Horowhenua College fell short when the Whanganui High School 1st X1 travelled to Palmerston North on Friday to defend their Ross Taylor Cup 20/20 competition title.
WHS faced Horowhenua College in the final after Horowhenua had won through from the morning game.
WHS batted first and after a measured start Cameron McIntosh kept up his rich vein of form by hitting 70 not out and carrying his bat through the innings. Jack Donaldson was an able support, contributing 19 runs, which allowed Whanganui to reach 131/5 after 20 overs.
While the senior players contributed with the bat, it was the junior players who made all the difference with the ball.
Horowhenua started their run chase aggressively, and although wickets were falling the run rate stayed on track.
Senior players McIntosh and Reece Hoobin made the early breakthrough with a wicket each, but the introduction of the younger bowlers turned the match in Whanganui's favour, with Blake Hoskin and Nathan Hoobin both snaring two wickets each and Ryan Donaldson contributing a tidy spell of three overs with one wicket for seven runs.
Horowhenua threw everything at the game but fell just short and in an enthralling finish ended up with 121/7 after their 20 overs. It was a fitting end to an excellent game and WHS became the first team to win the trophy in consecutive years.
During the presentation of the trophy from the Central Districts Cricket representative, WHS were praised for the way they played the game and for their sportsmanship toward the opposition throughout the game.
This was an excellent reflection on both the players and the head coach, Eric Head.