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St Hilda’s Collegiate won their first National Secondary Schools' Girls cricket title last week. Here is an account from the Otago Daily Times and some additional stats illustrating this fine achievement.
St Hilda’s Collegiate coach Neil Rosenburg reckons this year’s group is the best team he has coached in his 20 years at the school.
And it is hard to argue with him after the team won the national girls secondary school title for the first time yesterday.
It won all five matches and that was "pretty good to be fair", Rosenburg said.
"Five from five was a great result. The girls have benefited enormously from Otago Cricket’s accelerator programme through the winter.
"They have really just taken their game to another level. We’ve been to the finals five years in a row and we are really rapt that it was so comprehensive."
Sparks player Bella James captained the side and, not only led superbly, but was the competition’s leading scorer with 191 runs at an average of 38.20.
"[Bella] is a legend. She is in the Sparks and has just benefited from being with Katey [Martin], Suzie [Bates] and Morna [Nielsen] so much.
"We are really proud of Bella."
The Heffernan twins, Kate and Georgia, played starring roles as well. Kate was the second-leading scorer with 155 runs at 38.75 and the joint-leading wicket-taker with eight wickets at an average of six — yes, six. Georgia took six wickets at 8.17.
They bowled in tandem at the top for St Hilda’s and proved a formidable duo.
"They’ve been great. They bowl three overs each at the top and teams are finding themselves one or two down for not many. But we’ve got nine bowlers and at school girls cricket that is just unheard of."
"[The Heffernans] bat three and four and they know each other’s game so intuitively. It is poetry in motion. They take two or three strides and they are down the wicket."
St Hilda’s opened the tournament with wins against Palmerston North Girls’ High School and Tauranga Girls’ College on Friday.
Olivia Gain scored 72 not out to help her side beat Cashmere High School by 83 runs on Saturday and, later in the day, Georgia Heffernan took five for 11 to help beat Epsom Girls’ Grammar School by 52 runs.
Yesterday, St Hilda’s beat Tawa College by eight-wickets to seal the title. Kate Heffernan took four for 15 and James top-scored with 40.
St. Hilda's Results (20 Over Matches)
St. Hilda's: 102/8 (Isabella James 34, Grace Minnis 3/7) beat Palmerston North GHS: 68/8 (Sally Wenham 20, Eden Carson) by 34 runs
St. Hilda's: 178/4 (Isabella James 83, Kate Heffernan 64) beat Tauranga GC: 99/2 (Nensi Patel 44, Georgia Heffernan 1/6) by 79 runs
St. Hilda's: 158/2 (Olivia Gain 72) beat Cashmere High School: 75/7 (Isla McKenzie 17, Eden Carson 3/10) by 83 runs
St. Hilda's: 123/7 (Georgia Heffernan 34, Gemma Adams 2/15) beat Epsom Girls Grammar: 71(Amie Hucker 40, Georgia Heffernan 5/11) by 52 runs
Tawa College: 84/5 (Phoenix Williams 33, Kate Heffernan 4/15) lost to St. Hilda's: 85/2 (Isabella James 40) by 8 wickets.