Newcastle District Cricket Association player of the year leader Nathan Price reckons his recent purple patch of form has been helped by feeling more comfortable back at home in Wallsend this summer.
The 31-year-old Tigers captain has notched up back-to-back centuries, featuring Saturday’s 156, en route to moving past the significant mark of 500 runs before Christmas.
He played with Randwick-Petersham between 2009-10 and 2016-17.
“When I came back from Sydney the first year I found it a bit difficult to find my rhythm again,” he said. “This year I feel a bit more comfortable and familiar in my surroundings.”
Price’s overall tally of 574 runs at an average 143.5 from just six innings is nearing last season’s competition-high effort of 760 runs at 63.33, which he produced in 14 knocks. He has already matched his three tons from the previous campaign.
There are half-a-dozen two-day fixtures remaining in 2018-19, including one more in December. Two 40-over games were washed out in October. He retired hurt on 47 in round six because of the NSW Country Championships the next weekend.
Price, whose best season in Sydney wielded 1074 runs across all three formats in 2015-16, also has 210 runs at an average of 30 in seven Newcastle representative matches this summer.
Stockton’s Dr Eric Barbour holds the record for most runs in a Newcastle first-grade season with 1154 in 1923-24 according to the district website.
Barbour (1026) again broke the 1000-run barrier in 1925-26. Lambton-New Lambton’s Jim de Courcy (1028), an Australian Test batsman, and Stockton’s Ern Crossan (1018) are the others to achieve the feat in 1954-55 and 1939-40 respectively.
In more recent times Merewether’s Simon Moore made 972 at an average of 54 in 2015-16.