It would be easy to look at the results of the Anndion Lodge Whanganui Girls cricket team from the Cricket Express Festival of Cricket and think they were disappointing.

The girls opened their campaign with a 35-run loss against Wellington on January 2 and ended it on Sunday when Horowhenua Kapiti chased down their 79/9 in 15.4 overs.

In-between they lost to Manawatū, Hawke's Bay and Nelson, but despite not tasting victory, Cricket Whanganui general manager Dilan Raj said it didn't stop them smiling.

"They played 360 overs over four days and that's huge," Raj said.


"There were still some playing backyard cricket afterwards, that really showed their enjoyment and camaraderie."

Hawke's Bay took out the tournament beating Nelson by 89 runs in the final at Victoria Park on Sunday.

Leading the way for the Bay was Cate Pedersen who finished on 100 not out and Molly Fothergill was the star with the ball, taking three wickets at 1.5 runs an over.

The star of the tournament for Whanganui was 13-year-old Charlotte Stent who finished third on the MVP leaderboard and was named as an all-rounder in the dream team.

"Watching her on the field, she was really aware of what she was doing, she helps the captain quite a bit and sets the field as well," Raj said.

"It's a good growing experience for someone like her."

Raj is already drawing parallels between Stent and a certain Whanganui-born White Fern.

"When you model it on the way that Jess Watkin followed her pathway, it's very similar.

"Jess was one of the more dominant players in our under-18 side," he said.

"Our under-18 never won a game, but we were always competitive. They enjoyed what they were doing, they carried on playing and that's a real key for us."

Watkin was in town mentoring all of the players throughout the tournament when she wasn't busy with her White Ferns and Central Hinds commitments.

She was set to play for the Hinds against the Otago Sparks at the University of Otago Oval on Sunday, but the match was abandoned due to rain.

More often than not Stent finds herself having to play against the boys, so the festival provided her with a good opportunity to gauge her skill level against the girls.

She will have the opportunity to do so some more when the girls Wednesday league starts up in term one, in which Raj expects all schools will be represented.

He said that this years festival had been a big success.

"The festival has given the girls a bit more of an impetus, a bit more motivation, drive and realisation.

"We had hundreds of parents staying over those four days which made the vibe quite nice.

"It's such a cool feeling when everyone says thank you and tells you about how much they enjoyed it."

He thanked the Whanganui District Council, Tasman Tanning and Ray White for their sponsorship and is looking forward to players arriving next week for the national under-15 girls' tournament.