The St. Hilda’s Collegiate cricket team will be returning to Lincoln in early December to defend its New Zealand title that it won in a tense final last year against Christchurch Girls' High School.
Otago representatives St Hilda’s will join the five other schools representing the other major cricket associations at the recently renamed Gillette Venus Cup tournament.
Teams joining St Hilda's in this year's Gillette Venus Cup finals are Epsom Girls’ Grammar School (Auckland), Waikato Diocesan School for Girls (Northern Districts), St Matthew’s Collegiate School (Central Districts), Hutt Valley High School (Wellington) and Christchurch Girls’ High School (Canterbury).
HVHS and St Matthews from Masterton will be attending their first ever tournament, while Waikato Dio have been absent for a number of years.
College Sport Media caught up with St Hilda’s coach Neil Rosenberg for some more about the team and tournament.
Molly Loe (captain) Megan Meltzer, Chloe Deerness, Jordan Meltzer, Anna Duncan, Pippa Clarke, Amelia Newlands, Summer Phillips, Zarah Moana, Anna McClean, Hannah Wilson, Belle King-Begg, Nova Wright.
Management: Neil Rosenberg (coach) Adam Gain (coach) Dave Patchett (scorer) Nic Loe (manager).
Initially, all 12 who received a gold medal at last year’s finals were available to play. However, this year sees a clash with the third round of the domestic women’s Hallyburton Johnstone competition.
St Hilda’s is in the envious position of having three contracted players to the Otago Cricket Association - however this cloud does not necessarily have a silver lining as Olivia Gain, Emma Black and Eden Carson are required by the Otago Sparks and therefore are unavailable for one last crack at nationals for their school team.
Eight of last year’s team will be returning and Molly Loe who is captain is also in the Otago Sparks squad for the 2019-20 season, having debuted in February as a Year 11 student.
Molly will captain the team at this year’s Gillette Venus Cup finals. From Weston just out of Oamaru, Molly is a boarder at the St Hilda’s hostel. She is in her third year in the school 1st XI and debuted for the Otago Sparks earlier in 2019 against Central Districts in Palmerston North. On debut, she claimed the prize scalp of White Fern Jess Watkins. Molly is a fast bowler and she brings a great deal of athleticism to the team and she is growing in her ability to provide leadership to the team.
Of the team travelling to Lincoln, a number of players have represented Otago from the elite Sparks down to the U15 age group. This bodes well for a strong unit again in 2019.
The team qualified back in Term One with games against St Kevin’s College from Oamaru and Otago Girls’ High School from Dunedin. The final of the region was played at the University of Otago Oval and St Hilda’s comfortably saw off Columba College with a 97 run victory.
We are delighted to be returning and representing the Otago region again this year. Last year, NZC introduced a final after pool play had been completed and it was a thrill to play Christchurch Girls’ High School on Bert Sutcliffe Oval at Lincoln in that final. This year’s final is proposed to be played on the test match venue of Hagley Oval which will be a real incentive to all the teams. We will be taking one game at a time and we will respect all the opposition.
It is great that NZC values this tournament as it provides the school girls the opportunity to play at the highest level at excellent facilities over 3 days.
Recently we were privileged to be the first ever women’s team to be invited to play at The Willows in Loburn, North Canterbury. We played a re-run of last year’s Venus Cup final against Christchurch Girls High School in a 40 over match. It was great to have legends of the game in New Zealand, Sir Richard Hadlee, Amy Sattherthwaite and Lea Tahuhu in attendance and everyone enjoyed the festive occasion.
Gillette Venus Cup tournament information:
Tournament information and draw (once added) is here: www.nzc.nz/community/tournaments-and-hawke-cup/gillette-venus-cup
Venus Gillette Cup – last 10 winners:
2018 St Hilda's Collegiate
2017 Epsom Girls Grammar School
2016 St Hilda's Collegiate
2015 Tawa College
2014 Tawa College
2013 Havelock North High School
2012 Havelock North High School
2011 Christchurch Girls’ High School
2010 Christchurch Girls’ High School
2009 Wellington Girls College
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