Four on edge as Qld lays down law

BUNDABERG trio of Sam Field, Tyrell Priestley and Adrian Taylor each had little involvement in the team but Queensland made a perfect start to the inaugural Australian Under-17 Boys Softball Championship in Adelaide yesterday.

The Maroons won their two matches, hitting the ground running with a 9-1 blitz of Victoria, then edging out arch-rivals New South Wales 6-5 in a battle royale.

Field was injected into the game off the bench against the Vics, but Priestley and Taylor were never called upon.

Taylor got his chance in the 10 against NSW but the other two Bundaberg representatives warmed the bench for the whole match.

To facilitate a stronger development pathway for promising young players, from 2011 Softball Australia will host Under-17 and Under-15 national championships in place of Under-16 nationals which previously introduced players to interstate competition.

Field, Priestly and Taylor earned selection in the Queensland team following participation at the 2010 State Under-17 Boys Championship at Noosa.

The Queensland team is seeking to build on the runners-up finish of the Queensland team at the final Australian Under-16 Boys in Sydney last year.

Each of the five teams will play each other twice leading into a grand final on Saturday.

Today, Queensland will meet Western Australia, which had a win and a loss yesterday, and South Australia, which lost to Western Australia first-up before taking on Victoria in the late game.

All players have their sights set on impressing national selectors ahead of the 2012 Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in Argentina.

Australia has won gold the last four consecutive junior men’s world titles.