A thrilling hat-trick under pressure amid five wickets in the last six balls is an exhilarating way to claim a national championship!
Even better, Marton’s little Huntley School claimed the 2018 New Zealand national title for intermediate schoolboy cricket — the NZC National Primary School Cup trophy — undefeated, against big-name schools from the cities, and as the only unbeaten team.
Also impressive was that it was Huntley School’s fourth consecutive year representing CDCA at the nationals, and this time they went all the way.
After Auckland’s St Kentigern had won both their opening matches as well, and with Tauranga Intermediate and final round opponents Breen’s both capable of overtaking them if they lost, it was all on in the fifth and last round in Lincoln, after wet weather had unfortunately washed out rounds three and four the day before.
St Kentigern had entered the last morning in the box seat, equal on points with Huntley but with a massive net run rate advantage.
However, the Auckland lads went down to Wellington’s Raroa Normal — and that left Huntley just needing to win for the title.
They had set Breen’s a good chase of 160, however, with just 4.1 overs to go in the crunch T20, the Marton lads were up against it. Breen’s middle order was blasting away above the required run rate, with a 50-run stand for the fourth wicket having been posted off just 32 balls.
But the very next ball, with his final delivery of the over, allrounder Matthew Florence broke the threatening stand — and it set in motion a dramatic flurry of wickets that sealed the title.
Harry McVerry struck with all three of his first three deliveries of the next over to claim the hat-trick, then dotted down with his fourth delivery before striking again to win the match.
All five of his wickets were “bowled” and McVerry finished with a brilliant 5-10 off just 2.5 overs, which also swept him to the top of the wicket-takers for the national tourmanent with seven wickets.
Huntley opening batsman Matthew Hocquard was meanwhile the runaway top run-scorer at this year’s Cup with 243 runs from his three matches, including an unbeaten 72 off 59 balls to help set up the big total against Breen’s.
Hocquard had shared a 110-run opening stand with Florence in the final game, Florence reaching a half century off 49 balls.
A brilliant result for Huntley School, and a great reflection of all the hard work, training, belief and planning that has gone in behind the scenes from all involved.
Congratulations from all at Central Districts Cricket!
HUNTLEY’S ROAD TO THE TROPHY
Round One & Two: https://www.nzc.nz/news-items/2018-national-primary-school-cup
Round Five scorecard: https://scoring.nzc.nz/livescoring/match2819ea98-3db0-4670-a896-547208cce68d/scorecard.aspx
Points Table & leading players: https://www.nzc.nz/community/tournaments-and-hawke-cup/national-primary-school-cup-and-shield/points-tables-and-leaderboards
Article added: Wednesday 21 November 2018