THE race towards Newcastle player of the year is heating up with Wallsend skipper Nathan Price in front at the halfway stage of 2017-2018.
The representative all-rounder, who was named captain of the NSW Country team but withdrew from next week’s national championships in Geraldton, has enjoyed his first season back at home after spending the best part of the last decade with Sydney club Randwick-Petersham.
Price leads the overall points score from Cardiff-Boolaroo’s Rahul Bakshi.
The pair are also sitting top two in the batting department, but in reverse order.
Price has accumulated 478 runs at an average of 95.60, including two tons and three fifties, not far behind Bakshi, who has five half-centuries and a hundred in his tally of 516 at 57.33.
The duo also have 20 wickets between them, Price with 12 at 24.08 apiece and Bakshi with eight at 14.50.
* ELSEWHERE and on top of the first grade bowling department are Wests paceman Peter Lojszczyk (28 at 13.43) and Merewether spinner Tim O’Neill (27 at 9.63), almost 10 scalps clear of their nearest rivals.
And with the gloves Charlestown’s Matthew Bench and Merewether’s Patrick Huolohan have claimed 17 catches each.
* CHARLESTOWN are faring best in the lowers grades, ahead in seconds and thirds as well as second in fourths.
According to MyCricket calculations this also puts the Magpies (678 points) slightly in front of Merewether (656) in terms of the club championship.
* COMPETITION resumes on Saturday after a short one-week Christmas break.