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A wrap-up of Summer Tournament Week

Cricket

The Colts cricket team played St Patrick's Silverstream on the first day of the Junior National Championships.

The team performed well with both bat and ball, winning comfortably. Notable performances came from the Captain T. C. Jones with 54 with the bat, and 28 for 3 with the ball. P. Kharel was also strong with 59 not out with the bat. Today the team will play Napier Boys' High School, who also won their first game yesterday.

On the second day of the Junior Cricket Nationals, the Colts team played Napier Boys' High School. The team again performed strongly with both bat and ball.

Winning the toss and putting Napier into bat, they restricted the opposition to 152. The top order then reached the winning runs with close to 9 overs remaining and with the loss of only 1 wicket. Notable performances coming from opening batsmen R. Singh and P. Kharel, both with 60, and A. J. Palenski with 18 for 4 with the ball. Today they play Tauranga Boys College.

On Day 3 of the Junior Cricket Nationals, the Colts team played Tauranga Boys College. The team performed well with both bat and ball. The team lost the toss and were given the ball. They restricted and dismissed Tauranga for 102.

Given the team's solid performances on Monday and Tuesday, coaching staff adjusted the batting order to provide valuable time at the crease for other batsmen. This saw A. Weerasinghe take his chances and score 37 alongside opener R. Singh, who together took control of the match, winning with 17 overs to spare.

On the final day of the Junior Cricket Nationals, the Colts knew a win over Christ's College would guarantee National honours with five wins in as many days, with prior wins over St Patrick's College, Silverstream College, Tauranga Boys College, Napier Boys High School and John McGlashan College.

After a week of batting second, winning the toss gave the team a much-desired opportunity to bat first. This allowed more member of the team to show their ability lead again by P. Kharel with an impressive 68 to open the batting.

Strong contributions throughout the innings saw the team post 222 in their 40 overs. In response, Christ's College battled hard but three outstanding direct hit runouts in a row quickly put end to any real hope. Again, a classy win for the Colts, who have now been crowned National Champions.

Kharel after an impressive week with the bat was named player of the tournament and Captain Jones was player of the team.

Disc Ultimate

The Premier Disc Ultimate team recently defended its title at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships in Taupo, competing against a number of schools from around the North Island, and for the first time, a team from the South Island.

In pool play, the team comfortably defeated Onslow College (15-3), Pakuranga College (15-1)and St John's College from Hamilton (12-2), and then encountered Shirley Boys' High School in what was a challenging and exciting power-pool crossover. Despite their strong, physical play and determination to beat the defending champions, the Grammar side was able to hold the lead and take a comfortable 11-9 victory.

In the quarterfinals on the second day the team beat an athletic Tai Wananga team from Hamilton (13-7), before earning a sound 15-5 victory over Westlake Boys High School in the semi-final.

The team met Shirley Boys' High School for the second time in the final, and the team took some time to settle, finding themselves 4–1, but the experience of the team's senior players, including the captain J. Z. Lewis and H. M. Swinson, proved invaluable in securing a 10-7 win to claim the national championship for a fifth consecutive year.

Mountain Biking

The North Island Secondary Schools Mountain Biking Championships were held at Hunua Regional Park over three stages and the School entered nine competitors, with very few having competed at this level before. The best results were:

  • Form 4 student V. W. D. S. Flaws was sixth as an Under 15 rider
  • Form 3 student H. A. Barrow, Form 5 student F. N. Wilson and Form 6 student R. J. Pennington finished within the top 20 in their age groups.

The downhill took place on Tuesday at 440 Mountain Bike Park and the course included difficult trails with steep off camber sections. The School had three competitors, all in the Under 17 grade, with only Pennington having had prior race experience at the nationals, and finished a respectable 14th, and Form 5 student F. R. Rhodes-Macrae finished in 16th.

Rowing

Last week the School's Rowing squad competed at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, better known as the Aon Maadi Cup, at Lake Karapiro. This year due to COVID-19 alert levels impacting on earlier regattas, the National Championships were also used for the North Island Championships.

