Newtown young gun Charlie Kempston showed real grit and determination on Saturday to score his first RSL-Whitney Cup century and help lead the Tigers to victory over Macquarie.
If the heat under a helmet and pressure and nerves of chasing a first ton wasn’t enough, Kempston also battled a chest infection, which resulted in him being sick on the side of the pitch on more than one occasion.
But the hard-hitting left-hander refused to depart, made his century and along with captain Mat Skinner (74 not out) set up a total of 4-217 at Lady Cutler 2.
Macquarie got off to a strong start but no one went on to make the big score needed as the Blues fell 26 runs short.
“He batted a bit different to normal,” Skinner said of Kempston.
“He knuckled down where normally he cruises to 20 or 30 and then throws it away but he knuckled down.
“I was out there for a lot of the time with him and was just talking to him and told him to keep going and not do anything silly, with me and him out there the runs were going to come.”
The runs certainly did come for the pair, who added 153 for the fourth wicket.
Kempston brought up his milestone with a four and Skinner said it was enjoyable moment to share with the teenager.
“His parents were in the car there watching too so that was good for him,” he said.
“He did really well because he’d had a chest infection and he was wearing the helmet and it was pretty hot and he threw up a couple of times beside the pitch.
“He knocked up pretty well but he didn’t want to go off and that’s a good sign.”
While the Tigers had batted well, Skinner said his side wasn’t taking anything for granted when bowling up against Jason Green.
The left-handed run machine has been a nemesis for Newtown in recent years, having reached triple figures twice against the Tigers last season.
He also made 90 not out in the reverse fixture in round one and seemed destined to lead his side to victory again in Saturday’s run chase when he raced to 52.
“Greeny could score a million down there at Lady Cutler if he gets going,” Skinner said.
“The way he bats and how hard he hits it so he and ‘K.B’ (Keiran Brien) were the big wickets.
“Greeny was slaughtering us early on but then we picked him up and then got K.B (who made 32) not long after drinks and then we just kept getting wickets.”
While Kempston stole the show, fellow teenager Tyler Spang picked up his first RSL-Whitney Cup wicket when bowling Nic Cosier for 19 and then took three more and finished with 4/24 from seven overs to play a huge role in the win.
He was praised by Skinner after bowling “really well”, while Troy Tracey (2/32) again did his job with the ball.
“It was a really good win and gives us a bit of a gap there in second spot now, I think we’re about three points ahead so gives us that bit of breathing space,” Skinner said, before praising the depth of his side.
“It’s really good to have others standing up. It’s always been me, Wayne Dunlop and Steve (Skinner) for years but Dan Holland got a 70 or 80 earlier on and is going well, Charlie got his hundred, ‘Spangy’ took four wickets and a couple weeks ago Bailey Edmunds took four so there’s good depth and there’s good signs.”