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17 Dec

Newcastle District Cricket Association: University’s Andrew Harriott one of seven different captains in charge for 2018-2019 season opener

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LEADER: Newly appointed University captain Andrew Harriott playing as a marquee in last season’s Newcastle T20 Big Bash. The former Northern Districts skipper takes over the reins from Matt Gawthrop. Picture: Jonathan CarrollUniversity recruit Andrew Harriott will be one of seven different captainsin actionduring2018-2019 season openers onSaturday.

A new campaign has prompted a change in leadershipat over half theNewcastle District Cricket Association clubs, with former Big Bash wicketkeeper Harriott taking over the reins from Sea Dragons skipper Matt Gawthrop (unavailable).

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Marcus Hainsworth (Belmont), Nick Watkins (Cardiff-Boolaroo), Jed Dickson (Charlestown), Bryce Garrett (Newcastle City), Matt Webber (Hamilton-Wickham) and Nick Foster (Stockton and Northern Districts) are the others now in charge of first grade teams forupcoming 40-over, one-day fixtures.

The reasons for movement are varied around the groundsbut Tamworth-raised Harriott, 26, brings a wealth of knowledge to University following eight summers in Sydney, most recently running the show at Northern Districts.

“I’m looking forward to the captaincy role,” Harriottsaid.

‘Being new to the team, the club and Newcastle, I’m still getting to know allof the ins and outs. But hopefully I can lead from the front and those years down in Sydney will help with that.

“When we have everyone, I think we’ve got a good little squad together.”

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University are down Gawthrop andJames Rushford (overseas), both possibly until Christmas,while Liam McKechniealso won’t play away against Wallsend this weekend.

The Sea Dragons’ opponents haven’t named former second XI representative Brett Jackson for round one, but James Beatty and Matt Lynch will play their maiden top grade games for the Tigers.

Elsewhere in Tom Locker Cup fixtures on Saturday and defending champions Wests are without Ben Chew against City, who will debut 15-year-old pair Aidan Cahill and Angus McTaggart. Royce Owen replaces Chew for the Rosellas at Learmonth Parkwhile Garrettcaptains the Sabres for incoming Jonty Major (overseas), who takes over from Jack Downing.

Waratah-Mayfield celebrate the 200th club game for wicketkeeper Josh Brackenbury whileTorontointroduce new signings Ryan Fenning, Tim Cox and Brendan Charlton to Ron Hill Oval.

Charlestown and Stockton will go head-to-head at Kahibah Oval. The Magpies welcome the return of Daniel Arms and Matthew Benchfrom English playing stintswhile the Seagulls have experienced campaigners Terry Crittenden and Sam Jenkinson making comebacks.

Belmont and Merewether begin life without a host of familiar faces, minus the likes of mainstays Mark Littlewood, Ray Cooper, Dan Morton and Troy Goodwin. Theymeet at Charlestown Ovalwith both home grounds,Cahill and Townson, out of action after associatedNewcastle Rugby League clubs Lakes and Souths reachedSunday’s decider.

HamwicksvisitCardiffat alternate ground Cardiff No.2 with Lake Macquarie City Council recently declaringthe new Cameron Park venue Pasterfield Sporting Complex, which officially opened last month, notyet fitforplay.

Play is scheduled to start at 11am.

Meanwhile, Newcastle duo Toby Gray (Belmont) and Mitchell Lole (University) will be joined by Central North’s Jack Montgomery, younger brother of Wallsend all-rounderJacob, in the ACT-NSW Country team for the Under-17 National Championships. The tournament will be held in Mackay and Brisbane from Monday to October 11.

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