St Kevin’s College makes a welcome return to the Borton Cup final tomorrow.
The Oamaru secondary school’s first XI has only won the Borton Cup once – on March 27, 1999, beating Union by 16 runs.
It will try to repeat history tomorrow, facing Union once again in the final.
About six years ago, St Kevin’s dropped out of the senior competition, joining forces with the Oamaru Cricket Club and playing in the senior reserve grade.
But last season, the school branched back out on its own in the Borton Cup competition – and has climbed through the ranks to cement its place as one of the teams to beat.
St Kevin’s 82-run win over Waitaki Boys’ High School in last weekend’s semifinal puts it in a good position heading into a tough battle against Union tomorrow.
Player-coach Craig Smith said the team was really excited to make the final.
He was proud of the school’s semifinal performance.
“Winning a semifinal isn’t something that comes around too often,” Smith said.
A spot in the semifinals was a goal the team set at the start of the 2020-21 season.
“Anything can happen when you get into the play-off situation.”
Cricket at St Kevin’s had flourished in the past couple of years thanks to a core group of players who had been in the first XI since year 9.
The finals position was a tribute to the hard work of those players, Smith said.
“We’re lucky with the group of kids that have come through – they’ve been good, keen cricketers and that’s probably the main thing.
“The boys have stuck at it, and we always knew that if we could stick together as a team we’d be there or there abouts in terms of semifinals.
“Making the semifinals first was pleasing, then winning it was great, and it would be nice to put in a good showing at the final as well.”
Union vice-captain Blake James said he was expecting a big game against St Kevin’s.
“It’s going to be a tough match against them. They’ll come out firing,” James said.
Union would look to its batsmen to produce a big total, and to its bowlers to come in and back that performance up, to defend the Borton Cup.
The final will be played at Centennial Park Oval at 12.30am tomorrow.