Tough going but experience will be valuable
St Peter's School and Waikato Diocesan School for Girls have returned with some valuable experiences from their respective national finals, which wrapped up this week.
While neither side threatened to become national champions, some reasonable showings meant the teams were able to come away with their heads held high.
The boys' Gillette Cup competition at Lincoln was won by Christchurch Boys' High School, who beat two-time defending champions King's College in Monday's final round.
That duo and Palmerston North Boys' High School finished tied on points, with CBHS's superior net runs per wicket seeing them crowned champions.
St Peter's finished tied with the other two sides - Hutt Valley High and Otago Boys' High - but ahead on net runs per wicket.
On day one St Peter's were outclassed by CBHS by six wickets, then their clash with OBHS was rained out, before they were dealt to by seven wickets by King's.
In the penultimate round St Peter's registered a 66-run win against HVHS, which was set up by captain Tim Seifert's 118 off 131 balls.
Seifert made 54 on the last day but his side was beaten by three wickets by PNBHS.
Left-arm spinner Jono Whitley was instrumental for St Peter's and he finished as the tournament's leading wicket-taker, with 12.
His game-by-game figures were 3-39 off 6.4 overs, 1-23 off four, 4-54 off 10 and 4-33 off 10.
Meanwhile, Dio finished sixth of seven teams at the New Zealand Community Trust Girls' Finals Twenty20 tournament in Palmerston North, with one win, four losses and one no result.
Havelock North High won on net run rate from Palmerston North Girls' High after a remarkable performance in their final game where they scored 161-2 against New Plymouth Girls' High and then bowled them out for only 25.
Dio's first round match against St Hilda's Collegiate was rained off, then the next day they lost to HNHS by six wickets and PNGHS by 59 runs.
On Sunday morning Dio had a bye, then in the afternoon they beat NPGHS by five wickets, with Lily Crawford taking an impressive 5-13 off four overs.
The final day saw Dio belted by 76 runs by Wellington Girls' College, then defeated by nine runs by St Kentigern College, despite opener Kate Anderson's 78 off 61 balls, which included 14 fours.
Anderson was Dio's leading run-scorer at the tournament, with 177 from five knocks.
She was also her school's top wicket- taker, with seven.
- Berkley Normal Middle School will meet Marian Catholic School in the final of the Waikato intermediate 35-over competition this weekend.
Both sides had tense semifinal victories and their reward for coming through them. The decider is at Seddon Park on Saturday, starting at 10am.
At Discovery Park Marian dismissed Cambridge for just 82 runs in 34.1 overs, but struggled in reply, before reaching the target nine wickets down with four balls to spare.
St Peter's bowled Berkley out for 106 in 26 overs in their clash at Hamilton Boys' High School, and while Scott Law made 31 in reply, St Peter's were dismissed for 93 in 27.3 overs, with Ben Vincent taking 4-11.
In the bottom four playoffs Southwell beat Peachgrove by 10 runs and Matley Financial Services Old Boys defeated Fairfield by 12 runs.