Keeper makes national team

FORMER Belmont wicketkeeper Beau McClintock believes his selection in the Australian Under-19 Championships XI is evidence he made the right move to follow his cricket dreams in the ACT.

On Thursday night the ACT Comets recruit was named as a batsman in an honorary Australian under-19 side after the championships in Adelaide.

In a breakthrough tournament McClintock made 265 runs at 44.17, including a 92 against Northern Territory in ACT's outright win.

McClintock also scored 51 and 72 in losing to Tasmania.

The Comets, who also include Cameron Roxby (Wallsend) and Greg West (Newcastle City), finished sixth in the eight-team tournament.

While the two-yearly under-19 World Cup is not scheduled this season, McClintock said the honour reinforced his commitment to become a first-class cricketer.

"All the Comets stuff has really helped and this is just a bonus," McClintock said.

"I've definitely made the right choice to come down."

After finally excelling in his third and final under-19 national championships, McClintock, 19, now has his sights set on dominating at the Futures League level.

In three matches he has scored 100 runs at 20.

The Comets play their final match against Queensland Second XI from February 25 to 28, and McClintock has earmarked it as his big chance to crack the first-class scene.

"I haven't been batting that great. I've just made some starts," he said.

"To perform in that is the next step and hopefully I will get noticed by other states."

In Newcastle district cricket, Cardiff-Boolaroo all-rounder Ray Cooper admits his side face an uphill battle today at Passmore Oval in preventing an outright loss to leaders Hamilton-Wickham.

The CBs resume at 1-10 in their second innings with Joe Wenta and Chris Rendina at the crease and still 98 runs off forcing Hamwicks to bat again.

"It's going to be pretty tough as they have the best bowling attack in the comp," Cooper said.

"We've just got to go out and try and put the runs on the board and hope we can do our best to get the wickets after that, but it's always going to be tough against them.

"We've still got a bit of batting to go and we do bat much deeper than we have in the last few years. It's a matter of getting past the first 10 to 15 overs."

Cardiff have not lost a two-dayer or 50-over match since round three and their resurgence has resulted in a swift rise up the ladder to sixth with 34 points.

Fourth-placed Western Suburbs (36 points) and fifth-placed Stockton-Raymond Terrace (35) are favourites to record victories today against Charlestown and Newcastle City, which would cost CBs ground in the finals race.

Cooper said the two-day and 50-over games against Wests in rounds 15 and 17 would likely decide Cardiff's finals hopes.

"We were never favourites to beat Hamwicks and we're still booked to play Wests in two games so hopefully we can knock them off," he said. "But we've just got to try and avoid the outright against Hamwicks."

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