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Tah Talk with Jay Lenton – Juniors on fire everywhere you look

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tah Talk with Jay Lenton. This week Jay takes us through our 3 NSW U/16 players, the joy o watchin a Green Shield premiership, and our new RATT honours board.

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To say it’s been a big few weeks for our junior cricketers is one of the great understatements.

In fact, I’m not sure if it’s ever been this good.

First, we had all our junior rep boys’ sides take out their respective age groups at the annual January state carnivals held all over NSW.

We have won age group titles before but never completed a clean sweep.

Last Sunday I was among a huge contingent of Manly fans to witness a drought-breaking Green Shield (under-16) final win against Parramatta.

More on that to come.

Rounding off a hat-trick of good news stories, three of our finest female players have been rewarded for their solid form with selection in the NSW under-16 squad.

Lara Hughes, Hannah Moss, Kaya Punter all came through our junior pathways, playing junior rep cricket in the U13 Mollie Dive and U15 Margaret Peden comps before debuting for MWDCC in Brewer Shield.

They were part of our inaugural Manly female premiership – the U13 Mollie Dive 2021/21 side – where Hannah was captain.

Lara played her early cricket at Wakehurst and is a right arm offie, having converted from pace to spin in her Mollie Dive season.

She was elevated to second grade this season where she is currently the top wicket-taker across the competition (19 wickets @ 6.0).

Hannah, who is from Collaroy, made her first grade debut this season and is an outstanding middle order bat, new ball bowler and fielder.

Kaya, nicknamed “Ricky” for obvious reasons, is a Collaroy Plateau product who came to us from a softball background.

She hits a big ball and has a lightning arm in the field.

After converting from pace to leg spin in her Mollie Dive rep season, she has developed the art wonderfully and is currently in the top four wicket-takers across the Brewer Shield (17 wickets @ 7.94).

Congratulations to all three girls and to all involved in our junior pathways systems.G


While our pathways are of the highest order (as mentioned above), it hasn’t always resulted in trophies at the pointy end of age group cricket.

Heading into this season, it had been 32 years since we won the Green Shield (under-16) and 38 summers since the Poidevin-Gray (under-21) silverware resided at Manly.

During that time, we’d contested plenty of finals and reached several grand finals without securing a break-through.

The search for an elusive PGs crown continues next season but our Green Shield drought is finally over after Kev Davies’ team of champions overcame Parramatta in last Sunday’s final.

I think it will be a defining moment in our history.

It’s unreal to win tournaments at a young age, especially with a group that will stick together into senior cricket.

Many, if not all of the boys, have tasted senior cricket and coming into a side knowing how to win big games is invaluable.

My favourite thing about Sunday was the way the boys responded in front of a big crowd.

They know how to win know at Manly Oval, which is huge!

Speaking to proud coach Kev, he typically didn’t want to single any individual out.

“Everyone stood up and made a contribution at some stage of the campaign – with bat, ball or in the field,” he said.

“They believed in themselves and each other and will now go down in history.”

Onya boys. It was great to watch it all unfold.


Visitors to Manly Oval’s RATT (Room at the Top) may have noticed a smart new addition to our wall of honour.

A smart screen has been installed to replace the old honour boards, giving us a continual rolling slide of our record breakers and representative players.

It showcases all those who have reached statistical milestones – in both men’s and women’s – and/or represented their state or country.

The screen also displays the people who have held down various roles at board level.

It’s a bit of old meets new, with records dating back to the late 1800s now featured on modern technology.

It looks terrific.

A personal thanks to community manager Phill Edwards for driving this project.