Over the six day regatta, the squad secured 15 A finals, which was a new record for the School. Making an A final places a crew in the Top 8 nationwide, an impressive feat in itself given 122 schools and 2,623 athletes were competing at this year's nationals. The Maadi Cup is the largest secondary schools sporting event in the southern hemisphere.

Of these crews, eight achieved medal placings which was again a new record for a Maadi Cup for Auckland Grammar School:

The following crews won silver:

  • The Under 18 Eight;
  • The Under 18 Novice Four;
  • The Under 18 Novice Eight;
  • The Under 16 Double; and
  • The Under 15 Octuple

These crews were first and won gold:

  • The Under 18 Four;
  • The Under 18 pair; and
  • The Under 15 Eight

Silver medal winners included the Under 18 Novice eight of E. J. Botha, S. H. Cosham, S. P. Geddes, F. L. Goodson, F. M. Mather, A. P. G. Redshaw, C. J. Stewart, C. J. D. Wallis, and coxswain C. S. Jamieson, who rowed exceptionally well. The Under 16 double of F. G. Hawkesby and M. W. Liggins used their power and experience to place second, the Under 15 octuple of H. D. S. Barrell, M. A. G. Galloway, J. A. Hawksbee, F. P. Houghton, S. N. R. Lyne, H. D. Mackenzie, A. J. Merrilees, L. W. Toner, and coxswain J. R. H. Brew, who raced an aggressive and fast paced rhythm leading for most of the race, but in the last 200 meters were passed by a fast finishing Hamilton Boys' High School crew and the Under 18 Novice Four of E. J. Botha, S. H. Cosham, S. P. Geddes, C. J. Stewart, and coxswain G. H. Higgins fought hard in what was one of the closest finishes of the finals and needed to wait for the photo finish to be awarded second.

On Friday morning, the Under 18 pair of C. J. Johnson and O. T. Welch started the first day of finals with a gold medal over Marlborough Boys' College. The crew executed their race plan and rowed a composed race which lead to them controlling from the front, leading to a dominant six second advantage. This result was made more impressive with the crew recording the second fastest Maadi time held by the 2013 Grammar crew and they may well have broken the record had they not slowed in the last quarter of the race to save their legs for the Under 18 Fours race later the same day.

In the early afternoon, the Under 15 Eight raced with confidence and led over the entire 2km course, to claim gold in another dominant performance. It was the first time in 18 years that another school other than Hamilton Boys' High School has claimed this title.

At the end of the day, the Under 18 Four competed for the Springbok Shield, it is one of the premier races and is the highlight of the Friday's racing. The shield is made of segments of woods from South Africa and was first rowed for in 1965. With plenty of confidence from the pairs race earlier in the day, the crew was eager to start strong and control the race from the front.

It was a tight race and both Saint Andrew's College and Christ's College fought hard to overtake the Grammar boat. In the end, due to a very strong finish from the crew, the Under 18 Four won the Springbok Shield. The last time Grammar held this national title and the shield was in 2011. This year's crew rowed the same boat and recorded the second fastest time on record for this event, just one second off the record.

The second Grammar four also qualified for the A final, but did not race the final to save their energy for the Eights race, which was a sacrifice they understood for the greater good.

On Saturday afternoon, over 8,000 spectators gathered on the banks of Lake Karapiro to watch the Under 18 Eight race, while many more watching via livestream. This is the premier event of the six days of racing and what many rowers aspire to compete in. The Maadi cup, is one of the oldest trophies starting back in 1947 from its origins from the river racing rivalry between New Zealand and Egyptian soldiers during World War II.

The Under 18 Eight started off well, but after 200m, Christ's College broke away from the pack and the crew found themselves in second position, very closely followed by Saint Andrew's College. Christ's College continued to grow their advantage and the Under 18 Eight fought hard to stay in second position.

Showing great power and rhythm, the Grammar crew maintained consistently fast pace and put a few meters on a strong Saint Andrew's crew in third place. In the last 500m of the race, Saint Andrew's crew continued to push the Grammar crew. Encouraged by a large group of Grammar supporters and the Augusta Army, The Under 18 Eight finished the race with a strong sprint and secured the silver medal, behind winners Christ's College. The Under 18 Eight were the only North Island school to make the podium.

