St John’s College First XI champions again 

The St John’s College First XI has completed a very successful 2015 by taking out the Waikato Secondary Schools Division 1 title in a tense final against Hillcrest High School. After play was abandoned on Saturday without a ball being bowled the players arrived on Sunday morning ready to do battle. St John’s captain Alex Clare won the toss and invited Hillcrest to bat on a slightly damp artificial wicket. Nick Farrell and Liam Coombes-Fabling started well with the new ball and it was clear that St John’s had started the game in the ascendency. Farrell picked up three wickets in his opening spell including both dangerous openers and consistently looked threatening. Despite the Hillcrest middle order digging in and frustrating the St John’s attack, regular wickets were picked up including three fantastic run outs. Coombes-Fabling then returned to clear up the tail – Hillcrest were all out for 110 and St John’s had one hand on the title.

The Hillcrest opening bowlers started in a similar vein to those of St John’s and wickets begun to fall at reasonably regular intervals. At 50 for 4 and with Clare, Farrell, Connor O’Neill and Matthew Cooper back in the pavilion, St John’s knew they were up against it. Marcel Koning showed some fantastic patience and application in compiling 28 runs to lift St John’s out of trouble and towards victory. When Koning departed it was left to Coombes-Fabling and Nick Fitzgerald to see the boys home. 27 not out (including a huge six over mid-wicket) from Coombes-Fabling got St John’s over the line with three wickets, and nearly ten overs, in hand. 111 for 7 and heading home with the Term 4 trophy.

Congratulations go to all of the boys involved in 2015 and especially to Shaun O’Neill, Chris Farrell, Steve Fitzgerald and all of the other parents for their support of the boys this year.

- Mr Andrew Sykes, Teacher in Charge of Cricket

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