MATTHEW Foster has always shown the promise to say he will be part of any future Blacktown cricket has.
A cricketer picked out by Westfields Sports High, Blacktown Poidevin Gray Shield team, Australian indoor cricketer . . . the foundations have all been there.
Well, the 19-year-old allrounder has turned potential into performance.
Foster’s probing line and length not only delivered his best first grade bowling figures on Saturday: 5-40 from 17 overs.
He has virtually assured Blacktown of first-innings points against North Sydney.
The visitors were dismissed for 112 at Joe McAleer Reserve and Blacktown had all but taken first-innings points, being 7-110 when stumps were drawn.
So Blacktown are where they’ve seldom been: two wins in the opening two rounds of the Sydney competition.
They’ve tried the big names in recent seasons, tried the big coaching, but early success has come this season through teamwork and team spirit being the name of the game.
Matt Bursa did the trick with a hat-trick that set-up the first round win over Mosman.
Now Foster has led the attack against North Sydney, with Bursa playing a supporting role.
And attack it was from the moment the Warriors won the toss and sent the visitors in on a bowler-friendly pitch.
It was 3-26, 4-26, then 5-34.
It was grim viewing for any man and a dog present who wasn’t a rabid fan of rear-guard fights against bowlers in command.
Norths took 60 overs to crawl to their 112.
Foster struck twice early, picked up three more in the middle of the innings and the Sydney’s competition’s most experienced player Tony Clark, brought all that experience into play as he swung his way to 3-25 from 15 overs.
Add Bursa’s 1-15 from 13 overs and spinner Nathan Sowter’s 1-2, and this was real ensemble bowling. Blacktown did it tough themselves in the tough conditions but got to the brink in a comparatively swift 35 overs, thanks to the returning Michael Bright, back after a couple of season’s away.
Bright’s breezy 37 not out came from just 43 balls and he will resume this Saturday with Clark, and the Warriors are a chance of building for a possible outright.
Former West Indies opening bowler Corey Collymore is yet to arrive and batting stalwart Brett Collinson is unavailable for this game.
After seasons of couldas, shouldas, wouldas, the booming Blacktown start tantalises that this time maybe they will.