By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
DESPITE losing by a sizable margin last weekend, Park Beach Colts captain Matt Rose still had a lot of optimism about the chances of his team this season.
One of the main rays of hope that Rose has is the ability of 17 year-old middle order batsman Brendon Ralph.
Last week the youngest member of the Colts team top scored with a patiently made 30 that kept the Sawtell attack at bay for an hour and a half.
Ralph batted with a maturity well beyond his tender years and inexperience in the local first grade competition.
"All through juniors I've batted anywhere from six up," explained Ralph about his batting experience.
"I don't mind opening the batting and I can bowl when they want me too."
It's unlikely that a stint with the ball will come Ralph's way in the near future after he donned the gloves when the PBBC Colts took to the field in the opening week of the season.
Ralph performed admirably enough behind the stumps that he just might have found himself a job for the summer.
"I kept for the first time in my life last game," joked the John Paul College student.
"'Rosey' came in and asked who wants to keep and then he asked me what I was like at keeping and if I want to do it.
"Ijust said 'Righto, I'll have a go."
Ralph has been given assurances by his captain that his spot in the first grade team is safe and if he continues to perform like he did in the season opener, the captain might have made an astute selection decision.
"He told me that he wants me to bat in the middle order and help keep us steady there," Ralph said.
"That's fine with me as my goal is just to score runs.
"I love to bat so I want to score as many runs as possible."