Struggling SBHS to stay in top senior comp

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012

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Southland Boys' High School cricket coach Chris Neylon says his team will stick it out in Southland's senior club competition despite concerns as to whether they are up to standard.

During the past two weekends the sole school team in the senior competition were bowled out by Metro for just 35 and then 53 by Invercargill-Old Boys on Saturday.

Saturday's entire game lasted 40 overs as Invercargill-Old Boys needed only 13 overs to chase down the target.

Questions have been raised as to whether the school team would be better off playing in the second-tier Combined Country grade to try to gain some much-needed confidence for their batting.

Neylon, however, said yesterday that they feel the best place for school team is in the senior competition. He said the First XI was made up of mainly year-10 and 11 pupils, and they were in a rebuilding phase, which has happened in the past.

They had also lost a lot of playing ability with Hamish O'Brien, Henry Burns, Caleb Mitchell and Jacob Duffy moving on from playing cricket at the school.

Neylon said it would take a season or two to get the current group of players up to playing at the standard set at senior club level.

Former first-class player and teacher at Southland Boys' High School Craig Smith has returned from overseas and will help out again by playing.

Neylon himself will also continue to play for the XI, and he will try to convince another senior cricketer to turn out for the school.

Southland Cricket Association general manager Ian Mockford was reluctant to step in as far as suggesting what Southland Boys' High School should do. It was up to the school to put the systems in place and decide what was best for their player development, he said.

He did wonder if playing in the Combined Country competition could be a better option but wouldn't force a move on the school.

Mockford believed Waikoikoi, who play in the Combined Country competition, would be more than competitive in senior cricket.

He would prefer that Waikoikoi stepped up to the top club competition, but said it was up the club to decide where they wanted to play.

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- The Southland Times

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