Interschools
WBHS vs TBHS 1st XI
Takaro Park, 16 October 1886.


WBHS 72 ( H. Wilson 37 ) & 76 ( J. Chisholm 25 )
TBHS 1st XI 80 ( ) & 29-7 ( )
Win to Timaru Boys by 8 runs in first innings.


WBHS school crest.

Waitaki Boys High School opened in 1883 to much fan-fare and publicity. Sport played a large part of the school environment as only three weeks after its opening there is records of a rugby team representing the school against the Oamaru District High School, the later recording a win by 'three-touch-downs to nil'. The cricket team first played in November against a combined District High School and North School team, however Waitaki's entry into cricket was like its rugby team marked by defeat, losing by an innings and three runs. In 1884 the Rector, John Harkness, presented a bat and ball to the best batting and bowling averages with both won by G Gifford, indeed there was a push for cricket to be made compulsory and more focus on improving players skill levels.

In first three years of the schools existence the first fifteen had played interschool's with Timaru Boys High School and the second fifteen of Otago Boys High School. Cricket wasn't far behind with two matches being organised against Timaru Boys High School in 1886.

According to 'A History of Waitaki Boys High School 1883-1958' by KC McDonald the schools first eleven of 1886 comprised of the following players:
T. H. Wilson (capt), J. Chishlom, H. O. Fenton, A. H. Fisher, G. H. Gifford, J. L. Hazlett, J. L. Gregg, W. J. Jones, J. McLaren, G. Roberts, F. C. Rowley, A. T. Spain, W. R. Sumpter

Of note in the team is Arthur Fisher, a gifted sportsman who during his time at Waitaki Boys would receive a special cap for good play at rugby during the season and became the athletic champion in 1887. After finishing his schooling in Oamaru he would move to Dunedin where in 1891 made his debut for Otago against Canterbury. He would take 176 wickets in 40 first class matches. Against Queensland in 1897 he took 9 for 50 in an innings - still the best bowling in an innings by an Otago player. Two years earlier he made his debut for New Zealand and would play five matches for his country, during which he was one of the members in the first visit by a New Zealand cricket team to Australia. He was also the New Zealand golf champion in 1904.

The first match of the two match series and Waitaki Boys first interschool was played in Oamaru on the 16th of October 1886. The scorecard has been lost to history but the following is a report that appeared in the Monday October 18, 1886 edition of the North Otago Times:

A cricket match between the Timaru and Waitaki High Schools was played on the Oamaru Cricket Ground on Saturday. The representatives of the Timaru High School arrived by the afternoon train and preceded to the ground at once. Timaru was captained by Mr Raymond, and Waitaki by Mr Gilbert. The latter won the toss and decided to go in. The first inning of the Waitaki High School closed for 72 runs, of which H Wilson made 37 by admirable play. Timaru then went to the wickets, and were all disposed for 80, or 8 ahead on their opponents. The principal scorers were Rees 40; and Plante 16. In their second innings Waitaki made 76, J Chisholm contributing 25, and Mr Gilbert (captain), 14. In their second innings Timaru lost seven wickets for 29 runs, the calling of time saving them from a pretty certain defeat; but the match was declared in the favour of Timaru on the result of the first innings. The visitors were afterward entertained at the school, where ample refreshments had been provided. The Timaru boys returned by home by the evening train, apparently well satisfied with the days proceedings.

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