John Paul College's Year 9 and 10 cricket team have beaten Aquinas College in the final to be crowned 2018 Baywide Junior Secondary School T20 Blast champions.
Coach Crispian Stewart said JPC batted first "on a good wicket but a slow outfield" at Alice Johnson Park in Papamoa on Wednesday.
"We were well placed to push on to a large target at 80/1 after 12 overs, however we lost our way in the latter overs and ended up all out in the 20th over for 114," Stewart said.
Cohen Stewart (32) and Viren Patel (24) put on a 62-run second-wicket partnership to set up an aggressive finish, which did not eventuate.
However, 114 was defendable and the Veitch twins, Angus and Matthew, combined at the top of the bowling order to have the local batsmen struggling at 25/3 after 10 overs. Aquinas batted out the overs to be 83/6, giving JPC a 31-run win.
Earlier in the tournament JPC earned their place in the final by finishing top of Pool B. In pool play they beat Whakatane High School by a comfortable eight wickets, before being pushed all the way by the JPC invitational team on the way to a 15-run win.
Stewart said the way the side was pushed by the invitational side was a good wake-up call ahead of the final.
"We would like to acknowledge Bay of Plenty Cricket for organising the tournament, umpires and, in particular, accepting a second team from JPC. These boys really appreciated the experience and acquitted themselves well finishing a creditable fourth in the competition.
"Also, a huge thank you to the Rotorua Cricket Association for allowing us access on to Smallbone Park for our first-round games. Definitely the pick of the venues to play junior cricket. Our visitors, Whakatane High School, were very appreciative.
"We will lose three Year 10 players for this competition next year but we still have five Year 9 players this year eligible for next season and it won't be a given that they are selected given their peers and younger talent coming through."