Weston team to nationals

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Weston School’s high­flying cricketers are ready for the big show. The school’s cricket team heads to Lincoln next week to represent the Otago­Southland region at the New Zealand primary schoolgirls final. Six teams, representing the major associations, qualified for the intense three­day tournament that includes a straight round robin, meaning the girls have two days of doubleheaders (Thursday and Friday) followed by their final game on Saturday. It will be a big test for the Weston girls, but they are eager to make the most of a rare opportunity to appear on the national stage.  ‘‘I think they’re all really looking forward to it,’’ parent­coach Hamish Loe said. ‘‘They’re excited. It’sa bit of an unknown. We don’t really know anything about any of the other teams. ‘‘I’m sure we’ll be playing against teams who are all year 8 girls, whereas we’ve got three year 6s. ‘‘Hopefully our girls just go up there and do their best and have some fun. It’s a great opportunity for a school like Weston to play at a national tournament.’’ Loe, one of several ‘‘capable advisers’’ who will help coach the team at Lincoln, said the girls had benefited hugely from working with North Otago development coaches Derek Walker and Sam Bastin. Support from parents, sponsors and the wider community had been strong, and the girls had worked hard to raise funds for the tournament. They were proud to wear new Weston uniforms. Weston qualified for the tournament with a crushing 10­wicket win over Arrowtown School in the southern regional final in March. Some of the rising stars of Otago cricket are in the team, including fast bowling all­rounder and captain Molly Loe, opening batsman Alice Petrie, wicketkeeper­batsman River Cunningham, opening bowler Brylee Milmine, and all­rounder Elisha Carter.
Weston plays Raroa Intermediate (Wellington) and Havelock North Intermediate (Central Districts) on Thursday, Heaton Normal Intermediate (Canterbury) and Tauranga Intermediate (Northern Districts) on Friday, and Viscount School (Auckland) on Saturday.