State duty for Terranora duo
TERRANORA captain Leigh Baker believes his twin towers Corey McMahon and Ryan Gleeson won’t crumble under the pressure of State duty.
The representative all-rounder said the young pair – who both better the old six-foot mark in height – deserved their daunting spot in the Queensland under-17 line-up for the National Titles in January and wouldn’t let the occasion get to them.
“These two are talented kids who have consistently proven themselves to be,” Baker said.
“They won’t be bothered by anything.
“Corey is a really casual kid and wouldn’t notice if he was playing in front of 10,000 at the Gabba, and Ryan is so hungry for it he wouldn’t let anything get in the way.”
Both Terranora juniors, McMahon and Gleeson’s talents were identified from a young age and it came as no surprise the pair rapidly rose through the ranks.
“Our club has always generated its own juniors, and some quality juniors at that,” Baker said.
“It’s great to see so many players come through the ranks to first grade; it’s like we have a steady influx.”
Star performers locally, the pair were soon recruited for Gold Coast Dolphins duty and recently starred in Craig McDermott’s under-17 outfit that proved too strong for the Far North Coast Emerging Blues under-17s at Murwillumbah.
While Gleeson moved to the Dolphins three years ago and now plays almost solely for the Gold Coasters, McMahon only signed last year, and has continued to play for Terranora on Saturdays, backing up for Dolphin duty on a Sunday.
Now the rangy duo find themselves set to contest the National Titles in Adelaide in January, and Baker is adamant both have the attributes required to perform at the next level.
“Corey came into first grade last year as an under-16 expecting to play seconds, but I knew immediately he would be opening for us and he has done ever since,” Baker said.
“He’s fast and consistent and he always troubles top batsmen like Nathan Anson and Craig Wilson in his first few overs.
“But he can bat too; he bats at six for us and averages 20-something, even more at rep level.
“Despite hearing good raps on him, I only played my first game with Ryan last year. It was our final game for the year against Ballina, who went on to win the final, so it was a real baptism of fire for him and he stood tall.
“What struck me was how fast and tall he was for a 16-year-old and how much bounce he generated, but more notable too was how enthusiastic and eager he was.
“He was so keen for cricket; I’d have him any week he wants.”
Baker will be hoping to get the best out of McMahon this afternoon when Terranora clash with Southern Districts (Lismore) at Bilambil in round-six of the LJ Hooker League.
Baker’s boys are looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss against Ballina last weekend that saw them slip three places into eighth spot, seven points adrift the top four.
“We’re back to full strength this week, min- us Josh Bonnor,” Baker said.
“We expect to post a difficult target and then let bowlers do what they’ve been doing most of the year – bowl them out quickly.
“We should be too strong for them, so I’ll be talking to our bats about really going for some big individual scores.”
The action begins today at 1pm.