It was an overall impressive year for the rowing squad under the guidance of Head Coach David Neuhaus and a group of 11 other coaches. The squad has had to battle lockdowns that lead to them missing critical on-water time in the boat while other parts of the country have continued to train. The squad overcame these huddles put in front of them showing courage and determination. This led to the school receiving the highest overall points tally and being the top boys school in the country in front of Hamilton Boys' High and St Bede's College.

With the season having concluded, the younger members of the squad look forward to returning next season and further honing their skills and speed, while for many of the departing Under-18 rowers, future opportunities in the sport outside school have arisen.

C. J. Johnson, O. T. Welch and Captain B. C. Shortt have been named as trialists for the New Zealand Under 19 Junior team, an outstanding achievement. Additionally, A. N. John, D. R. L. Rutherford-Levien and J. M. Woods have been named as trialists for the North Island Under 18 team, which will race the South Island team over the holidays.

Tennis

The Premier team played their first game against King's College, winning the fixture convincingly 3-0. Captain A. M. Shah and Form 6 student C. Lim had a significant influence on the matches.

The Premier Tennis team played our second team on day 2 of the National Championships. C. Lim was too strong for J. W. Hartner wining 6-3, 6-1. Z. S. Lerner quickly won the first set against P. S. Rathnayaka however, Rathnayaka showed resolve to win the second set and take the super tie-break.

In the afternoon they played Shirley Boys High School. Both teams won one singles match to ensure the doubles match would determine the result. Both sides struggled to hold serve, with Shirley Boys' winning the first set 7-5 then a closely fought second, to win the tie 2-1.

In the final round of fixtures, the Premier team played Hamilton Boys High School in a battle for second place in the Boys' Cup. C. Lim continued his imperious form by winning comfortably 6-0 6-4. Captain A. M. Shah was involved in a tussle with his singles opponent in a match that lasted almost two and a half hours. Despite saving five match points in the final set, he succumbed to a tough 2-6 7-5 6-4 loss.

This meant the doubles match would determine the result of the tie. Unfortunately, despite Shah and Z. S. Lerner showing resolve in taking the Hamilton Boys team to a second set tie-break, they succumbed to a 6-2 7-6 loss. This meant that Hamilton Boys won the tie 2-1, and the Premier team had to settle for a respectful - although somewhat disappointing - Bronze medal at the National Championships.

Volleyball

The Premier team moved into Division 2 at Nationals after losing to number 1 seed, Western Heights High School, in the morning.

Their pool includes Gisborne Boys High School, Kamo High School and Napier Boys High School. Late on Tuesday night they played Gisborne Boys fought well to be 20-20, but could not convert that into a win and lost 0-3.

Today they play Napier Boys High School and then Kamo High School. They will need to win both games to secure a place in a quarter final.

Yesterday, the Premier team had their final pool play games of Division 2. In their first game against Napier Boys High School, the team showed grit and determination to compete against a team with considerable experience, but lost each set 25-19.

In the evening they played Kamo High School. The Junior Cricket team were courtside to support the Premier team as they secured a sound victory 3 games to 1.

The Premier Volleyball team started the day by playing Takapuna Grammar School and secured a solid three set victory. This was followed by a late 9.30pm game against Nelson College. The teams traded the first two sets. Nelson pushed ahead in the third set and the the team played well in the fourth set to push the game onto the fifth set decider but lost 25-23. The team then played Aorere College and won 3-2 to finish in 11th place in Division 2.

Yachting

The School's Yachting team set out to retain the Auckland Cup at the South of the Bridge Regatta after last holding the trophy in 2019.

The first day presented the team with challenges that were decided on tight margins and strong leadership. Quick decisions proved to be the right ones at crucial times as the team closed the day without defeat and as a consequence were positioned at the top of the table.

The second day tested the team's patience and resolve due to light winds, but once racing started the team looked solid and built on the strong foundations laid the previous day. The team won 11 of their 12 races over the two days to comfortably win the Auckland Cup for 2021.

The team now looks forward to building on this success as they prepare for the National Championships during the Term 1 holidays.

Congratulations to the team: T. J. M. Cashmore, T. R. Howse, S. W. Kensington, R. J. Kensington, R. Shi, N. A. Winter, and Captain M. J. Alderson.

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