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TPL Cricket Begins with One Newcomer but Usual Favourites

Version two of the Tasman Premier League (TPL) of club cricket begins on Saturday 5 October with one newcomer, but the usual favourites.  Wanderers and Motueka clubs have both been in decline over recent years to the point where recently neither had been able to field a competitive senior team.  The common-sense approach was taken, and the two clubs have amalgamated to get back up with the big boys.  Geographically this appears to be a very sensible solution and it is great to see a country team back in the fray.  Playing through champions, Stoke/Nayland however, must be considered the pre-tournament favourites.

Taylors Contracting Wanderers/Motueka will be largely made  of a core of Wanderers regulars, backed with about five promising Motueka up and comers and a couple of overseas pros.  Boe Bamford is one of those highly touted youngsters who we will watch with interest. Englishman Max Mannering will be the player/coach. He is an off spinner who will get plenty of overs and is a handy batsman.  Zade Mohamnard an Afghan out of England is a genuine left arm quick who has been released from his English club side. Hayden Ingham, the old hand from Wanderers, will no doubt also provide support with middle innings overs. There has been a lot of work gone in behind the scenes from both clubs and the amalgamation seemed the only way back into Premier cricket. As a new club Wanderers/Motueka are aiming to be competitive in the grade and to snag two or three wins and see where they are at come the business end of the season. This is an exciting compromise and should benefit the competition as a whole.

The Car Company Stoke/Nayland will be looking to carry on the good form of the past couple of seasons, but obviously clean sweeping the silverware twice is a hard act to follow. They will need to be more consistent with the bat this season, especially as the ageing bowling attack packs a bit less punch. This outfit know how to win however and will aspire to play some positive cricket and build towards another tilt at the Central Districts Club Championship in February. Stoke/Nayland are looking for Patrick Howes to have a big year and show his class, the same with overseas seamer Tom Chambers who will hopefully add some heat to a slowing attack.

Chambers should arrive from England in time for round one. He comes on Howe’s recommendation as they were teammates at Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset. The champions will also add to their ranks former Griffins all-rounder Liam Clark returning from a stint in Christchurch. Coach Aaron Mallinson will welcome these two as they will in some way offset the losses of Ili Tugaga and Symon Carr to Wellington, Samuel Chamberlain to Christchurch and Clayton Campbell who is returning to Australia in mid-November.

Stoke/Nayland will boast their usual club stalwarts in skipper Brendan Hodgson, vice-captain Dylan Eginton, Chris Dittmer, Ricky Edwards, Darius Skeaping, Ben Homan, Kurt Pahl, et al.  Former Mako and Hurricanes rugby player Billy Guyton should get more opportunities this season after working his way up via Presidents grade last year and playing a pivotal role in the 50 over final. Also you would under estimate Chris Bayard at your peril. This club has undoubled pedigree and they will be a tough nut to crack.




The Nelson College 1st XI will have their usual battles.  They will be losing a number of senior players as they depart their scholarly ways.  Fergus Hughes, Damien Aitken and Louis MacAlister will all be plying their trade at Victory Square in the Wakatu colours.  College have retained the gangly opening bowler Jarrod McKay and he should be well supported by his younger sibling Kaleb. Finn Restieaux is an extremely gifted batsman and leg spinner and a lot will be expected from his now experienced shoulders.  Mason Lund should get a big workload with his off spinners and it is also time for the Raxworthy twins Finn and Jonty to step up and perform.

The major change to College personnel is in the coaching staff.  It is back to the future as the maestro Garry MacDonald returns to take charge.  He is a hard task master with a proven track record and the schoolboys should benefit from his guile and wisdom.


ACOB have had a very solid preseason and apart from Nic Clark have their entire 2018/19 squad returning for the upcoming campaign.  They will also welcome quick Nibu Jose who is a very talented youngster with overseas experience who is fairly new to Nelson. There are a few former players coming back to their roots as well.   Duncan Taylor (former Nelson College, Nelson Griffins and AOB player) returns from Christchurch and while he has probably slowed down as he has aged, he can be a dynamic player with both bat and ball. The club will also welcome back Joseph Gregan who has completed his time at Otago university, Jake Milton has returned from the UK after last wearing ACOB colours in 2011/12 and Daniel Grimes is back on board in a full capacity.

With a plethora of talented University students set to arrive back at the start of November, ACOB will look to the experience of Milton, Greg Chitty, Reuben Smith, Horse Baumfield, James Graham and last season’s club MVP Matt Eden to provide momentum early on. BJ Barnett will be captain and coach and they should be there or thereabouts when the trophies are being handed out in the new year.

Wakatu have a few player changes from a somewhat inconsistent effort last season. Skipper Devon Serrurier is unavailable due to work and family commitments so Campbell McLean will be leading the side around the paddock. Also absent this year is opening bowler Cody Golding who has relocated to Blenheim. As previously mentioned Wakatu reap the benefits from Nelson College as school leavers Hughes, Aitken and MacAlister join the club. Daniel Hooper will once again be performing coaching duties.

With a string of inconsistent performances last season Wakatu will be looking to improve on their results and make the TPL semi-finals this year. This will largely depend on the likes of Hooper and Brad Smith to lead the way with bat in hand and for Ryan Hooper and Matt O’Sullivan to dictate terms with the ball. The all-round contributions of Jared Exeter, Campbell McLean, Aitken and Liam Rowling will also have an important role to play in any success that the team has.

