Keith Moody feels more motivated, more committed and fitter than ever. It has translated out in the middle during 2020-21.
The Stockton opening batsman leads the Newcastle District Cricket Association for runs this season scoring 610 at an average of 55.45.
Moody - born, Bred and still living on the peninsula - broke through for his maiden ton in the top grade last month and also has six half centuries to his name this campaign,
With one round remaining before finals the 21 year old sits 78 runs clear of the NDCA player of the year frontrunner Joseph Price (532) and 144 ahead of Wallsend captain Nathan Price (466).
"I reckon I've just sort of commited myself to games and training more than i have in previous season and found that motivation to score runs and win," Moody, who studies PE teaching and University of Newcastle , said
"whereas previous seasons I've lacked that a little bit for various reason. I guess success helps as well team wise.
In what has been a career best return, Moody's consistent performances have helped lift the Seagulls inside the top four on the competition ladder.
The sole individual blemish was a pair against Belmont in round seven, but only three times he has been dismissed under 20 and since Christmas the right hander has amassed 346 from four digs.
"I feel like I've made some good contributions this season," he said.
"Especially at the top of the order, its your job to get runs and set the platform for everyone else down the order so its been nice to be able to achieve that."
"Being able to string them together, that makes a difference and hopefully I can continue that into the finals."
Moody says the highlight was making 131 against Hamilton-Wickham at Passmore Oval on January 23, described as the best i have ever batted."
At just shy of five hours and facing 234 balls, the "composed" innings was also his longest.
"It's probably down to physical fitness as well." he said.
"Previous seasons I probably haven't been as fit as what I am now. Obviously you make poor decisions when you are fatigued or play a rash shot. Whereas now I don't feel physically fatigued when I'm out there anymore which probably contributes to the good mental decisions and I reckon that has made a difference."
Moody said Stockton, who are away to University this Saturday and next, have a "good balance" in their XI and "can upset some teams in the finals if we get it right".
Credit: Josh Callinan (Newcastle Herald)