CENTURIES for the team captain and vice captain and three wins from five were among the highlights for The Armidale School’s First XI at the annual Independent Schools’ Cricket Festival last week (15-19 January), this year held at Downlands College, Toowoomba.
The round robin competition brought together fine young cricketers from TAS, Downlands, Sydney schools Shore and St Ignatius College Riverview; Ambrose Treacy College from Brisbane and Rockhampton Grammar School.
On day one, TAS skipper Nicholas Farrar scored an outstanding 161 not out against Shore in a thrilling encounter. TAS notched up a credible 286 off 50 overs against Shore’s 347, with Cotter Litchfield (4/38 off 10) the pick of the bowlers for TAS.
There was more team success the next day against Rockhampton Grammar. TAS batted first and scored 4/266 off 50 overs, including 113 not out to opening batsman and vice captain Henry Smith. RGS responded with 8/170, giving TAS the win.
Next up it was Riverview, who won the toss and were all out for 144 after 46 overs. It was to be a nail-biting finish, with TAS needing just a single run on the final ball of the last over – secured by Sam Marshall and Liam Smith who brought home the win for TAS, 9/145.
Fortunes were reversed on the fourth day of competition, when hosts Downlands were all out for 203 off 48 overs. After an early batting collapse from TAS, the New Englanders regained form to take it to 9-179, with Henry Smith knocking up his second century of the tournament in the second last over, having been at the crease since the start of the innings. With 11 runs required to win, the visitors valiantly gave their all but ended up on 202, delivering the hosts the game by one run.
On the final day of play TAS faced Ambrose Treacy College in a 40-over game, with TAS scoring 145 with two wickets to spare before ATC managed 88 runs off 34 overs in reply. Nick Farrar, Henry Smith and Kieran Dennis named in the composite Festival team comprising the top 13 players of the festival; the overall winner was Shore who was well ahead on points.
“Overall it was a fantastic week had by the TAS First XI with some standout batting performances,” coach Cameron Patrick said. “The squad was continually congratulated on the attitude and approach to the game and should be proud of what was achieved. We are looking forward to continuing this form into the rest of the season. “