New Plymouth Boys' High win national cricket title
A dominant last day has seen New Plymouth Boys' High School crowned national under-15 cricket champions. Heading into the last day's play in Palmerston North unbeaten along with Hamilton Boys' High School, New Plymouth virtually sealed the title by lunchtime after they thumped St Bede's College (Christchurch) by 10 wickets.
That left Hamilton needing a massive win over Auckland Grammar to pip New Plymouth for the title on net run rate. It was something that proved too far for Hamilton as they ended up losing to Grammar.
"It's just awesome," New Plymouth coach Ben West said. "The boys really deserved it and proved they were worthy winners because they were the only side to go unbeaten." West believed it was the only national cricket title the school has won.
Bowling first against St Bede's, New Plymouth took early wickets and kept the pressure on as they rolled their opposition for just 45.
Jason McGrath was the best of the bowlers, taking 6-22, while Jack Parker chimed in with 2-10.
New Plymouth then made a mockery of the target, hitting the winning runs in just 6.1 overs as Sebastian Lauderdale-Smith raced through to 24 not out.
West thought there were a number of factors behind the win, including the side's spin attack of McGrath, Liam Carr, Ethan Dower and Lauderdale-Smith.
"Our fielding was better than any other side, as well, we took some crucial catches."