The South Canterbury year five and six junior cricket team are forging a fine winning streak.
Following their unbeaten run at their annual Canterbury Districts tournament in Mandeville last week, which they won for the first time, the team is now on a 10-game unbeaten run.
They have been on a victory spree beating a number of Canterbury teams, Canterbury Country and Dunedin Metro sides, all provinces considered to be stronger than South Canterbury and with more playing numbers.
Coach Haden Powell said it was a great effort by the team.
“The boys played really well. They honestly did awesome.
“Winning the tournament was such a good feeling for them.”
To win the tournament the team knocked over three Canterbury teams with ease, while their match against Buller was rained off with South Canterbury well in control.
Game one saw them keep CJCA Fleming to just 113, with Jackson Smith and George Powell picking up three wickets each.
South Canterbury scored 213-8 to secure a comfortable six wicket win with Oliver Linton smashing 52.
Game two saw them face Buller, who they had restricted to 53-7 before the rain came.
Next up was CJCA Hadlee and they made 145, with Jed McKerrow getting three wickets.
Some strong batting saw South Canterbury through to 203-7 with Linton hitting 28, Jordan Sew Hoy 34, Eli Kerse 36 and Kade MacMillan 20.
Their final match was against CJCA McMillan, who they also defeated.
Jackson Smith starred with four wickets as they rolled Canterbury for 96, in reply South Canterbury made 134-6 with Sew Hoy hitting 50.
South Canterbury ended on 41 points, two ahead of Mid Canterbury in second on 39.
He labelled Sew Hoy, Linton, Smith and Powell as the most consistent players for the team throughout the season.
“Jordan and Oliver scored 50s at the tournament and they batted superbly, while Jackson took loads of wickets and George bowled really well.”
The team had been together for just over a year and Powell said it had been great seeing them transform from when they first came together as a team.
“We used to have to help set the field for them, now Henry the captain is doing it by himself and the guys are getting in a huddle after a wicket and talking about different things, it’s great to see.”
Joining Powell as coaches were Kevin Kerse, who took charge of the batting and Jason Sew Hoy, who looked after the bowlers.
Powell said the most pleasing aspect about the side winning the tournament was everyone stood up at different times.
“I can’t name a time when no one has shone.
“The best thing about this team is that it has been different people starring each game and we just haven’t been relying on the same people.”
He said they had no expectation of winning every game.
“We were honestly just looking at taking it game by game and seeing what would happen.”
They took 12 away to tournament but had another three or four players back in Timaru easily capable of making the team.
“It was tough. We didn’t like making the decisions on who to leave to out, but we had to. We wondered if we had made the right decision at times.
The best thing about it though was that those boys were still part of the team, they made the others perform so they got picked and that’s helped with the team get to where it is.”
He wanted to thank all the parents, who had supported the team at the tournament.
“They were superb, they really bought into the team culture and helped with everything from running a barbecue for the boys to helping put marquees up and various other things.”
Powell hopes most of the side can stay together and that some of the players are selected for the Primary Schools Tournament team in 2018.