Bay girls face struggle to retain T20 title

By, Gary Hamilton-Irvine

The Bay of Plenty Secondary Schoolgirls cricket team will be looking to defend their title at a provincial T20 competition in Rotorua.

Rotorua's Boord Park will be overrun by some of the best and brightest young female cricketers, with Northland, Counties Manukau, Hamilton, Waikato Valley, Bay of Plenty and Poverty Bay competing.

The Northern Districts Secondary Schoolgirls cricket tournament will begin tomorrow and finish on Tuesday.

Bay of Plenty coach Tai Bridgman-Raison said they had a young squad this year so it would be a tough ask to win back-to-back titles.

"A lot of the girls [who played last year] are away at an under-21s tournament. So we have a very young team this year."

However, he said it would be a great opportunity for those players to be exposed to a higher standard of cricket.

"We just want to go there and do our best. It really is just see how we go this year," Bridgman-Raison said.

He said it was a great opportunity to get noticed for women's provincial cricket also, with top players at the competition selected for a Northern Districts development squad.

The tournament will see teams playing two T20 matches tomorrow and Monday before the leading sides play a 30-over final on Tuesday.

Last season saw a cakewalk to victory for the Bay of Plenty Secondary Schoolgirls representatives.

In their opening games the Bay side swept aside the challenges of Waikato Valley and Counties Manukau, losing just two wickets on the way.

After beating Hamilton in the last round of pool play, they again met the Waikato side in the afternoon title decider and cruised to an easy win.

Only captain Piki Tai, Matata's Aledia Oliver, Amber Roberts and Katie Mountain return from last year's title-winning side to represent the Bay.


The line-up

The Bay of Plenty Secondary Schoolgirls cricket team:

Alida Olivier (Matata); Leigh Roderick, Angel Sefton, Summar Steele, Clare Roderick, Piki Tai (c), Taneika Uerata (all Te Puke); Simaima Ryland (Tauranga), Catherine Turnbull, Hanna Maloni (both Katikati); Mary Adams (Mount Maunganui), Katie Mountain (Ohauiti), Amber Roberts (Omokoroa).

- Rotorua Daily Post

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