Stoke Nayland and WTTU to contest 110 over Final
Stoke Nayland will meet WTTU in the final of the 110 over Nelson Cricket Competition at Saxton Oval on Saturday. Stoke Nayland approach the game as top qualifier and therefore the odds-on favourites but it is not quite that simple. Both clubs are hampered by defections to the Nelson Pine Griffins for their vital Hawke Cup clash, but such is the nature of club cricket.
Stoke Nayland will miss all-rounder Ben Stark who has been performing well with both bat and ball, Paddy Howes, who has been batting outstandingly well and also talismanic skipper Brendan Hodgson. WTTU will only have Greg Hay on rep duty so this may have given them some confidence leading into the final. This has been further compounded by other defections though, due to an untimely wedding.
Stoke Nayland coach Aaron Mallinson is not unduly daunted by the task of performing without some key members. He says that while he loses three very good players, he has confidence in the group that he is putting on the park. “We have a well-rounded team and have faith in the depth of the full squad” he explained.” We have had few hiccups in this competition and back ourselves to go on”.
In Darius Skeaping and Ben Homan especially, they have some batsmen in good nick and Kurt Pahl is well due. He relishes the big occasion. Skipper Dylan Eginton is having a very good season and he too is about ready for another big knock. Their bowling looks especially penetrative with Tim O’Connor, Ili Tugaga and Eginton leading from the front.
Mallinson was adamant that Stoke Nayland would not take a negative approach into the event. “We have won games to get this far and want to win this game and will look to secure the final by being the better team. We know WTTU has some real ability, but we will be concentrating on ourselves and performing our core roles.”
WTTU will relish the underdog tag but are realistic in their prospects. Although they only lose one to the Griffins there are other key unavailability’s. Coach Richard Percy clearly understands that his troupe are up against a strong and successful Stoke team but is undaunted by the prospect.
“The boys are up for it”, he said “Although Stoke Nayland has a useful bowling attack our batting is our strength and we will be well prepared. We probably have limited firepower with the ball, but left-arm spinner Sam Halsey will be our major threat.”
Although skipper Sam Baxendine has been under an injury cloud, he will provide some much-needed experience. Likewise, the veteran Steve Binnie will give some steel to the WTTU top order. Tom Ingham, Tom Cross, and Joey O’Connor have all scored a lot of runs this season, so their batting looks good. Leath Armstrong and Kyle Thompson will lead a medium pace attack that will need to work hard.
This looks like it is going to be a ding dong battle and well worth a look. The match commences at 11:30 am at Saxton Oval – admission is free.
Stoke Nayland: Dylan Eginton (Captain), Kurt Pahl, Darius Skeaping, Ben Homan, Clayton Campbell, Ricky Edwards, Kendall Hodson, Sam Chamberlain, Tim O’Connor, James Barron, Ili Tugaga
WTTU: Sam Baxendine (Captain), Tom Ingham, Steven Binnie, Tom Cross, Joe O’Connor, Matthew Garguilo, Jack Aldridge, Andrew Drummond, Kyle Thompson, Leath Armstrong, Sam Kininmonth, Sam Halsey