The National Secondary Schools’ First XI Cricket Cup for girls began in 1994. Many first-class and international cricketers have made their name in this tournament and there have been four different winners in the past five years.
The 2018 national Boys and Girls finals are being played in Christchurch and Lincoln University in early December. College Sport Media is profiling some of the teams involved, including here Christchurch Girls’ High School.
All the girls have been training hard and putting in the hours with multiple trainings a week where we have further developed our cricket skills, mental skills and awareness as well as team culture. We are also very fortunate to have Nory from Limit Zero, helping us with strength and conditioning. Sporting Edge has been kind in sponsoring us this year by providing us with the right gear we need.
We had three non-returning players to the side this year which included last year’s captain and opening batter Sophie Gray as well as power hitter Katie Hunt leaving Girls’ High to further their studies at Otago University. We have quite a young side with 3 year 9s, 3 year 10s, 4 year 11s and 1 year 13.We had a highly competitive selection process with a lot of year 9s arriving at Girls’ High this year with a number of girls just missing on the team, however with this competitiveness combined with the young nature of our side the future of girls’ high cricket is looking bright. We have gained three new players this year with Maggie Martin, Estella Wallace and Abby McKissock who have each added their own component to the team.
Qualifying and local cricket:
We qualified for nationals by taking out the Canterbury secondary schools’ tournament in term 1 this year. We won all our pool games and faced Cashmere High School in the final, with Georgia Edge 73 not out and Casey Liddington 96 not out as well as Estella Wallace taking 2 for 14.
Nine of our players play club cricket with four competing in the premier grade. Aside from the qualifying tournament, the only other tournament available to girls’ secondary schools’ cricket is the twilight cricket competition which we had two junior eleven teams in. However, we had one practice game against an U15 representative girls’ side, which we have taken a lot from and developed our game further.
More about the CGHS players:
Sarah Asmussen is the captain, and her and vice-captain Gracie Ansell and Georgia Edge form the leadership team. Sarah Asmussen and Georgia Edge are part of the Canterbury Magicians squad as well as members of the Canterbury under 21 side. Lily Collier has been involved in the U21 wider training squad this year. In the Canterbury under 15 teams we had Lily Collier, Maggie Martin, Estella Wallace We also had girls in CJCA rep teams (Gracie Ansell, Kate Hastings, Estella Wallace, Maggie Martin). In Junior magicians, we had Libby Stead, Casey Liddington as well as Casey Liddington in Future magicians. Libby stead represented Canterbury Country in U17, In Christchurch metro, U18 was lily Collier, Sarah Asmussen, Georgia Edge and Casey Liddington.
Petra Jack plays volleyball at a high level which she represented the South Island in age group tournaments this year. Gracie Ansell was vice-captain of the successful First XI CGHS hockey team which came third at the Federation Cup this year. She is also in the U15 A Canterbury hockey team. Lily Collier and Sarah Asmussen played in the Canterbury U18 indoor team as well as Joey Hull and Sarah Asmussen playing in the Canterbury U22 indoor team.
Casey Liddington will be one to watch with the bat because of her consistency of performing at CGHS tournaments. Georgia Edge will be one to watch with the ball with her left arm pace as well as Libby Stead and Sarah Asmussen with spin.
On the opposition:
The teams we are up against are very similar to the teams that we played last year. It will be a tough competition and we are looking forward to it. For some girls, it will be a very new experience, playing such high-intensity games over a short period of the time however, it’s great to have many returning players who know more about the level and intensity involved.
The format is a five-match Twenty20 series before the top two sides meet in the final and 3 plays 4 and 5 plays 6 on the afternoon of the third day.
Christchurch Girls’ High School plays Wairarapa College and then Tawa College on the opening day, followed by Epsom Girls’ Grammar School and Tauranga Girls’ College on day two and then St Hilda’s Collegiate on the morning of day three before the finals.
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