For the first time, St Peter's School will represent Northern Districts at the Gillette Cup national schools' final tournament.
After impressive recent wins over Tauranga Boys' College and Hamilton Boys' High School, St Peter's were crowned Northern Districts champions - the first co-educational school to achieve the feat since Matamata College in 1990.
In the semifinal of the Gillette Cup playoff away to Tauranga last month, St Peter's won a tight, low-scoring contest.
After dismissing the hosts for 108 in the 37th over, thanks to top bowling from left-arm spinner Jono Whitley (4-25), St Peter's then struggled in their chase until a rearguard action from Whitley (30 not out from 81 balls) helped the visitors to a two-wicket victory.
That earned St Peter's a crack at Hamilton Boys' High School in the Gillette Cup playoff decider at their home venue in Cambridge.
The visitors won the toss and chose to field, with their opening bowlers hitting good lines and lengths and being rewarded with regular wickets.
However, St Peter's captain Tim Seifert, batting at No 4, played a brilliant innings, showing great control and patience to finish unbeaten on 108 off 120 balls.
Ben Schilt hit an explosive 56 off 51 balls as the home side made 227-6 from their 50 overs.
HBHS's chase started solidly, but tight bowling and good fielding sparked a steady procession of dismissals.
Jonty Keaney (47) and Nick O'Sullivan (30) came together for a threatening 58-run partnership for the seventh wicket but the run rate began to climb and HBHS eventually fell 44 runs short.
Whitley was again the pick of the bowlers with 3-31 off 10 overs.
St Peter's join five other teams at the Gillette Cup, which is held at Lincoln early next month.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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