Ex-Penola cricketer stars in SA Outbacks team

THE SA Outbacks cricket team, with its distinct SE flavour, nearly made history at the Australian Country Cricket Championships last week.

Featuring ex-Penola star Nick Clayfield and South Gambier's Adam Somerfield as well as other SE locals Kieran Ashby, Josh Fidler, Josh Reader and Josh Savage, the Outbacks achieved their best ever result at the tournament, finishing less than a point behind winners Western Australia.

19-year-old fast bowler Clayfield starred especially with the ball, taking 10/329 across the carnival.

This included 4/29 off 11 overs in the second innings of SA's first round match against East Asia Pacific.

"In the first two games I bowled my best," Clayfield told the Herald. "I had one off game then bowled alright for the rest of the week."

Clayfield and Somerfield were individually honoured with places in the team of the championships, while Somerfield was named player of the championships.

The teenager from Penola was humbled by his selection.

"It was a bit of a surprise," Clayfield said. "But I think I bowled well enough."

It has been a good season for Clayfield, who also represented SA in the under 19s national championships in December.

He is also a talented footballer who was part of Penola's 2013 KNTFL premiership side alongside his brother Drew.

For the past couple of years he has been playing club cricket for Glenelg alongside Tom Edwards, a former Naracoorte local who still plays football for Padthaway.

He's been content with his performances, working his way to cement a spot at the top level of grade cricket in Adelaide

"Last year I worked my way into the B grade and finished in the As," he said. "This year I've played almost every game in the As which is good - I'm starting to feel like part of the team."

For the Seahorses Clayfield has also been in reasonable form with the ball despite admitting he isn't taking enough wickets, with nine scalps from eight matches - his best figures being 4/34 against Adelaide University in a one day match.

Clayfield is aiming to one day join the Redbacks and represent his State but he knows it is a long way off.

"Playing for the Redbacks would be unbelievable," he said. "But I've got a long way to go yet - you train around the guys and you feel so close but it's still very far away."

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