Veteran Mason Robinson will be behind the stumps as he goes around one more season in preparation for the Over 50’s world cup next year


WTTU will be led again by bowling all-rounder Sam Baxendine.  He will be surrounded by some of the experienced senior leaders from last year; Joey O’Connor, Mason Thelin and Tom Cross all of whom will be expected to make major contributions. There has been an addition to the coaching group with Craig Bartlett as a bowling coach / mentor as a back up to Head Coach Richard Percy.

The only major loss from last season is all – rounder Kurt Thompson to Australia.  He will leave a major gap both with bat and ball. Josh Newport has returned from a good stint playing senior club cricket in Ireland and this experience should enhance his prospects for the coming season. The addition of ten Waimea College lads to the club has bolstered the numbers and should have a positive impact on the development and ensure that they have depth at the back end of the season.

There appears to be a good mix of experience and youth within this year’s WTTU playing group. It is anticipated that the younger boys will bring a huge abundance of energy and with the returning personnel there is an anticipation that the club will be in contention in all formats of the game.


The TPL will again consist of a double round robin as the six Nelson teams are joined by the Dolphins and Falcons from Blenheim.  Round one sees Nelson College hosting new boys Wanders/Motueka at Ngawhatu and ACOB travelling out to challenge Stoke/Nayland at Marsden Rec.  Wakatu will be on the road to Blenheim playing Falcons at Horton 1 while WTTU play Dolphins on the adjoining pitch.  All fixtures begin at 11:30 am.

Zohrab guides ACOB to TPL Final
February 22nd, 2020

Zohrab guides ACOB to TPL Final ACOB hardly raised a sweat in defeating the Nelson College 1st XI in todays elimination final to book themselves a berth in the Final tomorrow.  Car Company Stoke Nayland will maintain their favouritism but they will need to overcome an in- form Thomas Zohrab who had an outstanding day […]

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Car Company Stoke Nayland Looking for back to back TPL Titles
February 19th, 2020

Car Company Stoke Nayland Looking for back to back TPL Titles By finishing top of the table, playing through champions, Car Company Stoke Nayland, have earnt the right to a free pass into the final of the TPL club cricket final ay Saxton Oval on Sunday. They will meet the winner of the elimination final, […]

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Final Round of 110 overs Competition
February 12th, 2020

Final Round of 110 overs Competition It would take a huge meltdown by Car Company Stoke Nayland and an enormous victory by Wakatu to create any change in the status quo in the final round of the NCA 110 overs club cricket competition on Saturday. Stoke Nayland are currently 24 points clear of Wakatu and […]

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Final Round of TPL
February 7th, 2020

Final Round of TPL Club Cricket We are down to the final two games in regulation play of the TPL club cricket competition on Saturday.  While WTTU and Wanderers/Motueka are playing for pride only, Nelson College and ACOB both have championship aspirations in their sights. At Jubilee Park in Richmond, WTTU hosts Wanderers/Motueka with both […]

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Car Company Stoke Nayland hope to snare TPL Finals Berth
January 30th, 2020

Car Company Stoke Nayland hope to snare TPL Finals Berth While they are pretty much a shoo in already, a win for Car Company Stoke Nayland on Saturday would ensure them automatic entry into the TPL final on Sunday 23 February.  They host Wakatu at Marsden Rec on what will be each teams final round […]

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One sided results as Car Company Stoke Nayland all but secure title
January 27th, 2020

All three matches in the NCA 110 over club cricket competition resulted in comfortable victories.  With just one match left to play (on 15 February) Car Company Stoke Nayland, barring a miracle, have pretty much already locked in the title.   Car Company Stoke Nayland v Nelson College A consistent batting display by Car Company […]

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Round 4 110-Overs
January 23rd, 2020

The penultimate round of the NCA 110 overs club cricket competition takes place this Saturday. Nelson College will cap off a busy week with a real test against competition leaders Car Company Stoke Nayland at Marsden Rec.  College have hosted their annual Quadrangular tournament this week so the schoolboys will either be in good nick […]

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Zohrab outstanding as Griffins Secure Much Needed Win
January 20th, 2020

A great effort from young all rounder Thomas Zohrab was instrumental in a resounding victory for the Nelson Pine Griffins in their vital Hawke Cup Zone 3 match against Buller at Saxton Oval over the weekend.  First Zohrab snared five scalps with his mediums as Nelson dismissed the visitors for a below par total of […]

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Round 3 – 110 Over Comp
January 16th, 2020

Combined Team Shows Form As the Nelson Pine Griffins embark on their representative programme, the emphasis for club cricket returns to Round Three of the 110 over competition.  While Wanderers/Motueka have had a tough season, they have had something of a renaissance in recent weeks and sit in third place in this competition and only […]

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Preview TPL Round 12
January 9th, 2020

Plenty on the Line as TPL Club Cricket nears play offs A couple of upsets last week threw the cat very much amongst the pigeons as we move into the penultimate round of the TPL club cricket competition on Saturday. The Dolphins were defeated by the lowly Wakatu unit and as a result relinquished the […]

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