Wanganui fall short in Under 11 cricket final

By Jared Smith,

After over three weeks of fun, sun, slog and skittles, Wanganui's Festival of Cricket finally pulled up stumps yesterday afternoon.

And the Wanganui Under 11 team did all but close out the party, beaten by two runs in a thrilling U11 final against Bay of Plenty 1.

Coming into the playoff game, Wanganui had won five straight 30-over matches on the back of a very strong bowling and fielding attack.

The majority of the Jason Clark-coached side also played as Wanganui in the Under 12 tournament the weekend before.

Clark said the highest score made against them was 126 the core of the team having been together for two seasons and showing the advantages of being well-drilled.

"Two years being in it for Under 11s, it's showing now [in the performance]."

Wanganui beat both Bay of Plenty teams, both Manawatu teams and the squad from Horowhenua/Kapiti before just stumbling in the final.

The bowlers proved their worth Adam Lennox took five wickets for seven runs against Horowhenua/Kapiti.

His five-for performance was arguably bettered by co-captain Levi Woolston, who snatched 5-10 against Manawatu White in the opening game, including the only hat trick of the entire festival.

"I was quite stunned actually," said Woolston, 11, of his three wickets in three balls.

He rattled the stumps twice while the third victim fell to a catch.

The spoils were shared further as Henry Deans with 10 dismissals was the top wicket taker of this tournament, while Joel Clark followed up the 14 scalps he took at U12 level with another eight victims in the U11s.

Deans took 2-12 from his six overs in the final against Bay of Plenty, who still played confidently to reach 109-4 in their innings.

In reply, Lennox made 42 not out, but it just wasn't enough as Wanganui finished stranded on 107-7.

Overall, festival organiser Dilan Raj said it has been a very successful 23 days.

"The new formats have been well accepted and the accommodation and meals at Wanganui Girls College has added another dimension to the cricketers returning next year."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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