Junior players from six of New Zealand’s leading cricketing schools converge on Palmerston North this week for the 2017 National Junior Secondary School Boys’ Finals.
The Tournament will feature the top year 9 and 10 cricketers from around the country and played in a round robin format over five days from Monday-Friday, with two points given for each win. Then at the end of the five days the winner will be the team with the most points and best record.
Auckland Grammar School are the defending champions, having broken the stranglehold that South Island Schools had on the title for the previous five years.
Last year Auckland Grammar ended Christchurch Boys high school’s two-year stranglehold on the title, while Otago Boys’ High School won the previous two years. If a South Island champion in found, it will be a new school however, with both CBHS and OBHS failing to qualify this year. Meanwhile, Wellington College will hope to finally get a win on the board for a Wellington team, as in the 13 years that this tournament has run it hasn’t ever been won by a school from Wellington. Schools representing home province Central Districts or Northern Districts haven’t won for almost a decade.
The Tournament will be played across two grounds in Palmerston North - Fitzherbert Park and Manawaroa Park.
2016: Auckland Grammar School
2015: Christchurch Boys High School
2014: Christchurch Boys High School
2013: Otago Boys High School
2012: Otago Boys High School
2011: Christchurch Boys High School
2010: Auckland Grammar
2009: King’s College (Auckland)
2008: Palmerston North Boys High School
2007: Hamilton Boys High School and Otago Boys High School
2006: Tauranga Boys College
2005: Christchurch Boys High School and Auckland Grammar School
2004: Christchurch Boys High School
The six schools competing this year are:
Auckland Grammar School (Auckland)
Hamilton Boys’ High School (Northern Districts)
New Plymouth Boys’ High School (Central Districts)
Wellington College (Wellington)
St Bede’s College (Canterbury)
Kings High School (Otago)
2017 Draw and predictions:
Hamish Wareham at Wareham Sports Media has cast his CLICK HERE to read.
Special credit to Hamish Wareham for his articles and coverage of youth cricket!
Otago Boys' High School's 1st XI will once again represent Otago and Southland in the national secondary schoolboys' cricket tournament, the First XI Cup, in December.
OBHS had a convincing win over John McGlashan College in the regional final yesterday with batsman/wicket-keeper Max Chu scoring an impressive 121 to help lead his team to victory.
On paper, OBHS had the stronger team, sporting two NZ Under 18 representatives in Chu and spinner Ben Lockrose, with another NZ U18 rep, all-rounder Hunter Kindley, still sidelined after breaking his ankle in the final of the Under 19 National Tournament in December.
Cricket’s a funny game though and the OBHS team were taking nothing for granted, after John McGlashan beat Waitaki Boys’ High School in a semi-final the day before.
In the end however, it was a reasonably comprehensive win by OBHS with the team making 271/6 and dismissing John McGlashan for 147, despite an early onslaught by JMC, which saw it well ahead in the run-rate early on.
Buoyed by team-mate Jack Pryde’s century (110) a day earlier in OBHS’ semi-final against Southland Boys’ High School, Max Chu steadied the ship for the school after the loss of two early wickets. Tommy Wilson (27), Marc Cormack (33) and Tim Horton (55) all starring in partnerships with Chu.
McGlashan’s in-form batsman, Lucas Reid, who scored a century (105) the day before had another good day with the bat, taking the game to OBHS in the early stages to see his team well ahead in the run-rate.
However, when he was dismissed for 40 off a caught-and-bowled by Thomas Harding, it triggered a series of wickets. Lockrose starred with the ball for OBHS, taking four wickets for only 12 runs in his 10 overs. Harding (2/32) and Josh Kellett (2/21) were the other top wicket-takers.
Otago Boys’ will this year be looking to improve on its third placing in last year’s First XI Cup with the return of a strong crew in Kindley, Chu, Lockrose, Pryde and Horton from last year.
Southland Boys’ High School finished in third place in the regional competition, beating Waitaki Boys’ High School, with Southland spinner Jack Mockford taking six wickets.
Prior to this week Hamish Thomson’s highest score for the St. Pats Town First XI cricket team was 45. The Year 13 had been plagued by an elbow injury and inconsistency.
“I missed five weeks at the start of this season when I injured my elbow. I have struggled with consistency because I am impatient. I like to get on with it, but I was taking too many risks before getting my eye in,” Thomson complains.
This week in the annual traditional fixture against Christchurch’s St. Bede’s College at Kilbirnie Park, Thomson shattered the record books by making a double century in the first innings and a century in the second innings. How does Thomson explain such sudden and spectacular success?
“My highest score before St. Bede’s was 150 not out in Year 9 so I knew I was capable of making big scores. The first 30 runs I made were off 100 balls then my confidence grew and I really accelerated,” Thomson explains.
Thomson (right in picture) ended the first innings 201 not out from only 207 deliveries. He struck 20 fours and 15 sixes and shared a partnership of 320 for the fifth wicket with Aaron De Rose who scored 122 off 141 balls. St. Pats was 88 for 4.
“Our top order batsmen were unlucky as they all got peaches of balls. Aaron was great to bat with. We’re close mates and built a good partnership quickly,” Thomson says.
St. Bede’s was able to respond strongly amassing 453 all out in 100 overs. Will Aynsley 98, Jimmy Johnstone 85, Matthew Boyle 72 and Cameron Jopson 69 all flourished on the friendly batting surface. St. Bede’s blasted a total of 12 sixes in their innings leaving Town facing a second innings deficit.
In their second innings Town at one stage was 41 for 3 and still in arrears by four runs, leaving open the possibility of a St. Bede’s victory, but Thomson has other ideas. He smashed 105 off 156 balls clubbing 14 fours and five sixes. Which innings was better?
“The second innings hundred was more important because it saved the match, but technically I played better in the first innings. In the second innings I was dropped on 48, which was lucky,” Thomson reveals.
There were a total of 41 sixes in the match. An unusually short boundary was a factor as was a brazen mindset from Thomson.
“The boundary in one direction was just over 30-metres so I targeted that area often. Actually I told the groundsman to reduce the size of the boundaries beforehand,” Thomson laughs.
Thomson rates a reverse sweep over point as his favourite maximum of the match and is hopeful Town’s retention of the Dry Family Cup can kick start some momentum for Town’s season. Presently Town are fifth out of eight teams in the Wellington Premier competition, one place short of a semi-final spot.
“It’s been a tough season so far. We have had a few disruptions with injuries and other things, but we are starting to get it together and are feeling good after a tough draw this week,” Thomson concludes.
P.S. Double centuries are rare events in first XI school cricket, but St. Bede’s have been victims of a double hundred twice. In 2011 Henry Walsh made 225 for St. Pats Silverstream against St. Bede’s. Walsh later played for the Wellington Firebirds. Some impressive names have scored double centuries in the past.
The Auckland record is thought to be held by Bert Sutcliffe, the outstanding batsman of his time in New Zealand, who scored 268 for Takapuna Grammar against Mt Albert Grammar in 1942.
Martin Crowe, another who went on to become a world-class batsman, established an Auckland Grammar School record when making 247 in 1978, while Sachin Variath scored 261 not out for Avondale College against Macleans College in Auckland in 2010.
Former Firebird Joe Austin-Smellie scored a record 214 not out for Wellington College in the traditional fixture against Wanganui Collegiate in 2006.
The highest score ever made by a schoolboy is 628 by AEJ Collins, as a 13-year-old, in England in 1899.
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