Open slather for historic triumph
THIS time last year Travis Henke was batting in the middle order for Country Wests, far from selectors' thoughts when it came time to name the Wide Bay team.
But this season Henke has returned from the South Queensland Country Championships a hero, guiding the no-fuss Wide Bay side to an emphatic Schaeffer Shield victory, the region's first in nine seasons.
An elevation to opener and strong early-season form translated in a Wide Bay call-up, and Henke grasped the opportunity with both hands.
Scores of 71, 14 not out and 90 made him the top run scorer of the carnival, and a justified spot in the South Queensland Country cricket team followed.
Henke and Across The Waves young-gun Zac Keune were both selected, while wicket keeper-batsman Curtis Janke, also of Waves, was picked in the under-17 South Queensland XI.
Keune and Henke's efforts with the bat were integral in their team claiming the Schaeffer Shield, Wide Bay's first since 2000/01.
“I woke up this morning and had to check that my award was there to make sure it was for real, it's hard to believe that this has happened considering I wasn't even in the Wide Bay side last year,” Henke said.
“But I'm really happy with how I batted in both innings and hopefully I keep hitting the ball well.”
Keune blasted a half-century against Darling Downs City, complementing Henke's 90 to set up a 245 run total that the star-studded home side could not match.
The Waves left hander's selection adds another string to his bow, further highlighting the 17-year-old Keune as a player of the future.
Sunday's big win against their main rivals, as well as their demolition of Darling Downs Country on Saturday easily handed them the trophy.
“It's great for Bundaberg and Wide Bay to have won in such a manner, hopefully it is the start of something,” team manager Richie Giles said.
Brothers big-hitter Jarrod Laycock played his part in the Shield win, smashing 72 not out from 38 balls in Saturday's game, while Wave's paceman Liam Denning and tweaker Chris Duff caused trouble with the ball in both of Wide Bay's victories.