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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Penrith teen may be youngest to hit century in North Lancs league

Penrith teenager Greg Hall has set a new record as the club’s youngest ever century maker – and no one is more proud than his coach, dad Andy.

Greg Hall photo
Greg Hall

The 16-year-old hit 103 in last weekend’s winning draw against North Lancs and Cumbria Premier Division leaders Millom, and his record may stretch far beyond Penrith.

“Colin Bickerstaffe, the league secretary, thinks he’s the youngest player ever to do it in the league,” said Andy. “He can’t think of anyone who has done it younger.

“People have asked how old I was when I got my first hundred. I got 27 of them but was a late developer with my batting and was 29 when I got my first, while he has taken to it like a duck to water.”

Greg made his debut last season, hitting four half-centuries in eight innings, and the day after celebrating his first century last week he hit 83 in the County Cup.

Against Millom he shared in a magnificent stand of 202 with pro Upul Fernando, who added 107.

Penrith are coping well this term despite a string of changes to their line-up. In addition to Andy Hall’s move over the boundary rope in to the coaching role, long-time skipper Nicky Burns has switched to Northern League Barrow.

Tony Threlkeld has also left after moving to live in Carlisle and John Iniff has joined the RAF.

But Martyn Challoner has returned to action for the club after returning home from Canada, and fellow batsman Luke Cleaver has also joined up.

Hall Snr said: “All in all there have been a lot of changes, and it was a big ask to see how people could adapt, but so far, results-wise, the first-team hasn’t been beaten, we got through the first round of the Higson Cup and County Cup and we are sitting third in the league.

“In terms of commitment and time, there’s not that much difference for me from when I played.

“I’m really pleased with how the players have responded and I’m getting a lot of satisfaction from watching them play well. I’m very confident with my decision to change roles.”

After knocking Millom off the top spot, Penrith have the chance to do the same to new leaders Cockermouth on Saturday and they follow up with another home game against Carlisle on Bank Holiday Monday.

A strong showing this weekend could leave Penrith vying for top spot.“We are only 10 points behind,” Hall pointed out. “There’s everything to play for.”

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