The opening weekend for Whanganui and districts junior cricket threw up some interesting results with several performances auguring well for the future of the game.
In Hunterville, the Hunterville Hitmen beat the Rangitikei Rebels. Batting first Hunterville and made their way to 140 (Riley Sommerville 23, Andrew George 0/3). Rangitikei fell just short on 110 in an even contest where Peter George scored 23, Andrew George 21 and Ollie Bunn bowled 3/17.
At Springvale Park in the Year 7 and 8 grade, Combined Intermediate won the toss and chose to bat. St Georges bowled a good, tight line and length and the fielding was outstanding which helped restrict the Combined teams total to 93.
Campbell McKerras played an intelligent innings of 26 while Jimmy Lithgow was best of the bowlers for St Georges with 2 for 3. St Georges got off to a reasonable start at 40-2 before Wanganui rep player Saul Abernathy ripped into them with a blistering spell of 3-7.
St Georges needed 31 to win with the last pair at the crease. Kyle Mason held firm and got the team within six runs before losing his wicket. Mason was the St Georges player of the day in an exciting opening to the new season.
In the Year 5 and 6 grade Westmere combined took on a well coached and disciplined St Georges team. Sent in to bat first, despite first game nerves St Georges made 66 for 6 after tight bowling from Maggie Pearce. In reply Westmere made 137 for 5, Maggie Pearce showing skill with the bat to get 26 not out and claim player of the day award.
At Collegiate the Ray White Wanganui Year 7 rep team played a spirited Wanganui Collegiate Development side.
Batting first Collegiate were restricted to 96 from their 28 overs with some excellent shot making from Luka Durning and Lachlan Tait. The Year 7 team, all from Huntley School, bowled tightly with Harry McVerry claiming early wickets and Toby Craig extracting real turn from the wicket.
In reply the Year 7 boys set about a chase and despite a couple of early wickets and some excellent fielding from the development team, Lachlan Johnson (32) and Henry Blackley (31) combined for a steady partnership. The chase was finished off by Matthew Hocquard (39 no) and Toby Craig showing all round skills with 19no. Player of the Day was debutant Toby Craig,