NEWMAN SHIELD – PREVIEW
A new era of Nelson cricket begins as coach Ryan Edwards takes full responsibility of the Nelson Pine Griffins for the first time in their Newman Shield clash with Marlborough at Saxton Oval on Sunday. While he has been involved in the past he is now in sole charge so the buck stops with him. Edwards has included one new cap as school boy bowling all-rounder Josh Simpson is set to make his debut against Marlborough.
Mason Thelin is the new captain and he will take on field leadership at least for the white ball stanza of the season. Edwards is hoping that Thelin can help implement the carefully formulated game plan and also that the players can express themselves be it with bat or ball. While the group have been working hard in the indoor nets the inclement weather has ensured that both teams have had limited opportunities outside.
The Griffins appear to be a nice blend of youthful exuberance and experienced campaigners. Nelson College prodigies David and Thomas Zohrab, gangly Jarrod MacKay, Simpson, Nic Clark and Paddy Howes are all relative newcomers who will be looking to show they are up to this level of cricket. A lot will be expected of the older players such as all-rounder Joey O’Connor, Tom Ingham and skipper Thelin. Hopefully the lack of preparation will not hinder their performances too greatly.
There are many similarities in Marlborough’s line up to that of their local rivals. They too have a young debutant in 17 year old batsman Tom Sutherland. Likewise Marlborough also contain young twins in the form of the Lavendar boys, all-rounders Aiden and Tom. Their line-up is dominated by Marlborough Boys College Old Boys including Harry MacDonald son of the Mako rugby coach and former All Black Leon MacDonald.
Skipper Matthew Stretch has been the form player in the IPL this season with both bat and ball and will be looking to transfer his club form in an effort to try to wrest the Newman Shield from Nelson’s grasp. Sam Boyce picked up a handy five wicket haul last weekend and Josh Poole has also had club success this season. Probodha Arthavidu has already scored a Hawke Cup century while representing South Canterbury and the visitors will be expecting him to be well supported by their experienced players like Stretch, Poole and Nick Weaver all of whom are former Central Districts “A” representatives.
Marlborough will rate their chances of success with a long batting order and a well-balanced bowling attack. Nelson Pine Griffins will need to bring their “A” game to defend the shield and give coach Edwards the winning start he desires. Hopefully the weather plays its part and this promises to be an interesting beginning to the representative season kicking off at 11 am on Sunday.
Nelson Pine Griffins: Mason Thelin (Captain), Joey O’Connor, Tom Ingham, Patrick Howes, Nic Clark, Thomas Zohrab, Devon Serrurier, David Zohrab, Josh Simpson, Ili Tugaaga, Sam Baxendine, Jarrod McKay
Marlborough: Matthew Stretch (Captain), Luke Frankland, Tom Sutherland, Probodha Arthavidu, Josh Poole, Jerrym Lamb, Aidan Lavender, Harry MacDonald, Joel Lavender, Nick Weaver, Tarin Mason, Sam Boyce