Railz stars in Western's win over North Coastal

ALL-ROUND ABILITY: Ben Knaggs was one of the local youngsters to impress during the Country Colts Championship at Dubbo. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

ALL-ROUND ABILITY: Ben Knaggs was one of the local youngsters to impress during the Country Colts Championship at Dubbo. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Western Zone was heading into its final match of the Country Colts Championship full of confidence, only for the rain to ruin any chance of play on Sunday.

After a loss to Newcastle on Friday, Western Zone found form on Saturday with a gritty and morale-boosting win over North Coastal.

That set up a clash with the highly regarded ACT/Southern team at No. 1 Oval but the steady rain scuppered any hopes of playing.

“It would have been stiff competition against Southern/ACT because from all reports they were the team to beat,” Western’s assistant coach Jason Ryan said.

“But the boys took a lot of positives from the win so confidence was high and they were all up for it.

“It (the washout) was a bit disappointing but there’s always next year.”

Next season may be awhile away but it already shapes as an exciting one for the Western Zone colts.

Of the side which competed at Dubbo, only captain Tom Galvin and local seamer Blake Watmore will be too old for another campaign.

The bulk of the squad is expected to be back again in 2017.

“There’s a lot of futures there and a lot of good thing,” Ryan said.

“The rest will be there again and that’s really good. A lot will be in their third season of 19s then so they’ll have a lot of experience under the belt.”

Two Dubbo young guns did their chances of re-selection next year no harm on Saturday as they produced a match winning partnership.

Western were in all sorts of trouble at 7/73 in reply to North Coastal’s total of 185.

But Henry Railz and Ben Knaggs knuckled down at Lady Cutler 1 and got the run chase back on track.

“It was pretty impressive because we were in an ordinary position and still needed about 110 runs but two Dubbo boys did really well and toughed it out and gradually got on top,” Ryan said.

Knaggs made a patient 31 of the 68-run partnership before Ben Parsons chipped in with a more than handy 20 not out to help get Western home.

Railz played the anchor role and finished with a mature 48 not out.

It capped off a fine individual display for Railz after he had earlier been the pick of the bowlers on his way to finishing with 3-23 from seven overs. Dubbo’s Marty Jeffrey chimed in with 2-44 from 9.3 overs while Orange’s Mitch Winslade took 2-19 from five.

With no play possible for any of the eight teams on Sunday, Southern/ACT was crowned the champions after two dominant wins.

Ryan added he thoroughly enjoyed his first representative coaching job and would be applying again next season.

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