North Otago Year 7/8 will be one of 14 teams competing at the 52nd South Island Primary Schools Cricket Tournament at Horton Park in Blenheim from Monday to Friday next week.
The South Island Primary School Tournament has been a breeding ground for some of New Zealand’s finest cricketing talent with the likes of Stephen Fleming, Chris Harris, Craig McMillan, Hamish Rutherford and many more featuring in their youth.
The teams will hope for fine conditions after dismal weather brought a premature end to last year’s competition at Queen’s Park in Invercargill.
North Otago will head in to the event in good form following a 15-run victory over Dunedin Gold at King George Park in their last outing on December 14.
The performance was much improved on the 116 run loss to Otago Country Year 7/8 at Molyneux Park in Alexandra one week earlier.
Team manager Blair Camplin believes the strong camaraderie among the players should give the young team an advantage.
“If they get their heads in the right spot they’ll do well,” he said.
“They’ve got all the skills in the world and I think there’s something unique about this team, they have a good bond with each other and I think that’ll carry them through.”
North Otago will lock horns with Christchurch Red in their opening fixture on Monday followed by Otago Country on Tuesday, Canterbury Country on Wednesday, West Coast on Thursday and Buller on Friday.
By James Ford
PHOTO: Back row: Connor Lough, Liam Neilson, Ted Tempero, Mason James, Joshua Fraser, Peter Cameron, Tom Dempster, Toby Johnson.