Central Districts Under 15 Girls Tournament, Palmerston North, Tuesday 18th to Thursday 20th 2015.
A long, hard day in the Palmerston North wind for the Wairarapa U/15 Girls.
The first up game was versus defending champions Taranaki, and Kate Sims clean bowling their opener first ball of the tournament unfortunately was not a precursor of things to come. Taranaki went on to amass 121/6 off their 20 overs, with Kate Sims taking 1 for 11 off 4 overs, Amy Fitzgerald 2 for 17 off 3 overs and Annabel McKenzie 1 for 8 off 2. In reply Wairarapa collapsed to 15/5 off only 5 overs, with the combination of the lower to middle order seeing them through to 66 all out in the 20th over (Olivia Roseingrave top-scoring with 7*). Not a great start against a team Wairarapa had been more than competitive against in a pre-tournament warm-up.
The second game saw the Girls playing Nelson, with a resolve to bat better and for longer. Unfortunately 2 wickets inside the first 3 balls put them on the back foot straight away. Annissa Greenlees led the way with 17, but the fall of her wicket saw another mini collapse. In a precarious position at 50/7 at the end of 10 overs, Olivia Roseingrave (9*) and young Elizabeth Cohr (8*) then combined for an unbroken 36 run stand for the 8th wicket to help amass a competitive 86/7. In reply Nelson were never troubled, reaching the target for the loss of 1 wicket in the 19th over, Georgia Atkinson bowling well taking 1 for 4 off her 3 overs.
The only solace from the first day was that Taranaki had thrashed Wellington in their next game, and Nelson had pumelled Manawatu by ten wickets in their first.
What became apparent on the second day was that Wairarapa had played the best two teams on the first day, and not done themselves justice with their performances. On another extremely windy day in Palmerston North, Wairarapa met Hawkes Bay in the morning. On a slow pitch, Wairarapa struggled through to 60/7 off their 20 overs, with Georgia Atkinson making a fantastic 27*. The girls had a noted lift in intensity in the field (as sometimes happens when defending a low total) and made Hawkes Bay work for every run. All bowlers kept tight lines and were backed up by excellent ground fielding and catching. The match went all the way to the last ball, with Hawkes Bay 7 wickets down and requiring a quick single to claim the win, which they unfortunately managed to pinch. Annissa Greenlees, 2 for 8 off 4 overs, Amy Fitzgerald 2 for 8 off 2 overs, Kate Sims, 1 for 6 off 4 and Georgia Atkinson and Olivia Roseingrave (who both returned figures of 1 for 12 off 4) shared the wickets.
That was to be the last loss for Wairarapa at the tournament.
In the afternoon the team turned in the best bowling and fielding display witnessed for many a year by a Wairarapa Girls side. This match was versus Wellington U/15s, who had previously comprehensively beaten Hawkes Bay. Wellington batted first and were dismissed for 56 off only 14.3 overs. Again the wickets were shared amongst all the bowlers: Annissa Greenlees 4 overs 4 for 11, Olivia Roseingrave 4 overs 2 for 14, Kate Sims 1 for 12 off 2, Georgia Atkinson 1 for 8 off 2, Amy Fitzgerald 1 for 3 off 2, Annabel McKenzie 1-1 off 1.
In reply Gemma Sims led the way with 23, and captain Annabel McKenzie and Hannah Murdoch combined to see Wairarapa through to 58/5 and a fantastically deserved victory, one that showed the true calibre of the team.
The final round robin game for the tournament was vs Manawatu in the morning. Wairarapa batted first and finally showed what they were capable of with the bat, getting through to 104/2 off 20 overs. Meghan Matthews 24* and Annissa Greenlees 19 leading the way. In reply Wairarapa dropped their intensity slightly, and were hindered by a heavy shower affecting footing and control of the ball halfway through the innings. Manawatu were restricted to 95/7 with Georgia Atkinson 2-13 off 4, Olivia Roseingrave 1-11 off 4, Annissa Greenlees 1-16 off 4, Amy Fitzgerald 1-10 off 2, Annabel McKenzie 1-12 off 2, Charlee Metekingi 1-14 off 2 all again sharing the wickets.
Despite these two wins Wairarapa still ended up in the 5th vs 6th play-off due to tying with Hawkes Bay on points but losing to them off the last ball. The play-off draw saw them face Manawatu again in the afternoon.
Wairarapa were in control after 8 overs, with Manawatu 34/5 (at one stage 17/5) with Olivia Roseingrave taking 3 for 17 off 4 and Kate Sims 2 for 9 off 3. Unfortunately a torrential downpour hit causing the game to be abandoned.
This was a meritorious 5th placing (on points) with 2 wins and 3 losses (one extremely close) from the 5 completed games. The two teams Wairarapa played on the first day were the two finalists for the tournament. The Wairarapa Girls have represented their province with pride and illustrated the growing strength of the girls game within the region.
Annissa Greenlees (4th on overall MVP list for tournament) and Gemma Sims were both named as non-travelling reserves for the CD U/15 Girls side.
Annissa Greenlees and Olivia Roseingrave were the top wicket-takers for the team at the tournament with 8 each, and averages of 9 and 13 respectively. Annissa was also the top run-scorer with 47 runs followed by Gemma Sims with 38. All girls contributed to the team performance and special mention to Elizabeth Cohr, the youngest team member (year 7 at Opaki) who showed immense promise for the future.