Round 3 – 110 Over Comp
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 two points behind current leaders Car Company Stoke Nayland. A solid victory over Wakatu last weekend confirmed their form reversal. Neither Wanderers nor Motueka were able to stand alone with a senior team this season, so to ensure the two country clubs still afforded their players a pathway to Senior cricket the sensible decision was made to amalgamate the two long established club bases. It has been a tough ride, but stalwart Hayden Ingham has done a great job of pulling the two clubs together. They have been able to rely on the wealth of experience of John Ogilvie and Dave Leonard to cajole the younger talent along. Being able to call on Adam Leonard on return from Wellington for a cameo was a boost to local youth such as Logan Ogilvie, Alex Brogan, Jackson Harris and Jack White who have been learning and producing solid performances. Andrew Beatson has also been adding to the talent pool, but they will miss pro Max Mannering this Saturday who will be in the Nelson rep team. They host Nelson College at Brightwater on Saturday. College has four players in the rep team so may be ripe for the plucking for the improving combined team.
WTTU travel into town to play Wakatu at Victory Square. They have been in the doldrums somewhat of late and will be working on putting together a more solid all-round performance. Although skipper Sam Baxendine has been consistently amongst the wickets there is a distinct lack of variety about their bowling attack. While Joey O’Connor is doing a job, they lack a front-line spinner and also have their next best strike bowler Josh Newport away with the reps. Likewise there is a reliance on O’Connor and Tom Cross to score the bulk of their runs – and when they miss out there is trouble. Andrew Drummond, Mason Thelin and others have supported well, but consistent run production has also been an issue. Wakatu have the reliable Campbell McLean as the backbone of their batting order and the livewire Fergus Hughes as his able first lieutenant. Damo Aitken has been in the wickets most weeks as has unheralded spinner Matthew O’sullivan. Both these two teams should be eager to post valuable points in this competition.
The remaining match sees a clash of the big dogs as Car Company Stoke Nayland clash with ACOB at Marsden Rec. These are the two stand out teams at the moment and each are in contention for all the trophies. They have had a couple of great matches this season beginning with a tie in a day/night match way back in round one of the TPL on 5 October. ACOB has five players out with the Griffins so their depth will be tested again on Saturday. They will be hoping that top all-rounder Jake Milton passes his fitness test later in the week to take his place back in the team after an injury enforced lay off. In contrast Stoke Nayland have named a very strong line up and only lose Paddy Howes to the Griffins. They welcome back the evergreen Kurt Pahl and also Timothy O’Connor so are pretty much powered up for this match.
Note that all matches begin at the earlier time of 11 am.