A dogged fifth-wicket partnership of 62 between Ben Cant and Hamish Siegert was enough to save All Saints College Bathurst’s innings with the bat in the final of the Wiburd Shield on Tuesday.
But, unfortunately for the Bathurst school gunning for back-to-back crowns in the NSW Country and City Schools Cricket Association under-15 titles, it wasn’t enough to take home a win.
Kinross Wolaroi dominated the decider thanks to a relatively comfortable five-wicket win on home soil at Max Stewart Park, a victory built on tight fielding and attacking batting.
Still, All Saints coach Spencer Goddard said making the final – his side’s fourth in a row – is a remarkable feat for the school.
“It’s a great achievement,” Goddard said.
“There’s some strong schools competing in the Wiburd Shield and when you take on one of the strongest in Kinross, you have to play at your best.
“Unfortunately for us I don’t think we bowled as well as we’re capable of. Kinross came out and attacked early and although we took regular wickets, they got there with about 10 overs to spare.”
Winning the toss and batting first Siegert (23) joined Cant (34) at the crease with All Saints reeling at 4-8, but the pair progressed the score to a respectable 4-70 at a damp Max Stewart Park.
After the game-changing rear-guard action, both fell, but some late-order hitting from Jerry Ovenden (15) took the visitors’ total to 8-92 at the end of 40 overs.
In response, Kinross’ Hunter Rose went after the All Saints bowling attack, blasting 21 but, around him, the wickets tumbled.
The hosts lost Jack Pengilly (0), Ollie Hoskins (4), Rose and then skipper Alex Brien (15) to be precariously placed at 4-49, still requiring another 43 runs for a result.
Gun wicketkeeper-batsmen Phoebe Litchfield then steadied the ship with 26 not out to ensure her school was crowned Wiburd Shield champions for 2017.
Goddard said with both Orange and Bathurst schools represented in the final, Mitchell cricket was in a sound position.
“The coaching these kids are getting is helping a lot.”