POOL A – North Queensland Monsoons, Central Queensland Seamers, Darling Downs Suns, Sunshine Coast Scorchers
POOL B – SEQ Stormers, Wide Bay Flames, Far North Fusion, Mackay/Whitsundays Nitros
The Bulls Masters Youth Cup for 2021 had a new Region involved, with the Sunshine Coast Scorchers entering the competition for the first time. The new boys would have a tough initiation into the comp, playing the defending champions, Darling Downs Suns in a T20 on the first night of action. It was clear to see that the Scorchers were going to be a force to be reckoned with as they smashed the perennial contender Suns, scoring 4/133 (Jobson 87) and then knocking over Darling Downs for 87 with Jared Jackson the chief destroyer (5/13).
Scorchers duo Riley Jobson and Jared Jackson had strong tournaments
The home side, Wide Bay Flames made the final last year and looked to be a contender again with a win over 2019 champion, South East Queensland Stormers in their opening T20 game. Although Far North Fusion knocked the Flames over in their first 50 over game to take control of pool B.
Darling Downs bounced back from their opening day loss with a monstrous performance against Central Queensland, scoring 372 off the back of Chace Oates 174 (105).
Mackay/Whitsundays announced themselves as a contender with wins over SEQ and Wide Bay. However, North Queensland Monsoons struggled early on and were out of contention.
Heading into the final day of play, the Sunshine Coast Scorchers were looking every bit the team to beat but had one last hurdle, with a 50 over game against Darling Downs set to decide who would make the final out of Pool A. Pool B would also come down to who would win out of Mackay/Whitsundays and Far North Fusion.
The Suns batted first in the crucial game to decide top spot in Pool A but another masterclass with the ball from Jared Jackson (4/24) saw the Darling Downs boys post a mediocre score of 111. It was never going to be enough and the Scorchers got the runs with only two wickets down.
The Pool B decider was much closer with Far North setting the Nitros 182 runs to make the final. The run chase looked to be on track when Mackay/Whitsundays were 6/143 with about nine overs left to get the 40 runs required. However the pressure was too much for the Nitros who collapsed to be all out for 151.
SCORCHERS CAPTAIN BEN BAKER RECEIVES THE YOUTH CUP FROM COUNCILOR VINCE HABERMAN FROM THE BUNDABERG REGIONAL COUNCIL
The Scorchers won the toss for the T20 final and batted first. They looked to be coasting to a huge total when openers Riley Jobson and Curtis McAllister got their team off to a flyer, 0/85 after 10 overs. But the Fusion pulled them back in the back half of the innings and needed to chase 132 for victory. Tight early bowling saw them fall behind early, but some late hitting from Fusion captain Aidan Beach gave them a sniff of victory. However they fell nine runs short in the end and the Scorchers won in their first year back in the Queensland Country Cricket show-piece under 16 championship event, the Bulls Masters Youth Cup.