Lawrence spins web
By MITCHELL DALE
COFFS Hotel Tigers can send some small thanks to Shane Warne for their resurrection this summer.
If it wasn't for the Sheikh of Tweak, Tigers probably wouldn't have their match-winning leg spin combination of Mickey Lawrence and Hugh Campbell.
Lawrence in particular has come into his own this season, bagging 10 wickets at 23 for Tigers and 10 wickets at 13 for Coffs Harbour in representative cricket.
The 17-year-old is another product of the leg spin mania whipped up by the Shane Warne phenomenon.
"I've been bowling leg spin since I was about 10 or so," Lawrence said.
"I sort of started because of Warne, and I'm good mates with Hugh and he had started it too."
Lawrence didn't set too many goals for himself at the start of the season but if he had, it is fair to say he would be reaching them by now.
"Yeah, I'm pretty happy with how I've gone this season," he said.
"My goal this season was just to play first grade, take wickets and score runs."
Mission accomplished, especially on the wickets front.
The Coffs High School student has won plenty of admirers this season, particularly for his efforts in representative cricket.
Tigers captain-coach Brad Greenshields is one who holds the young leggie in high regard.
"Mickey is a good kid and very quiet, but he works hard on his game," Greenshields said.
"The success he has got, especially at representative level when he has really been counted on, is testimony to the hard work he has done.
"He has bowled some fantastic spells.
"He is very competitive, his quiet facade often makes people think he is a nice boy, but if you scratch the surface there is a bit of mongrel in him."
However, despite the stack of wickets to Lawrence's name this season, Greenshields forecast a grim future unless some changes are made.
"The one part of his game that really disappoints me is that his mum won't pack the captain-coach lunch," joked Greenshields, who incidently rates his season highlight as the round one Country Cup match, not for his own innings of 92, but for the lunch put on by the locals.
"Mickey comes with this beautifully packed lunch every week and I want one.
"If I don't see one soon, Mickey is staring down the barrel of being dropped to second grade.
"If he gets dropped, he can go off at his mum."