Hampson (Bayswater-Morley) and Steel both claimed seven scalps during the tournament.

WA Results:

NT 9-201 (Bennell 5-14, Steel 2-40) def WA 7-200 (Morgan 103, Steel 37)

ACT 193 (Bennell 3-45, McPhee 2-42) def by WA 4-199 (Carder 66, Steel 61*)

WA 287 (Hinchliffe 59, Bennell 51, Morgan 44) def by Queensland 9-307 dec (Bennell 2-36, Hampson 2-57, Guthrie 2-62)

WA 289 (Hinchliffe 89, Steel 52, Morgan 34) def by NSW 9-291 (Wilson 3-48, Steel 3-77)

Victoria 236 (Hampson 5-73, Lewis 2-18, Bennell 2-42) def WA 180 (Hampson 69, McPhee 36)