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The Saints First XI cricket team travelled to Knox Grammar, Sydney in January, to take part in the annual Neil Dansie Cricket Festival.

On day one, Saints played Toowoomba Grammar from Queensland. St Peter’s College lost the toss and were sent into bat on a slow and sticky wicket. Saints lost early wickets, however contributions from William Quigley-Smith (Year 12) 24, Jett May (Year 12) 22 and some late hitting from William Warwick (Year 12) 26 pushed the total up to a competitive 156 from our 50 overs. Chasing a modest but defendable score, Toowoomba had a steady start to the innings, James Howard (Year 11) pulled Saints back into the game with 3/19 from his 9 overs. Unfortunately our bowlers were not able to break through again, with Toowoomba passing our score in the 37th over.

Saints played Knox Grammar in Round 2. On a warm day and a flat pitch, we won the toss and elected to bat. Jett May (Year 12) got the Saints batting off to a quick start. Will Montgomery (Year 12) and Alex Roe (Year 12) continued the positive intent shown by our batters for the remainder of the innings with Will Montgomery 72 and Alex Roe 60 finishing our innings with a competitive total of 245 from our 50 overs. In reply Knox Grammar started slowly, with our opening bowlers building great pressure from both ends. James Howard was consistent again taking 2/35, and Hamish LePlastrier (Year 12) 2/24 bowled extremely well to bowl Knox out for 171.

Round 3 was a must win game for Saints to progress through to the final. Saints won the toss and again elected to bat in warm conditions for the third consecutive day. A change to the batting line up allowed Sam Warrick (Year 10) the opportunity to open the batting. He relished this chance, making a quick fire 38 and setting the platform for a very competitive score. Saints Captain William Montgomery controlled the batting innings making a superb 102 from (131) balls, helping saints reach 5-259 from the 50 overs. A young St Kevin’s team lost early wickets and fell quickly behind the run rate, with William Warrick being the pick of the bowlers, bowling outstandingly well for figures of 4/33. St Kevin’s middle order batted very well to consolidate the innings, but again due to some disciplined tight bowling Saints never let them in the game, finally closing out the batting innings and the game on 7/140. A solid performance from the boys, which placed them in the final against Toowoomba Grammar School.

The final against Toowoomba Grammar was an exciting challenge for our boys. Having been defeated in Round 1, the boys were confident that we had learnt our lessons and had plans in place to be able to compete against a strong Toowoomba outfit.

Toowoomba won the toss and elected to bat on what looked to be a flat wicket. Toowoomba got off to a solid start, building an opening partnership of 20 before the vital breakthrough, which came through Sam Warrick. Both Sam and Will Warrick bowled in tandem building pressure from both ends and creating opportunities for wickets. Toowoomba looked comfortable at 4/105 until the wickets started to tumble, with Will Warrick taking 2/24 and Sam Warrick bowling extremely well with figures of 3/12. The Toowoomba innings collapsed, losing 5-0 with three run-outs produced by Captain William Montgomery. Toowoomba finished their innings all out for 133.

In reply, the Saints batters were confident but knew they still had a job to do. Learning our lessons from Round 1, we changed our opening batters around which proved to be a positive move. Charlie Allan (Year 12) and Sam Warrick batted outstandingly well with great intent to get Saints off to a wonderful start with the score pushing along to 0-60 after 10 overs. Sam Warwick was the aggressor making 27 from 19 balls, eventually being dismissed after the first drinks break. Peter Unerkov (Year 11) and Charlie Allan then consolidated the innings, ticking the score over to put Saints in a solid position to win the game. Charlie Allan batted extremely well, showing his class and leadership, but unfortunately lost his wicket in the 21st over after making a well compiled 53 from 65 balls. Will Montgomery and Peter Unerkov steered the game home, with Unerkov making 43 not out to seal the win and the Neil Dansie Cricket Festival for 2019, ending on 2/135.

The boys had a wonderful week and learnt so much. Thank you to the coaches Mr Tom McNeil and Mr Jake Platen for looking after the boys so well. Thanks also to Mr Jeremy Borgas and the parent support group for all of your work that you have put into making this carnival a successful one. We look forward to planning for the Festival at Saints in 2020.

Stewart Smith
Director of Cricket