Lachlan Barton was one of the standout performers on the final day of the inaugural Northern NSW Pathways Challenge.
The Tamworth batsmen clubbed an unbeaten 90 for his Central North Navy side in their under-18s match-up with their Central North Red counterparts.
His efforts weren’t enough to get the Navy over the line as chasing the Red’s 166 they were bowled out for 161, Barton running out of partners.
He smacked nine fours in his stay and batted almost the entire Navy innings after coming in with his side 1-1.
Earlier Logan Smith (36), Isaac Barry (33) and Oscar King (28) did the bulk of the leg-work for the Red, Conrad George’s (4-55) introduction sending them into a tail spin as they lost 4-5 before King steadied the innings.
Jacob Page (3-27), Sean Gibson (3-27) and Kaleb McIlveen (2-44) then led the charge with the ball.
The Northern Inland under-16s sides both went down in their games.
Callum Henry led a valiant chase for the Gold against Hunter Valley with his second half-century for the carnival.
Backing up his second day 50no, the wicketkeeper-batsmen top-scored with 63 as the Gold made 9-184 in reply to Hunter’s 212.
Thomas Laird also chipped in with 34 and Cotter Litchfield an unbeaten 27.
Earlier Zac Craig claimed 3-35 and Dylan Smith 2-36, the openers doing the damage.
The Black also chased against Mid North Coast and showed some good resolve.
Set 248 for victory they finished up 7-214.
Zac Clarke was solid at the top of the order with 45, while Benji Marshall hit 38, the pair putting on 93 for the second wicket. Joey Mead was the next best with 22.
Oliver Thomas was the pick of the Black bowlers with 4-46.
Landan Price also chimed in with 2-31 while Matt Holmes was tidy going for just 30 runs from his 10 overs.
The tournament served a few purposes.
One was to create an “aligned selection and talent identification pathway”.
It was also designed to “create purpose and vision for the Regional Academy programs and a clear outcome” and “create opportunities for more players within the mega region to showcase their skills in games against their direct selection competition”.