By Gary Caffell

St Mary’s School from Carterton have won the Central Districts finals of the New Zealand Cricket Primary Girls Shield competition and will head to the national finals in Christchurch in November.

The wins secured by St Mary’s in the CD knockout series played under the Twenty20 format were all convincing.

The run to the nationals started with a 71-run win over near neighbours Masterton Intermediate, then followed Palmerston North Intermediate Normal by nine wickets in the semi-finals and Taradale by nine wickets in the final.

Taradale scored a relatively healthy 86 off their 20 overs in the decider before St Mary’s chased the runs down for the loss of just the one wicket.

Emma McLeod followed up a half-century earlier in the day with an unbeaten 48 and also showed her all-round skills by taking two wickets in her four overs.

Macy Lyford’s 18 not out was another valuable contribution.

Teacher-coach Brent Ballantyne was “really rapt” with his team’s effort but was quick to deflect any personal praise, saying it came through all the hard work being done to develop girls cricket in Wairarapa.

And he also paid tribute to his players, saying they all had done their part to produce a superb result.

Ballantyne said that St Mary’s were determined to fly the Wairarapa flag highly at the nationals.

“We think we can do well at that level too, and that’s the focus now.”

Meanwhile, Greytown and Lansdowne will be looking for a sharp reversal in fortunes when matches in Wairarapa Cricket’s Bidwill Cup competition continue this weekend.

Both teams were on the end of decent beatings the last occasion they met the teams they are playing this time round, Greytown by nine wickets against Hutt Academy and Lansdowne by 82 runs against Red Star.

While they will be playing in unfamiliar territory at the Hutt recreation ground on Sunday it is hard to imagine Greytown again producing a batting effort which saw them all out for 99, with no player making more than 20 and six of their batsmen failing to get past 5.

It’s a similar story for Lansdowne going into their match against Red Star at Queen Elizabeth Park oval in Masterton tomorrow.

They were routed for 99 by Red Star medium pacers Jared Watt and Dean van Deventer, who took four wickets apiece, a few weeks back and you can safely wager they will be desperate to set the record straight here.

Hutt Academy lead the competition table with 32pts with Red Star on 31 and Greytown and Lansdowne both on 23.