Noah Ackerley the youngest member of Heytesbury Rebels' 2018 South West Cricket grand final team

DEBUTANT: Heytesbury Rebels' Noah Ackerley, 15, will take to the field for his first division one grand final on Saturday. Picture: Rob Gunstone
DEBUTANT: Heytesbury Rebels' Noah Ackerley, 15, will take to the field for his first division one grand final on Saturday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

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THE youngest member of Heytesbury Rebels’ grand final side is embracing the challenge of top-grade cricket.

Noah Ackerley, 15, has taken 25 wickets in his South West Cricket division one debut season.

The right-arm opening bowler wants to add to that tally when the Rebels meet Mortlake in the decider at Camperdown on Saturday.

“It is a challenge but a good challenge for me,” Ackerley said of his first top-tier campaign.

“Coming from division two, it’s a big step up. The quality of batsmen, bowlers and fielders all round is high.

“I’ve had a good season. I am proud of the way I’ve started.”

The Simpson-based Ackerley, who lives on a dairy farm and commutes to Cobden Tech School, said his Heytesbury teammates had made a positive impact on his development.

OPENING SPELL: Heytesbury Rebels bowler Noah Ackerley, 15, want to take some wickets in his first South West Cricket division one grand final. Picture: Rob Gunstone

OPENING SPELL: Heytesbury Rebels bowler Noah Ackerley, 15, want to take some wickets in his first South West Cricket division one grand final. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Their input has helped him become a consistent contributor with the ball.

His career-best figures of 4-20 came against Cobden.

“(Rebels captain) Jeff Rosolin has taken my batting and bowling to a new level, and Simon Harkness as well,” Ackerley said.

“There’s tips here, there and everywhere which is handy.”

Ackerley believes Heytesbury, which is aiming to make it two flags in three seasons, can overcome powerhouse outfit Mortlake in the decider.

The multiple Western Waves representative – he is aiming to make the state championships again in 2018 –  said he was ready to test himself against a strong batting line up.

“It’s really exciting at the moment. I am enjoying every week so far and when Saturday arrives, hopefully I will be ready,” he said.

“We are confident. We have played them four times this season and beaten them once.

“But that doesn’t matter now. It’s down to crunch time.”