Eastern Cape challenge falters in nationals, Hudson and St Andrew's lose

Hudson Park lost to St Stithians this morning.
Hudson Park lost to St Stithians this morning.
Image: Ross Roche

The Eastern Cape challenge at the Coca-Cola Schools National finals in Pretoria continued to stumble along on Saturday morning as Coastal Focus School reps Hudson Park and Warriors champs St Andrew's College both lost their third match of the weekend.

Hudson were no match for unbeaten juggernaut St Stithians, who are the Lions representatives, while St Andrew's put up a bit of a fight but in the end went down by four wickets against Titans champs Waterkloof.

These were the final group stage matches of the finals, and means that both teams finish bottom of their respective pools.

In the match against St Stithians, Hudson fielded first and despite limiting the Johannesburg sides scoring in the first 12 overs, the lack of wickets allowed them to open up in the last eight overs to power to a strong 170/3.

An unbeaten 64 from Cameron Rowe and then contributions from Liam Mostert (35), Jodi de Sousa (29) and Liam McCarthy (27no) made sure that their team would post a daunting score.

Hudson's exciting young spinning talent Akhona Ratyana bowled superbly to pick up all three wickets and finished with top figures of 3/24 off his four overs.

The Hudson chase was then a poor one again as their batsmen struggled and for the second time in this competition were unable to get past a hundred runs.

James Troon showed some promise in hitting a 27-ball 32 that featured two boundaries and a six.

Blake Diederiks (15) and Odunuga Damilola (16) were the only other Hudson batsmen to reach double figures, while there were four ducks in the innings as they reached 99/8 at the end of their 20 to lose by 71 runs.

In the St Andrew's match they batted first and scored a competitive 128/7 at the end of their 20 overs.

Opener James Mullins scored a solid 54 at the top of the order, while Callum Francis (22) and Guy Rushmere (20) also contributed to the total.

However it was not enough in the end as Waterkloof batted at a decent rate and despite losing six wickets were able to ease over the line with 15 balls to spare.

Liyama Dotwana with 2/19 and Malcolm Macgregor with 2/35 were the pick of the St Andrew's bowlers.

This afternoon will now see cross pool matches and Hudson Park will take on Inland Focus School Queens High, while St Andrew's front up against defending champs and their namesake St Andrew's School Bloemfontein.