Gus Borren . . . Rathkeale allrounder gets name on honours board with 113 against Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth. PHOTO/FILE
Tanner’s caught-and-bowled seals win for Rathkeale
George Tanner’s catch off his own bowling on the final ball of the day snatched a dramatic innings and 27-run victory for Rathkeale College in their traditional two-day cricket fixture against Wairarapa College.
The match, which ended on Monday, was heading for a draw with Wairarapa College seven wickets down and two overs to play.
Rathkeale captain John McKenzie and Tanner had other ideas though, grabbing the final three wickets in the last seven balls.
McKenzie trapped Caleb Anstis lbw on the fifth ball of the penultimate over. Tanner had Zac Vainu lbw off the third to last ball, then caught Bhulvhai Forward-Taua off his own bowling with the last ball.
Earlier, Rathkeale who hosted the fixture, had scored 230-8 declared, with Alfie McIntosh  and Jack Jonas  starring in an opening partnership of 111.
Medium pacer Gus Borren dominated with the ball, taking 5-10 off 11 overs as Wairarapa College were rolled for 81 in their first innings.
Only Oliver Bunny showed any resistance with a patient 44. Forced to follow-on, Wairarapa College showed more discipline but finally succumbed to the consistent Rathkeale bowling and aggressive field placings, with up to seven players around the bat. William Sargent was the best of their batsmen with 42.
The match wrapped up the two-day cricket programme for Rathkeale. The previous weekend, they suffered their first defeat in two-day cricket in three years, going down to a strong Lindisfarne College [Hastings] side.
The programme started with a high-scoring draw with Whanganui Collegiate. Batting first, Rathkeale posted 255-6 declared. McKenzie  and Jake Jonas  set a solid foundation before Jessie McIntyre  and Josh Matthews [29 not out] added icing to the cake.
Collegiate posted 331 to set up a match-winning opportunity. Ralph McLeod starred with the ball taking 5-79. In a stubborn rearguard action, Isaac Noble, who has just returned from a serious hip injury, impressed with an unbeaten 54 as Rathkeale held on for a hard-fought draw.
St Peter’s School made the long trek south from Cambridge, only to run into the Rathkeale juggernaut. Rathkeale posted 238 with solid contributions throughout the order, Jonas top scoring with 56.
St Peter’s batted well to get past the follow-on and post 178 but couldn’t cope with the guile of Ralph McLeod who spun a web, taking 6-70.
A quick-fire second innings of 135-5 declared set up the prospect of an unlikely victory, with Borren  and McIntosh  leading the charge. Despite the heroic efforts of McLeod taking 7-28, St Peters clung on at 68-9 to snatch a draw.
McLeod finished with the remarkable match figures of 13-98.
Next up Francis Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth, were soundly beaten by an innings in under a day- and-a-half.
Batting first, Francis Douglas posted 166. Rathkeale scored 317-9 declared in their reply, Borren claiming a place on the school honours board with a superb 113. There were solid contributions from Jonas , McIntosh  and Matthews . Francis Douglas capitulated for 75 in their second innings, the destroyer being Tanner with five wickets for two runs.
Yesterday, Rathkeale hosted Palmerston North Boys’ High School in the National Secondary Schools Gillette Cup tournament.
Rathkeale is representing Wairarapa, having beaten Wairarapa College by 285 runs in the previous round. PNBHS is widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s premier cricket schools and entered the match as hot favourites.