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 2016 champions St Hilda’s Collegiate from Dunedin.
Olivia Gain (captain), Emma Black vice captain, Megan Meltzer, Eden Carson, Molly Loe, Olivia Hall, Anna Duncan, Pippa Clarke, Jordan Meltzer, Chloe Deerness, Taylor Duffy, Summer Phillips, Gemma Rowcroft.
Coaches Neil Rosenberg and Adam Gain
Scorer Dave Patchett
Manager Jodie Gain
Six players are in the Sparks/U21 Otago squad so they are getting lots of cricket at the highest level and the others do play Wednesday cricket.
St Hilda’s has three present Otago Sparks. Olivia Gain is captain and she recently scored a 60 against the Wellington Blaze at the Basin Reserve. She will be attending her fifth consecutive national tournament, as NZC gave St Hilda’s dispensation in 2014 to include her when she was in year 8. This is unconfirmed but might be a first.
Emma Black is the opening bowler who is attending her fourth nationals. Eden Carson, is an off-spinner and debuted recently against the Blaze too. As well as these three, Megan Meltzer and Molly Loe are in the Otago U21 team for their nationals just prior to Christmas.
The make-up of the team
Seven players are returning from the 2017 team. The remainder are aged from Year 9 to 11.
St Hilda’s played their qualifying games in Term one, beating Wakatipu High School and Blue Mountain College - both by 10 wickets.
On the draw and other teams this year.
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.
St Hilda’s plays Tawa College and Tauranga Girls’ College on the opening day, Wairarapa College and Epsom Girls’ Grammar School on day two and Christchurch Girls’ High School first up on day three before the final games in the afternoon.
More from St Hilda’s coach Neil Rosenberg:
“Good on Wairarapa College for making it through this year from the CD area. Last year’s winners EGGS will be strong, as will all the teams. To win through to represent your Major Association at this competition is a great achievement so we have learnt over the last eight years as Otago’s representative to respect all the teams and take one game at a a time!”
“I have coached at St Hilda’s for 22 years and it’s very exciting to prepare and compete at the national event. Over the past nine years I have seen many White Ferns at this tournament. Frankie Mackay, Kate Broadmore, Nat Dodds, Hannah Rowe, Melie Kerr, Tamsyn Newton and this year, our 2017 captain Kate Heffernan debuted for the Ferns against the West Indies. So it’s a great pathway tournament for bigger things and I am delighted NZC is committed to it.”
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