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Day belongs to five-wicket star Grogan

CRICKET by Ben O’Brien-Leaf

Yes, Craig Christophers took 6-16 and Grant Walsh 4-12

But Saturday belonged to Rhys Grogan.

The Campion first 11’s Year 10 opening bowler took 5-24 from six overs in a nine-run win to the College against Jeff Chambers’ Bollywood Stars High School Old Boys Presidents. Grogan’s haul included a hat-trick.

Game-day captain Chambers, a gentleman cricketer, allowed Campion to bat or bowl without a toss. Campion skipper Liam Spring chose to bat, the College put up 131-9 in 30 overs and spearhead Grogan then bowled the all-student team to their first Hope Cup victory of the season.

Campion coach Mark Naden values the total package in sportspeople.

“Rhys is 14 and listens well,” Naden said. “He is good with guys younger than himself.

“We love his attitude, and the fact that he’s a team man.

“The exciting thing is that he’s still got three more years at school to develop his skills even further.”

Neither Rawhiti Legal OBR chief Christophers nor Civil Project Solutions Ngatapa Green Cap Grant Walsh would begrudge Campion’s MVP (most valuable player) in Week 4 his first-ever five-wicket bag, but Chambers — the third man out in Grogan’s hat-trick — may well shake his head in near-disbelief.

“The end of that game was exciting, but a nightmare for us,” Chambers said.

“We wanted to be the nice guys — didn’t show Campion enough respect. We bowled over 40 percent of their total in wides and no-balls; they bowled close to perfect line and length. Fair play to them, they did all the basics right.”

Spring put on 39 at the top of Campion’s batting order with wicketkeeper Daniel Baillie.

Spring had a good view of what unfolded: “Rhys was unreal and the fielding from our young boys was outstanding. I’m proud of each and every one of them.”

In tall right-armer Grogan’s third over, HSOB were reduced from 12 without loss to 14 for 3. Using outswing and seam-movement, he bowled No.1 Anil Kumar (9) first-up, courtesy of a bottom edge back on to his stumps.

Poverty Bay Cricket chairman Isaac Hughes then had his furniture rattled, and umpire James Raroa gave Chambers out, leg before wicket, to complete the hat-trick.

Grogan took the wicket of Kumar’s opening partner, Yegan Lanka (5), lbw, and then bowled No.5 Marius Weyers for a duck to account for all five of Presidents’ top-order batsmen.

Seamer Taye McGuinness (2-22) had No.11 Nick Armour (2) slice a drive-shot to Year 9 student Connor Starck at backward point to win the game with one ball remaining in the 24th over.

Grogan, the grandson of former Poverty Bay Riverbend junior tournament coach Pat Grogan, was modest about his success.

“We were very happy to get that last wicket to win against last year’s Hope Cup champions HSOB,” said the third-year first 11 player, whose best bowling return before Saturday’s boilover had been 4-5 at Riverbend five years ago.

“For me personally, that was the best I’ve ever bowled. I was confident in my rhythm and it was smooth.

“It all just felt right.”