DESPITE a valiant effort including a four wicket haul against South Australia, Mac Wright and his ACT nationals team were knocked out of contention for the title on Wednesday.
At the under 17s National Championships last week, the ACT squad was left wanting after losses to NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Bega Valley’s Mac, 15, missed the first round game against NSW, but provided his best performance for the championships in the final round against South Australia according to his father Andrew.
NSW proved too strong for the ACT line up in a dominant performance to open the championships.
NSW scored 247 runs in an opening innings blinder, but the ACT squad could not recover and only mustered 141 runs in reply.
Mac was promoted to the starting side for the remainder of the games, and bowled several overs against Queensland in the second round.
Andrew said the second round was a cracker of a game.
In a much closer match-up ACT scored 251 with Mac adding seven to the total before “running himself out in a suicidal single”.
In the third round the ACT batsmen found their stride and posted a staggering 313 runs against Tasmania before declaring after losing just one wicket.
Tasmania was finding its footing in the return, but Mac was instrumental in shutting down the attack.
Corey Murfet was well on his way for the Tasmanian team with 57 runs, but was dismissed by Mac.
Shortly after Charles Eastoe took the crease, but didn’t stay for long.
Mac dismissed Eastoe for just one run.
All-out, Tasmania fell just shy on 304 to award the ACT its first win of the series.
Andrew said Mac performed well against the Northern Territory and South Australia despite ACT losing to both teams.
On Monday the ACT squad took on the Northern Territory with ACT going in to bat first.
The top order batsmen were shutdown quickly.
Openers Kevin Jacob and Henry Hunt conjured just four runs between them.
Second in to the crease Matthew Condon was dismissed for a duck and left the ACT team reeling at three wickets for four runs.
Mac was injected in the middle order, batting at seventh and added a respectable 25 to the total.
However, the damage had been done and ACT was all-out for just 95 runs.
Northern Territory’s Kyle Scrimegour proved to be the bain of the ACT bowlers on the day, scoring 200 not-out.
Mac bowled several overs and had two maidens, but did not claim any wickets.
The Northern Territory side declared after posting a monstrous 362 runs.
However, in the final round Mac showed his potential in a series best performance.
South Australia opened the batting and Mac went to work, claiming four wickets.
The openers for South Australia posted a strong partnership of 130 runs, but after their wickets were claimed it was Mac decimating the entire middle order.
Patrick Page Jnr was working up a steady run rate on 41 before Mac shut him down, and then claimed the following three wickets almost immediately after.
Thomas Doimo was pipped by Mac for just nine runs, while Corey Sinclair could only secure one and Isaac Boylan was dismissed swiftly for two.
Despite Mac’s stellar bowling showing South Australia still mustered a solid first innings of 280.
Again the ACT’s opening batsmen fell short of the mark with Jacob top scoring on 51, while the next five batsmen collapsed for less than 20 runs overall.
Again Mac was injected to the crease at seven, but had his eye in line to score 47 runs.
After the crumbling at the top order, ACT slumped to a 175 run total to be denied by the eventual championship winner South Australia.