Hilton take T20 title

2015-02-10 00:00

HILTON College’s 1st cricket team came of age on Friday when they were crowned the province’s T20 champions after ­defeating Glenwood at the Chatsworth Oval.

The annual schools’ T20 competition sees teams from Inland and Coastal playing each other, culminating in the champions from each region meeting in the grand final to determine who represents the province, as the Dolphins, at the Schools’ Twenty20 Nationals in Stellenbosch from February 20 to 22.

Glenwood earned their place in the ­final as the Coastal champions after ­beating Kearsney by seven wickets and Hilton overcame traditional rivals ­Michaelhouse by eight wickets to wear the Inland champion’s crown.

Friday’s showdown saw Hilton sneak over the line by six runs in a low-scoring affair that was in the balance right to the end. It was third time lucky for Hilton having lost in the last two finals to ­Westville Boys’ High School.

Winning the toss, Hilton opted to set the target, reaching 103-4 on a tricky wicket where fluent run scoring was hard to come by. Julian Yeats continued his purple patch with the bat contributing 34, matched by fellow ace in the Hilton pack, Gavin Morris. Josh Henry toiled hard for Glenwood, his tight and controlled bowling bringing him 1-17 in his four overs.

Needing to bowl a tight line and length, giving nothing away in defending a gettable total, Hilton’s bowlers and fielders got into the zone and took on the task with purpose.

“Our total wasn’t that great on a slow pitch but we had the runs and they had to get them,” said Hilton coach Neil ­Johnson, the former Dolphins, Cobras and Zimbabwe cricketer. “I thought we were 20 runs short but the boys have that winning habit and believed in themselves when the chips were down.”

Wickets at regular intervals never allowed Glenwood to break free and exert their authority on the match, Hilton claiming the Durban outfit’s final wicket with the score on 97 for a six-run win.

“They needed 10 off the last over and the first ball was scooped for four,” said Johnson. “Then there were two run-outs and a catch thrown in and victory finally was ours.”

Glenwood’s Jordan Grobbelaar top scored with 23 and Ethan Bosch was ­Hilton’s top man with the ball, claiming 2-15 in four overs.

“We have a tremendous core of players and have enjoyed two good years. Morris, our captain, is a Grade 11 boy, as is Angus Curtis, our dynamic opening batsman from Zimbabwe and the quick man, ­Ethan Bosch, son of the late Tertius Bosch,” said Johnson.

Bosch was named best bowler and Morris was adjudged best batsman and man of the match.

Hilton now join five fellow provincial T20 champions representing their franchises at the national tournament in the Cape.

Director of cricket at Hilton, Shane Gafney, shared in the achievement saying: “It was a helluva game and it looked like Glenwood had it sewn up. The boys never gave up though until the final ball and as a team, we are now 21 games ­unbeaten in all formats [50 overs, T20 and time] of the game.”

For Johnson and his charges, it was something always within their grasp.

“We are ranked in the top five of CSA’s schoolboy teams and from the beginning of the season, we wanted this win and honour of representing the Dolphins at the national tournament,” he said.

“There weren’t many watching at Chatsworth on Friday, but the boys went ballistic when they won. It was as good as winning a final at Lord’s.”

Provincial T20 Final

Hilton 103-4 (Yeats 34, Morris 34; Henry 1-17)

Glenwood 97 (Grobbelaar 23; Bosch 2-15)

Hilton won by six runs.

Coastal Final

Kearsney 116-6 (Rencken 53*; Henry 2-20)

Glenwood 121-3 (Bossr 48*, Grobbelaar 32)

Glenwood won by 7 wickets.

Inland Final

Michaelhouse 83

Hilton 86-2

Hilton won by 8 wickets.

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