Cudgen count on all-rounder
TERRANORA sportsman Aaren Laycock always has a ball this time of the year – somehow successfully managing to combine cricket and rugby league until finally hanging up the whites to entirely devote himself to the football season.
Those well-worn whites head into mothballs on Sunday night following the LJ Hooker League first-grade cricket grand final at Kingscliff’s Reg Dalton Oval where Laycock’s Cudgen host Casino Cavaliers.
Over the past few months the 22-year-old has also pulled on the boots for Tweed Coast Raiders in trial matches leading up to the first round of Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League A-grade competition.
A classy, scheming halfback, Laycock has shone for the Raiders in the trials and said he is “counting sleeps” until the competition proper kicks off in a fortnight.
Laycock has had a marvellous season wielding the willow for Cudgen in the LJ Hooker League and also representing Tweed in the Webb Shield where this rep season he amassed a competition-best 360 runs at 58.2.
He was rewarded for those figures by being named Webb Shield Players’ Player, the first time a Tweed batsman has been awarded the coveted prize.
Laycock has also been in scintillating form for Cudgen and will be one of the key men for his side when they do battle with the Cavaliers this weekend.
In limited appearances for the Hornets this season he has compiled 264 runs at a very respect- able 29.3 each time he goes out to bat, and those figures point to him making a major contribution to the Hornets’ effort in annexing the 2010-11 title.
The minor premiers go into the match perfectly placed to claim the crown, needing only to draw the match to claim the premiership.
Laycock and his fellow top-order batsmen will be the mainstays for a Cudgen victory.
“All of the guys have been in good form lately and we’ll be doing our best to bat out our allotted 90 overs and close Casino out of game,” Laycock said.
One of those guys in good form is Laycock himself. He played with superb touch in posting a top score of 63 in last week’s semi-final win over Ballina Bears.
Laycock said he expects the rock-solid Jamie Wilson to lay the foundation for a formidable Cudgen score.
“Jamie’s patience at the crease always seems to steady the team if we lose a quick wicket or two,” he said.
Laycock added that all the Cudgen troops would have to perform at their best because he expects the Cavaliers to come to town ready to swashbuckle.
“They are a good outfit with two really good bats in opener (Rod) Wells and Sam Irvine and in Wade Sweeney they have a quickie who troubles all batsmen with his away swing,” he said.
Casino and Cudgen have met once previously this season with honours going to Cudgen in their LJ Hooker round-robin clash in which the Hornets were dominating before rain washed out play.