A young Palmerston North Boys' High School team fell at the last hurdle of the Super 8 tournament at Manawaroa Park yesterday.
Boys' High suffered a heavy nine-wicket loss in the final to Hamilton Boys' High School yesterday, the first loss for the inexperienced team.
With 11 new First XI members this year, Boys' High beat Tauranga Boys' College by 64 runs, Napier Boys' High School by six wickets and Hastings Boys' High School by six runs in pool play.
Perennial Gillette Cup competitors, Boys' High should have done better in their performance against Hamilton, who are coached by former Black Cap Chris Kuggeleijn.
"I think they're gutted," Boys' High captain Corey Perrett said. "After our batting we kind of knew that it was over.
"We hadn't given up hope, but we knew the ball was in their court."
Perrett, 16, is one of the new players in the team but was given the captaincy while Arana Noema-Barnett is away at a New Zealand under-19 training camp.
They are two of only four year 13 students in the team, with Jack Leenards and Daniel Moore the others.
"A pretty positive week I guess," Perrett said. "There's lot of new players in the team and everyone stepped up and got the results we required."
Perrett said the coaches told them it was the best start to a year they had seen, so now they had set the benchmark, they knew what they had to do for the rest of the year.
Boys' High batted first and with the conditions helping the Hamilton bowlers early in the day, the hosts crashed to 127 all out in the 48th over, as Hamilton's opening bowler Matthew Wallbank took five for 34.
Hayden Spencer produced the only real score of note for Boys' High with 44, with Leenards the next best with 18.
Leenards' contribution was a handy one, considering he played in the LawnMaster Classic golf tournament in the morning before cricket, having teed off at 7.30am, shooting a 6-over par 78, before being a late arrival for the cricket team.
Hamilton Boys' High didn't muck around as the pitch flattened out when they were batting, reaching 128 with only one wicket down in just 22.2 overs, with Shaun McCarthy on 75 not out and Mitchell East 45 not out.
Moore was the only bowler to make a dent as he knocked over Elliot Santner for a duck.
In another match the Boys' High 2nd XI lost to Tauranga Boys' College by four wickets.
PNBHS 127 (Hayden Spencer 44) lost to Hamilton BHS 128-1 (S MCarthy 75no) by nine wickets.
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