The Armidale School and Sydney’s Shore School have come out as joint winners of the Independent Schools Cricket Festival, after Shore (6/173) defeated fellow Sydney school St Ignatius College Riverview (9/107) at TAS on Wednesday 20 January.
It is the second consecutive year the two schools shared the trophy, a cricket bat signed by the Western Australian team that won the 1991-92 Sheffield Shield competition and decorated with the plaques of winners since the inaugural tournament in 1993.
Queensland schools Downlands College from Toowoomba and Scots PGC, Warwick, rounded out the five-team festival, this year hosted by TAS.
The outcome reflects the even competition between TAS and Shore, who tied in their own match after a six from TAS’ Dominic Pilon off the last ball, yesterday morning. TAS was always going to find Shore the school to beat, the two teams being the co-premiers from last year’s festival in Sydney. The hosts won the toss and sent the Sydney visitors into bat, Shore tallying up 8/147 at the end of the 25th over. Whilst TAS openers Nicholas Farrar (43) and Day (41) put some numbers on the board, the run rate escalated away from the hosts after the 20th over, with chance of a victory slipping away and 10 runs required off the last two balls. A well-placed shot from Kieran Dennis delivered three runs leaving Pilon to face the final ball of the match.
TAS then met Downlands College Toowoomba yesterday afternoon, who had defeated Riverview in the morning. TAS batted first making 8/148, with Downlands finishing on 9/125. In the other afternoon fixture, Riverview defeated Scots PGC.
On Monday, TAS bettered St Ignatius College Riverview’s 105 (Euan Spiers 3/16, Pilon 2/8), making 2/107 in the 19th over. The hosts then played Scots PGC Warwick, racking up 8/197 in 25 overs including a solid 61 for Nick Day, with Scots 4/138 at the close. Shore also won both its Monday matches against the Queensland schools, meaning it was down to the Shore v Riverview game to determine if TAS had won outright, or again shared the honours with Shore. In the other match this morning, Downlands (7/150) were too good for Scots PGC (10/91).
“The highlight of the festival for us was definitely when Dominic hit the six, but just as importantly has been the way the team has developed over the week,” captain Ben Moffatt said.
“We lost six boys from Year 12 and our youngest player is just going into Year 9, so it’s extra exciting to have regained the trophy which reflects the efforts of the boys. This festival is the highlight of the season for us, being a schoolboy competition with evenly matched teams.”
A presentation dinner will be held at TAS tonight, with a non-competition 50-over match between TAS and Shore being held at TAS’ Cricket Oval tomorrow.