By MARK HEENAN
COBRA cricket star junior youngsters Sam Walsh and Max Sutton may have unlocked the keys to Collendina’s A Grade success this season.
The 15-year pair, who both attend St Joseph’s College, both played together in the Cobras’ A Grade resounding win over Barrabool in round five at home.
Collendina are firmly entrenched in the BPCA A Grade top four with wins against Barrabool and Queenscliff and two victories against Wallington.
Walsh bowled economically and finished with 1/18 from 10 overs with five maidens against the Bulls.
Wicket-keeper batsman Sutton proved a hit and compiled 27 batting at number six and combined in a fifth-wicket stand with Alastair Grant (44).
Sutton, who claimed three catches behind the stumps, said his A Grade selection was a pleasant surprise.
“I have had a few knocks in B Grade and C Grade in previous years,” he said.
“I only played a couple of games in B Grade this season, so I was a bit surprised with the A Grade call-up.”
Collendina co-coach Corey Walter said Sutton and Walsh’s enthusiasm for cricket was infectious.
“They have been really good all year for us, they have been training early on, they love their cricket they are both right into in it … they have both been contributing,” Walter said.
In round six, with the Cobras without experienced pair Charlie Lamb and Jye Hearps, Walsh was forced to shoulder the bowler workload and took 1/29 from 10 overs against reigning A Grade premier Drysdale.
Collendina rolled Drysdale for only 135 on day one.
“I heard Drysdale were pretty good from past years with results, so I knew we had to perform really well to try and roll them out,” Walsh said.
In round four against Queenscliff, Sam, son of Ocean Grove Football Club coach Wayne Walsh, claimed 4/46 from 13 overs and chipped with a valuable 27 with the bat.
The pair said they were undaunted playing against the elite experienced A Grade cricketers on the Bellarine.
Walsh and Sutton both play in the combined Collendina and Ocean Grove under-17 team and Walsh said their current junior experiences had served them well in senior cricket.
“It is pretty similar to juniors really, you have to be on your feet because it is higher standard cricket,” said Walsh, who debuted in A Grade in 2014/15 as a 14-year-old.