Twenty20 Schools Cricket Competition

Winning Teams!

Richmond River High School, 2010 winners of the Matthew Phelps Shield
St John's College Woodlawn, winners of the 2010 Adam Gilchrist Shield
Winners of the Matthew Phelps Shield 2010, Richmond River High School (top) and winners of the Adam Gilchrist Shield 2010, St. John’s College, Woodlawn (above). 
Wednesday September 15 saw the curtain draw on a very successful schools cricket competition conducted by the Northern NSW Lord’s Taverners. The competition, in its third year, was taken on by the Taverners who saw synergies between the competition’s objectives and their own.
The Taverners were very successful in expanding the competition beyond its Lismore boundaries to take in the whole of the NSW Far North Coast region. 25 teams from 15 schools entered the Adam Gilchrist Shield and the Matthew Phelps Shield, totalling nearly 275 students from Northern NSW.
The Adam Gilchrist Shield is for years 9-10 school teams and the Matthew Phelps Shield for years 7-9. Teams can be mixed and as a result the competition had its first female participants with approximately six young girls joining the boys and having a go. The motto of Taverners is, "Giving the young and disadvantaged a sporting chance", and in a region where there is little competition for girls, this has been a good breakthrough.
For the first time schools from the Ballina, Byron, Brunswick and Tweed districts were involved along with Evans Head. Kingscliff High School were the stand out newcomers, with their teams making it to the semi-finals of both competitions. Xavier College, Ballina, also flew the flag for the Ballina district with their Matthew Phelps Shield team making it through to the semis.
The first and second rounds of the competitions were played on August 25 at venues in Casino, Lismore (2) and also in the Tweed. Casino hosted the largest venue at Queen Elizabeth Park involving four grounds. Being the short format of cricket two games were able to be played in a day. These rounds were round-robin format leaving one team from each venue to progress to the semi finals. The second round saw a tie in the Matthew Phelps Shield between Alstonville High School and St. John’s College, Woodlawn.
In the Adam Gilchrist Shield Lismore schools Trinity College and St. John’s College Woodlawn were lined up against St. Mary’s Casino and Kingscliff respectively. In the Matthew Phelps Shield it was again two Lismore schools in Richmond River and Trinity College again up against Kingscliff and Xavier respectively.
In the senior competition Woodlawn sneaked home by two runs against Kingscliff while St. Mary’s Casino disposed of Trinity. This set the stage for a Woodlawn versus St Mary’s final. In the junior competition Richmond River did the job over Kingscliff and Trinity defeated Xavier, leaving Richmond River to take on Trinity in the final.
Woodlawn showed great composure in chasing down the St. Mary’s total to take out the final of the Adam Gilchrist Shield, with Kingscliff picking up third place. Richmond River proved too strong for Trinity in the Matthew Phelps Shield winning it for the first time while Xavier College collected third place. Matthew Phelps is an old boy of Richmond River High School so it was a nice touch to the final to see them win it.
The competition was very successful and has grown into the largest single schools cricket competition on the NSW Far North Coast (possibly the entire North Coast) in just three short years. The features of the competition are getting two games of cricket in one day, local competition in the early rounds, the thrill and excitement of the Twenty20 format and the excitement of finals day. Everyone seemed to have a great time – students, teachers and officials included.
However, events such as this cannot happen without a lot of planning and organising and to this end the work done by the members of the Lord’s Taverners Northern NSW branch organising committee was outstanding. Neil Moreton did an outstanding job as the Competition Co-ordinator, whilst John Buttrum, Denis Byrne, Don Whitelaw, John Howard and Warren Phelps each played significant roles in ensuring the competition went ahead without a hitch. A genuine word of appreciation and gratitude must be extended to each of these gentlemen for their contributions.