Johannesburg, 1 March 2023 – The prestigious 2023 Central Gauteng Schools Cricket Championship, namely the Johnny Waite Knock Out Competition concluded on the 28 February 2023, at the Old Edwardians stunning Alan Lawson Oval.

Johnny Wiate (19 January 1930 – 22 June 2011) was a South African cricketer who played in fifty Tests from 1951 to 1965. He was born in Johannesburg, Transvaal, and educated at Hilton College and Rhodes University. He was the first South African to play 50 Tests for his country and is generally acknowledged to be one of South Africa’s finest wicket keepers.

The final was contested between Jeppe Boys High School and Helpmekaar Kollege. Their road to the final was not an easy feat. Jeppe Boys defeated KES in the semi-final and Helpmekaar Kollege defeated St Davids Marist Brothers Inanda, to secure a final spot in this prestigious event.

Whilst it Jeppe’s 8th appearance in a final, their last final was 20 years ago in 2003 and have only won the title once – in 1989, beating St John’s College. A look at the team photo from that year is interesting: The team was coached by Cyril Mitchley, one of South Africa’s greatest umpires, and captained by Mark Johnston. In the ranks was Roland Blanks, Jeppe Boys resident cricket professional.

The final saw Helpmekaar win the toss and elect to field. Jeppe boys amassed a total of 153/7 in their allotted 20 overs. Notable contributions came from Tshepo Stafa 53(32) including 3 fours and 2 sixes and Kyle Joackson 48(35) with 6 fours and 1 six.  The standout bowling performancewas courtesy of Tjaart Mentz 4 overs, 40 runs and 2 wickets. In reply Helpmekaar only managed 84/10 in 17.3 overs, with a solid contribution from Henricus Meyer 30(18) including 2 fours and 1 six. Jeppe’s bowlers where in fine form and bowled in sound partnerships to ensure they secured the win. Notable performances also included Sipho Potsane 3 overs, 8 runs and 2 wickets; Ryan Harcourt-Baldwin 4 overs 11 runs and 2 wickets; and Tshepo Stafa 4 overs 14 runs and 2 wickets.

Cricket Services Manager for Lions Cricket, Mr Reuben Mandlazi conducted the post-match presentation, allowing the captains to address all players present. Both captains were gracious for the opportunity, with it being the first time Helpmekaar Kollege made the final and a 34 year drought since Jeppe last won the competition. 

Those present at the final included Niels Momberg (CSA Youth and Tertiary Manager), Bryan Patel (Lions Youth and Schools Administrator), Victor Vermeulen, Adam Bacher, Hugh Paige, Mike Bechet and Roland Blanks who was the previous winner for Jeppe Boys High School in 1989.

A huge thank you to all the parents who attended, to the Jeppe Boys Grade 8 learners and to friends and family from far and near – all of whom created a fantastic vibe with war cries and crescendo hand clapping when a bowler ran in. An unforgettable final.

Congratulations to Jeppe.

[Attached: Jeppe Boys High School winning the tournament in 1989

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