Ten Saint Andrew’s boys from Bloemfontein will represent the Free State in inter-provincial tournaments during the holidays in the under-19, under-17 and under-15 age groups. Saints, once again, has five players in the Coca-Cola Week team, more than any other school.
The side will be captained by Garnett Tarr, the Free State under-19 Cricketer of the Year, for the second year in succession.
Gerald Coetzee recently made his debut for the Free State men’s team against Northerns and captured 5 for 33. He’s bowling with real pace and will be a concern for any teams that face Free State in the Coca-Cola Week. At the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, he was named in the Team of the Tournament, and that occurred while he was battling an injury, which led to him undergoing ankle surgery.
Calvin Flanegan, the Free State under-17 Cricketer of the Year, has moved up from the under-17 team to the under-19 side. At the beginning of the year, he starred for the Knights Cubs team, which claimed the national title with five wins from five matches, despite not playing for the Free State under-19 side.
Other Saint Andrew’s boys in the Knights Cubs team were the captain Garnett Tarr, Ruan Cronjé and Pheko Moletsane. Gerald Coetzee was rested before the Cricket World Cup.
The team also included Saint Andrew’s Old Boys Marx de Villiers and Dilivio Ridgard, who is now playing for the Free State amateur team. De Villiers is in Australia, on contract with a club playing in the Victoria Premier League. The Knights Cubs’ coach was Free State Coach of the Year Gregg Hobson, the Director of Cricket at Saint Andrew’s.
Ruan Cronjé and Pheko Moletsane are in the Free State under-19 team for a second year in a row. Both were invited to South African under-17 and under-19 national camps this year. In 2017, Moletsane was selected for the South African Schools Colts side.
Opening batsman Corné Viljoen, who has succeeded Garnett Tarr as captain of the Saint Andrew’s 1st XI, is in the under-17 team. He enjoyed a very good start to the new season with the bat in the fourth term as Saints continued on their winnings ways despite being without their three outstanding matric stars: Garnett Tarr, Gerald Coetzee and Calvin Flanegan.
According to the SA School Sport website, the top five 1st teams in the country are Hilton College, Rondebosch, KES, Grey High School and Grey College. Saint Andrew’s has beaten all of those teams in the past year, including Rondebosch and Grey College twice each. Only Hilton and Grey High managed wins against Saints.
The Saint Andrew’s 1st XI, which was named School Team of the Year by the Free State Department of Sport, Art, Culture and Recreation, is one of three schools in the running to be named the School Team of the Year at the SA Sports Awards, which take place in Bloemfontein on 11 November.
Four Saint Andrew’s boys are in the Free State under-15 team: Connor Norman, Sello Sesing, Phillip Schoeman and Jayden Davids. The latter two already have 1st team experience and were part of the side that claimed the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge national title.