KHS Baggy Blues – 2020 NSWCHS Joint State Champions
Our boys cricket team have just secured their 4th state championship! When the state final against Turramurra High School (scheduled for March 24) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a sense of destiny that will forever be unfulfilled. As individuals and as a team, the KHS Baggy Blues were in serious form and were looking the goods for the state final and a possible crack at the Davidson Shield final the following day. However, with bigger issues at play in the world, it wasn’t to be and the official recognition from NSWCHS as joint state champions is just reward for a team who had been on wonderful run.
Comprehensive victories against Woolooware High School (featuring a Charlie Johnston century) and Sylvania High School (including a majestic 75 from Lachlan Johnson) early on the in the competition saw us meet Sydney Boys High School once against in the Sydney East Regional Final on November 11 last year. It was the third year in a row that the two teams had made it to this stage of the competition and we were desperate to come home with the bacon after losing the last two meetings in 2017 and 2018. It was a belter of a day at Hurstville Oval and it was truly a sight to behold to see the Kirrawee High School Baggy Blues strut their stuff on a First Class ground that has previously hosted NSW matches. The boys were well and truly up for the occasion and restricted a talented Sydney Boys’ batting line up to just 159. Wickets were shared around the team, with the fielding effort underscored by a sharp grab by wicketkeeper Jamie Weaver, diving one-handed to low to his right to dismiss one their star batsmen, and a run-out for the ages by Lachie Johnson to close out the innings. The total was chased down in clinical style, with Charlie Johnston again leading the way with the willow, scoring 67. Against a quality opposition in a showpiece occasion, it was Charlie’s best knock for the school and left the distinct feeling in the squad that bigger things were surely ahead as ‘Up Up the Kirra’ rung out from the Hurstville Oval changerooms.
As 2020 ticked over, the boys were clinical in road trip win over Camden High School before showing their true metal as individuals and as a squad with a team victory that will live long in the memory over Smiths Hill High School on March 2. Defending an underwhelming total of 131, captain Kieran Weatherall and vice-captain Hayden Neale led an absolute masterpiece in bowling changes, field placements and leading a never say die attitude that saw the Baggy Blues home by just 15 runs. Hayden himself was the star with the ball, picking up 6/32, but it was the intensity in the field and the not stop encouragement for each other that was clearly audible from the boundary line that did the job. It was a mentality of believing that “one wicket changes everything”. Even at the drinks break, Smiths Hill was looking comfortable at 4/99, needing just 32 more runs for victory with 6 wickets in hand and their two best batsmen at the crease. But it was Luke Lawless with a short but memorable bowling spell to break the partnership and start the rot that saw our opposition crumble, losing 6 for 17. The final wicket was taken off Nick Bush’s off-spin, demonstrating yet another skillset for our opening fast bowler, with a sharp catch taken by Blake Hernandez, our most prolific fielder throughout the campaign.
The following week, and having learned the lessons of complacency, the boys dominated Orange High School in the NSWCHS state semi-final. With contributions all down the order (Charlie Johnston 49, Kieran Weatherall 33*, Richard Nolan 33, Sam Mustow 28), KHS set an imposing total of 6/199 off their 40 overs. And then, in the field, they never gave Orange High School a sniff. If our bowlers weren’t taking wickets, they were bowling maidens. Our catches were held, Jamie Weaver took his 3 stumping chances, and Orange High School were bundled out for just 63 – 136 runs short of our total, securing our second largest win of the competition (just short of the 139 run win over Woolooware High School back in our first game) and our spot in the state final.
As fate would have it, it was our last game and the final appearance for our six Year 12 lads who have represented their school with distinction and thoroughly deserved to end their school cricket careers as State Champions:
- Kieran Weatherall (captain) – debuted in Year 7, 24 matches in total.
- Hayden Neale (vice-captain) – debuted in Year 8, 19 matches in total.
- Lachlan Johnson – debuted in Year 7, 29 matches in total (record).
- Nick Bush – debuted in Year 8, 17 matches in total.
- Richard Nolan – debuted in Year 9, 13 matches in total.
- Blake Hernandez – debuted in Year 10, 7 matches in total.
With Kieran, Hayden and Lachlan finishing up, it is the end of an era that has seen a number of cricketing brothers represent the KHS Baggy Blues and win it all. The Weatherall’s (Callum & Kieran), Neale’s (Mason and Hayden), Johnson’s (Mitch and Lachlan), Fallins’ (Dan and Angus), and Hess’ (Lachlan and Justin) have all been crucial to an extended run of success that has seen the school secure 4 state titles in 8 years, beginning with our first championship back in 2013 under the captaincy of Ben Williams. These families have been unwavering in their support of the Baggy Blues and Kirrawee High School in general, and they will be missed on the boundary line. But they leave behind a legacy and team culture that will live long in to the future. We hope they have enjoyed the ride and the moments that only cricket can produce as much as the coach has.
|Kieran Weatherall (captain)|
|Hayden Neale (vice-captain)|
|Mr Mark Mitchell (Coach)|
Leading Run Scorers:
Leading Wicket Takers:
|Charlie Johnston – 297 runs @ 59.40, HS: 101||Hayden Neale – 17 wickets @ 6.94, Best: 6/32|
|Lachlan Johnson – 168 runs @ 33.60, HS: 75||Kieran Weatherall – 9 wickets @ 13.67, Best: 4/23|
|Richard Nolan – 116 runs @ 19.33, HS: 34||Richard Nolan – 8 wickets @ 15, Best: 2/13|
|Corey Moors – 115 runs @ 19.17, HS: 40||Sam Mustow – 7 wickets @ 6.86, Best: 4/1|
|Sam Mustow – 113 runs @ 28.25, HS: 43||Nick Bush – 6 wickets @ 15.67, Best: 2/16|
|Jamie Weaver (wk) – 8 catches & 3 stumpings|
|Blake Hernandez – 5 catches|