The Whanganui U17 Cricket team had a condensed 2019/20 season, with two pre-tournament games and one game against Taranaki cancelled due to weather.
The team was coached by Mark Godfrey and Vikum Sanjaya, captained by Harry Godfrey, and managed by Lisa Clark.
Preparation for this age group is always a challenge, as the team members were sitting NCEA exams at the end of the year. This did not hold them back as the core of the team had been playing representative cricket together for many years.
As it is the last year in the junior system for these young men, it is important to mention three lads who have given much time to representative cricket since they were 10 years old.
The coaches acknowledged Adam Lennox, Joel Clark and Harry Godfrey for their efforts and accomplishments over the previous years.
The season started with two warm-up games, one of which was against Horowhenua-Kāpiti where Whanganui were the victors beating the opponents by 7 wickets. Joel Clark was the pick of the bowlers with 3-13 off 10 overs with Shaun O'Leary 2-26 off 8. Batting performances shone with Sidh Ladd gaining 76 and Zane Munn 31.
The second game was against Manawatū. Batting first, Whanganui was 26-4, where Harry Godfrey and Logan Love shared in a 100-run partnership, Godfrey making 56 and Love 36. Manawatū proved too strong, getting our score and winning by 5 wickets.
The team headed into the U17 Central Districts competition in Hastings, where they were to play four games in four days.
First up they played Wairarapa with a win to Whanganui by 5 wickets. Clark again caused damage with his leg-spin bowling (3-20 off 4), O'Leary (2-42 off 6) and Lennox (2-26 off 6) also contributing.
Godfrey showed reliable hands in the field with three great catches. Ladd (39) and Logan Love (26) contributed well with the bat.
Nelson were next on the schedule and, unfortunately, victory was not going to head Whanganui's way with a 39-run defeat.
O'Leary (3-32 off 9) attacked well with pace with Lennox (2-33 off 7) in support. William Hocquard top-scored with 44 and Shaun O'Leary scoring 24.
"We were looking forward to the Manawatū game to avenge our pre-tournament loss but unfortunately the rain came and the game was abandoned," the coaches lamented.
Whanganui was now in the position to play for 5th and 6th and had to face-off with Horowhenua-Kāpiti. Whanganui won by 112 runs.
Lennox (41) and Hocquard (38) were solid with their batting performances to set a good target for Horowhenua-Kāpiti. Hunter Morrison came into his own and his pace bowling caused some major distress for the opponents with figures of 6-19 off 7.
Joel Clark was selected for the New Zealand Maori schoolboys team, while Harry Godfrey and Shaun O'Leary were selected for the Wellington Wanderers and William Hocquard for the Christchurch Willow team.
Season prize winners were:
Batting: William Hocquard
Bowling: Hunter Morrison
Most Improved: Zane Munn
MVP: Harry Godfrey