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After seasons of trying, Ashburton 17-year-old Kate Flanagan has finally made her first Canterbury softball team.
She’s been named in the Canterbury Under-18 team for next month’s nationals and is over the moon to finally have the opportunity to wear the red and black.
She hopes that a uniform with a silver fern on it might one day follow.
A pitcher, Flanagan has been playing softball for almost as long as she can remember, starting off playing t-ball before moving on to little league and then softball.
Although she lives in Ashburton, Flanagan now plies her trade in Christchurch, playing for the PCU club in the under-23 competition on a Monday night and then the under-18s and premier reserves on a Saturday.
Today she’s heading to Christchurch for the pre-Christmas final of the under-18 competition against Papanui before playing in a premier reserves double header.
It’s going to be a big day, but Flanagan’s ready for it.
She said this year she’s come to the realisation that if her only play is at trainings and games she will only stay at the same level, so she’s been putting in some extra pitching practice and it’s paying off.
She’s also learning a lot off her club coach, former White Sox player Suzy Truman – who also hails from Ashburton – and has hopes of one day following in her national footsteps.
From the national under-18 tournament New Zealand trialists will be named, and although this is her last year at under-18 level, Flanagan doesn’t know if that’s a realistic goal.
“I’m not sure if it’s my aim this year.
“I’m definitely looking at it next year, but now I just want to be seen,” Flanagan said.
Pitcher is a key role in a softball team but Flanagan takes it all in her stride.
“I find there’s more pressure at first or second than at pitcher, but then you think about it, it’s not probably accurate because there is a lot of pressure at pitcher,” Flanagan said.
“When it’s a full house, that’s probably the most stressed you get, but I’ve just got to work out what’s not working and get three balls.”
Flanagan has made Canterbury development teams a couple of times, but for the past two seasons has missed out on the Canterbury Under-17 side.
She still went to the nationals though, two years ago playing for Gisborne and last year playing for Southland, and this year she had Waikato in her sights if Canterbury hadn’t worked out.
“This year I trialled and probably went in with the mentality that I wasn’t going to make it and I was thinking if I was going to be on the pick-up list I was going to play for Waikato,” Flanagan said.
She will still take to the diamond for Waikato this season too, when she lines up for Waikato at the under-23 nationals, also being played next month.
Flanagan said the 14 players who will represent Canterbury at the under-18s, under the tutelage of new coach Richard Allison, are capable of bringing it home.
“I think we are going to be pretty close. We’ve got a range of players with different strengths and I think together it’s going to be ideal,” Flanagan said.
“We’ve got a few really strong hitters and some really good short play hitters, and a lot of good infielders – there’s a lot that dive a lot and that’s just crazy to me.
“But I think our outfield is going to be our strongest asset.”
Flanagan said the three pitchers in the side all have different strengths.
One is quick, one is steady, and Flanagan has some mean spin options and she hopes they’ll do the trick.
“Because it’s not fun having home runs hit off you,” Flanagan said.
The under-23 nationals are being held in Lower Hutt from January 3, and the under-18 nationals will follow in the Waikato later in the month.
By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 17 December 2018
Tessa Inwood, the recent winner of the NBS sponsored AshColl Alumni scholarship, is immensely grateful for the $1,000 prize money which she intends to put towards her first year residential Hall costs.
Tessa, who has been the ‘after-school girl’ at Leech and Partners, Chartered Accountants for the past 6 years only decided which direction to take during this past school year. Her Accounting teacher for the past 3 years, Mrs Bedward, obviously inspired her to a possible career involving figures. Tessa will attend Lincoln College in 2019 studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting.
Before this decision, Tessa kept her options wide open. Her favourite subjects at College were English, Drama, Chemistry and latterly Accounting. She also loved a wide range of creative activities learning the violin, was a member of the choir, took Jazz dancing lessons and revelled in Lip Sync and as many College musical functions as she could. This year football was another of Tessa’s activities to fit into her very busy schedule!
Tessa was enthusiastic about the opportunities presented to her at the College, especially in the realm of leadership. In Year 12 she participated in Peer Support and in Year 13 was selected to attend Leadership Camp. From there, she was voted onto the Student Executive which she enjoyed tremendously.
The Alumni wish Tessa all the best for her future studies.
Mid Canterbury’s under-17 cricketers have produced a mixed bag of results this week at their Canterbury regional under-17 tournament in Christchurch.
Day one of the tournament was a tough one for the young Mid Canterbury side, losing both of their opening games.
Playing in a 20/20 format on the opening day, Mid Canterbury’s bowlers stood out and put them in good a position, but they weren’t able to chase down the runs in both games.
They played Christchurch Metro Red in game one and restricted them to 129/4 with Harry McMillan taking 1/13 off his four overs and Archie Redfern taking 2/31.
Openers Isaac Bazley and Devon Flannery started Mid Canterbury’s reply well and at the fall of the first wicket at 32 off 5 overs Mid Canterbury were well set up, but they couldn’t keep the momentum up and ended up 94/9 from the 20 overs.
Flannery top scored with 26 and Angus Jemmett added 18.
In game two against the fancied Canterbury Country, Mid Canterbury’s bowling unit did well to have them 41/3 after the first 10 overs, but a few missed chances in the field let them get away to 122/6.
Standouts with the ball, were Tom Middleton 2/15 and Will Copeland 2/13.
It was a gettable target, but Mid Canterbury never really got in the race. Bazley once again led from the front with 22 and was assisted by Thom Graham with 19, as Mid Canterbury ended up at 71/8.
Day two was much improved though, with Mid Canterbury taking on Buller and scoring a massive 209/7 off their 20 overs, before bowling the Buller boys out for 61.
A wet start to the day meant the 50-over game was reduced down to a 40 over a side match, and after winning the toss and electing to bat, Mid Canterbury performed well with only one batsman failing to make double figures.
Archie Redfern put together a superb captain’s knock of 52 with some hard hitting at the back end, and was supported by Bazley (19), Graham (24), Flannery (30), Tom Middleton (16), Aiden Bennett (22) and Tim Hartford (12).
The partnership at the end of Bennett and Hartford of 36 in quick time finished off Mid Canterbury’s innings well and set a formidable target for Buller to chase.
Buller’s batting started strongly and at 32/2 Mid Canterbury had a fight on their hands.
But then it became impossible to take the ball away from Jemmett and he ripped through the Buller middle order to take 20/5.
Copeland was also near-unplayable taking 3/9, while Liam Sullivan chimed in to take a crucial wicket and Middleton took a spectacular outfield catch.
Mid Canterbury were due to take on Christchurch Metro Black in a 50-over contest on Wednesday but play was washed out, and yesterday they played South Canterbury.
Today is the final day of the tournament.
© The Ashburton Guardian - 14 December 2018