DROPPED at mid-on while yet to score, Cotter Litchfield went on to make 121 and lead The Armidale School's First XI to a win over Sydney's St Ignatius College Riverview in one of the highlight matches of the Independent Schools' Cricket Festival, held in Toowoomba from January 12 to 17.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, TAS finished its innings at 6-309, with Litchfield's century including 17 fours and three sixes.
In reply, Riverview racked up 4-200 in the 38th over but were all out for 227 just five overs later.
The win against the defending trophy holders came on the back of the first game against Shore School on the first day of the competition, in which Litchfield's younger brother Harry top-scored for TAS with 78, partnering with Sam Skipper (59) to steady the batting after some early losses (3-48 in the 17th over), and helping propel TAS to a total of 217.
Shore made a strong impression at the crease and were 2-161 after 34 overs, with victory in sight. However outstanding bowling from Zac Clarke (6-36 off 10 overs) contributed to Shore losing 8-26 in nine overs and were all out for 187.
Having dispensed of two GPS Sydney teams, TAS then went on to face festival newcomers West Moreton Anglican College.
TAS lost the toss and the decision by WMAC to bat tested the TAS bowlers stretched by two days of competition, WMAC defeating TAS 174 to 125.
Accumulated fatigue continued to be a factor for TAS on day four against hosts Downlands College who won the toss and sent the southerners in to bat.
While getting off to good starts, the opening order failed to build large scores and TAS went from 3-186 to being all out for 210, Downlands taking the game at 4-212 in a rain-interrupted match.
Cotter Litchfield said the team was proud of its efforts, particularly being the only team to play 400 innings over four consecutive days of the festival.
"The team was brilliant throughout the entirety of the week," he said.
"After the two wins against the Sydney GPS schools our spirits were high and we thought we would go further than last year but that wasn't to be and no doubt fatigue played a part."
"However, on the whole the team played well together and everyone enjoyed their time together which showed in our results.
"A highlight was definitely the consistent effort from everyone - it's hard to single people as we performed so well as a team."
TAS finished second in the competition with players Cotter Litchfield, Toby Smith, Sam Skipper and Zac Clarke all being named in the Merit Team of the Carnival.
TAS will host the carnival in 2021.