A high school kilikiti coach says a referee ended a tournament match early after mistakenly believing a sideline horn was the official game hooter - and claims it may have cost his team the competition.
De La Salle College coach Ben Swann told the Herald yesterday the school's junior team "relinquished their 2007 title" because of the mix up at the Auckland junior tournament on Friday - but organiser College Sport was adamant the issue was resolved at the time and said no further protest had been lodged.
Kilikiti - also known as Pacific Island cricket - is growing in popularity in Auckland schools.
The Auckland junior competition attracted 38 boys and girls teams of 20 players each from 24 schools.
Mr Swann said De La Salle College's junior boys team won last year and had beaten Auckland Grammar and Papatoetoe High School earlier in the tournament.
He said the team was deeply disappointed by the premature end to their third match of the day and had trained for eight weeks in preparation. "They were crying on the sideline and I had to console them," he said.
College Sport sport manager Lara Collins said the game between De La Salle College and Sacred Heart College stopped about five minutes early. "They said they stopped because they heard a hooter but we hadn't sounded the hooter," she said.
Sacred Heart College principal Jim Dale said he was unaware of any problem at the match.
Kelston Boys High won the junior boys A-grade competition, while Kelston Girls College won the junior girls A-grade.