• Montrose night challenge kicks off

    The biggest primary schools T20 tournament began last Friday, writes THEO GARRUN.

    The biggest primary schools T20 tournament in Joburg – the Montrose Night Challenge – got off to a wet start last Friday.

    The tournament is played over seven weeks as a day-night competition, with 16 open teams divided into four pools, and the four pool winners going through to semi-finals with the final on 8 March.

    An innovative arrangement for this tournament sees the first innings completed first of all four games played on a day , followed by the second innings later on. This allows all the teams the opportunity to experience playing under lights, and it keeps the interest of the supporters and parents up throughout the entire day.

    The concept was the brainchild of Jono Leaf-Wright, one of CSA’s youth scouts, who coached cricket at the school, and CSA’s manager of youth cricket, Niels Momberg, who was a parent at the school when it began.

    Leaf-Wright, who is still the tournament organiser, explains that the idea was to provide something different for the players and to heighten their interest in the game.

    ‘We believe that this is an enriching experience for them. Playing under such different conditions will give them something to stand them in good stead in the years to come,’ he said.

    The very top Joburg primary schools do not play in the competition, although there is a lot of interest from them to be included. This is in line with the philosophy of encouraging schools and players to remain involved in the game. Among the schools who do participate are those where the game is at risk, and Central Gauteng development teams in the form of an Alex Schools XI and Kent Park Taverners Lions side are included.

    The event doubles up as a netball tournament involving 28 U11 and open teams.

    The first day of action last Friday had to be called off during the opening ceremony when a massive thunderstorm struck Sandton. The first innings of the four scheduled games were completed and the second knocks will take place next Thursday. The other eight schools will be in action on Friday.

    Participating Schools

    Pool 1
    Crawford Sandton
    Alex Schools XI

    Pool 2
    Crawford Fourways

    Pool 3
    Crawford Lonehill

    Pool 4
    KPT Lions

    Next Friday’s fixtures
    Beaulieu vs Bryandale
    Rivonia vs Crawford Fourways
    Alex Schools vs Crawford Sandton
    Crawford Lonehill vs Dianfern.

    Previous tournament winners
    2007 – Bryandale
    2008 – Bryandale
    2009 – Bryandale
    2010 – Montrose
    2011 – Bryanston
    2012 – Montrose
    2013 – Rivonia
    2014 – Montrose
    2015 – Rivonia
    2016 – Bryneven
    2017 – KPT Lions
    2018 – Crawford Sandton

    January 25
    Grayston vs Rivonia
    Kyalami vs Crawford S
    HeronBridge vs KPT Lions
    Redhill vs Montrose

    1 February
    Beaulieu vs Bryandale
    Rivonia vs Crawford F
    Alex Schools XI vs Crawford S
    Crawford L vs Dainfern

    Photo: Theo Garrun

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    Theo Garrun