Future bright with young stars

The Mariners’ faithful turned up to Murdoch University Sports Ground but saw the Under-17s skittled for 79 to fall by six wickets to South Perth, while the Under-15s lost after rain intervened just as Joondalup had all but engraved its name on the premiership shield.

The older boys had worked to 2/44 after being sent in by Souths before losing their last eight wickets for 35 runs.

Lachlan Pratt topped the batting with 20 in an uncharacteristic performance for a team where six batsmen scored over 200 runs and produced a half-century during the season.

Matthew France (2/16) and Kyle Gardiner (2/24) delayed the inevitable before the Sky Blues secured the flag.

Gardiner finished the season with 54 wickets spread across three senior grades, culminating with a first-grade debut and Western Australian Under-17 team representation.

Along with numerous members of the side, Gardiner and the likes of captain Jake Eardley-Wilmot and Leon Coombs indicated that their future in maroon would be promising as they contributed in senior cricket with as much aplomb as against players of their own age.

All year long the Under-15s have been as honest as the day is long, with every player chipping in when required. It would be no different on the biggest day of the season as Wesley Steele (39), leading run-scorer Joel Humble (26) and Griffin Polglaze (24) led the way with the bat, invited to do so by Joondalup, who won the toss.

Seven batsmen made double figures to eke out enough runs to make a challenging total of 9/182 for the Centurions to get after.

Joondalup made light work initially, to be 1/124, before a Rockingham-Mandurah fightback saw them take a fourth wicket just before the rain tumbled down in the 47th over. Zac Moody had the figures of 2/22 from eight overs and Polglaze the run- out to keep his team-mates hopeful.

In addition to the Under-14s being stiff to miss out on a finals spot with a 5-2 2013/14 record, there is nothing but optimism about what is coming in future years at Lark Hill.

The senior season wrapped up with the presentation night last Friday and predictably Craig Simmons needed a trailer to take home his bounty from the evening.

As well as being crowned Martin Baird Medallist for a third successive year a few weeks ago, he took out Club Champion plus first-grade batting and bowling in yet another sterling season.