Aquinas College have won the 2018 Northern Districts T20 knockout competition with a 15 run win over St Peter’s.
Aquinas came into the final with a semi final victory against Hillcrest High while St Peter’s had defeated St John’s to book their place.
Sent into bat on a low and slow pitch, Aquinas College openers Carson Wills and Fergus Lellman were made to work hard for their runs. Tight bowling and a wet outfield made scoring difficult. However, by the eighth over we were well positioned at 64/0.
Lellman was the first to go, at the end of the 9th over with well complied 37 off 39 balls. Carson batted through to the 12th over before being caught for 39.
At 123 for 4 with just under four overs remaining the foundation was set for a competitive score. But St Peter’s fought back with some excellent field and tight bowling, reducing Aquinas total to a disappointing 129/9. The loss of 5 wickets for 5 runs in 20 balls ensured our lower scored card looked like a binary code for Microsoft and had let St Peter’s back into the game.
Resuming after lunch, St Peter’s had the momentum and came out firing in the opening 6 over power play. Surprising to some, the sunny Hamilton weather had dried the pitch and quickened the outfield. St Peters top order, of Montgomery, Cresswell and Houston, made the most of the perfect conditions, punishing anything short. By the forth over St Peters were 37/1 and seemingly in control of the contest.
Captain Carson Wills decision to bring on Darcey Hoskin with his military mediums, and spin king Finn Dempsey, turned the game for Aquinas. The pair combined for 7 superb overs which reduced St Peters to 80/6 by the 14th over. Dempsey finished with 15/2 off his 4 overs and Hoskin 20/1.
From here Aquinas continued to apply pressure and with a mounting run rate two sharp run outs showed the intensity Aquinas were field with. In the end St Peter’s were 7 down and found themselves 15 runs short.
The victory highlights the progression this team has made over the last few years. Three years ago they finished third in this competition, last year they endured a heartbreaking last ball loss to Pukekohe High School and this year the team managed to go one step further and claim the trophy.