Huntley School successfully defended their title for the fourth consecutive year at the Pak n' Save Intermediate Cup last weekend.

Day 1 was hosted by Wanganui Collegiate while Day 2 was back at Victoria Park.

Cricket Wanganui manager Dilan Raj said the main purpose of the tournament is development of middle school cricket and also to find a winner to be the local representative at the Central Districts finals next week, from which the CD winner will go to the nationals in Christchurch this December.

The two-day Intermediate Cup tournament had Combined Intermediates (Westmere, Fordell and Hunterville) join St George's, Huntley and Whanganui Intermediate in a round-robin Twenty20 format, culminating in finals on Sunday afternoon.


"The primary outcome of the weekend was to provide a four game environment for our young cricketers to develop their skills over a block period," Raj said.

"Basically, we had four weeks of cricket rolled into two days."

Huntley's development is unprecedented as they have gone on to win the Central Districts tournament three times, while they came third in the country at the 2017 nationals.

Raj said each team improved over their four games with Huntley and Whanganui Intermediate reaching the finals.

"All teams improved despite one or two hiccups due to the long days – but that's how you learn and get better."

Meanwhile, Matthew Hocquard had an outstanding two days, winning the Pak n' Save and Cricket Express vouchers as MVP of the tournament, having led the batting and bowling statistics.

Most improved players nominated by their coaches received a sponsor's gift hamper.

They were Henry Blackley (Huntley), James Hardy (WIS), Jimmy Lithgow (St George's) and Hayden Laurie (Combined Intermediate).

Monty Sherriff (Huntley) claimed the batting award and Awanui Rice-Edwards the bowling award.

The coaches Anton Buys, Andrew Osmond, Jason Rees and Steve Meredith were recognised for their contribution to their teams as well as cricket in general by sponsor's vouchers.

"With a number of Year 7's in this year's tournament, next year should be of a similar standard, with an increase in junior hardball and Kiwi Cricket numbers," said Raj.

"Cricket is becoming popular again as parents start realising the value of our No1 summer sport in developing young minds and modelling good social behaviour through hard work, discipline, leadership, team work and resilience.

"Played over a full day also teaches patience - one of life's most important virtues."

Drawn prizes of a sponsor's hamper and custom-made bat from The Bat Company were won by Charlotte Stent and Tim O'Leary respectively.