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The First XI cricket team recently returned from the annual Neil Dansie Cricket Festival, hosted in Melbourne by Camberwell Grammar School. It was an enjoyable experience for the boys, who fell just short of making the final after mixed results over the week.

We lined up against Knox Grammar from Sydney on the first day, and St Peter’s College made 182 from the 50 overs in drizzly conditions at a picturesque Marcellin College. Alex R was the standout with the bat, scoring an anchoring 58. Chasing a modest but defendable score, the Knox opener came out swinging to put them in the box seat in the chase, but to our team’s credit they fought back, with Lachlan P bowling an excellent spell of 4/30. The match came down to the wire, with Knox sneaking over the line with only two wickets in hand.

We saw some great success on the second day, again batting first against the hosts, Camberwell Grammar, on their home deck. Arham H and Louis G opened the batting and put on a great partnership, with Arham making 64 and Louis a fantastic 147, losing a number of balls in the process. Will M anchored the innings beautifully to make 81, and we closed our innings on a massive 6/422 from 50 overs. The players were switched on from the get go in the field, snaring two excellent runouts and we ran over Camberwell, who ended up all out for 86. William W bowled really well to snare 3/26.

We needed to win to make the final and got off to a great start, limiting Toowoomba Grammar to 190 all out. William W was again outstanding, claiming 4/34. The chase was always going to be a challenge, and it ended up coming down to the final over, where we needed one run with one wicket in hand. Unfortunately, a runout under pressure meant that we tied the match, thus missing out on the final by one run. Charlie A stood out in the run chase with a well-made 55.

The final day was a playoff for third place, and we batted well to post a strong 7/235. Alex R built an excellent 62, and Peter U made a great run-a-ball 49. We started with intensity in the field, but eventually the heat prevailed, and we were instructed to leave the field, ending the match early without a result.

A big highlight off the field included watching the Big Bash match between Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars, which First XI assistant coach Johan Botha was kind enough to find us tickets.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience for the team, and I am sure that the team will learn a lot from the close matches. A massive thank you to First XI coach Tom McNeil and assistant Nick Hunter for all of their preparation with the team leading up to the even, and their huge efforts throughout the week.

Jeremy Borgas, Senior School Teacher