Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Young Tiger is an all-round talent

Kyle Orchard has had a great season for Central Park-St Brendan's in Cricket Shepparton's junior competition with the bat.

HANNAH DRISCOLL March 7, 2014 4:10am

Central Park-St Brendan's youngster Kyle Orchard made a big impact, especially with the bat, this season and took out the batting average in his competition.

If the basketball ring set up in the driveway wasn’t enough of a giveaway, Kyle Orchard loves playing sport.

But it’s basketball that has been put on the backburner while he concentrates on other pursuits.

One is football, and he will once again pull on the boots for Shepparton United when the junior football season kicks off.

But he also finished a stellar cricket season for Central Park-St Brendan’s last month, and there is little hesitation when he is asked what his favourite sport is.

Orchard, 14, made 258 runs in seven innings, including five times not out, in under-16B grade and, including his scores in the under-16 Twenty20 competition, took out the under-16B best batting average award with 286 runs at an average of 143.

He was only dismissed five times out of nine in under-14A last year.

This season Orchard also took six wickets in the under-16B competition, with a best performance of 2-30, and another three wickets from five overs in two under-16 Twenty20 games.

Orchard represented Cricket Shepparton in the under-15 McPherson Shield side last year, and the Junior Country Week under-14 side in the new year where he made 81 runs in four innings.

This included a top score of 44 retired not out against Seymour District Cricket Association and 22 not out in the grand final win against Bendigo District Cricket Association.

But his favourite performance this year was his 44 not out against eventual runner-up Numurkah in the opening round of under-16B.

‘‘I’ve been happy with my performances this year,’’ Orchard said.

‘‘It was the first game against Numurkah. It wasn’t my highest score, it was my best quality score.

‘‘Last year I had a good end to the year, and then I had confidence coming into the year.’’

Orchard also had his first taste of senior cricket this season with two games in C-grade, where he made six runs in one innings and took a wicket with the seven overs he bowled.

He said he had learned a lot from the Tigers’ coach Tim Kelly, with the best advice to keep working hard, and thanked his father Rick for taking him to training.

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