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Woodleigh claim Taranaki two-day premier cricket title in washout against Inglewood

Peter Ingram scored 104 for Woodleigh.
Peter Ingram scored 104 for Woodleigh.

Woodleigh only had to bat for 40.1 overs in the final against Inglewood to be crowned Taranaki premier two-day cricket champions. In what could have been a tightly contested affair, rain had the final say with the match abandoned around midday on Sunday.  Woodleigh claim the title as the highest qualifying finalist, with Inglewood needing at least first-innings points to collect the spoils. 

Unfortunately for Inglewood, it's hard to get first-innings points when you aren't able to complete both teams' first-innings.

They were some bright spots in an otherwise gloomy and anticlimactic final, none more so than Woodleigh opener Peter Ingram's 104 runs. Ingram played a strong innings which included 12 fours and four sixes as he scored 104 from just 99 balls before falling to the bowling of Hayden McIntyre.

The knock came after Woodleigh dismissed Inglewood for 201 on the opening day of play on Friday. Fellow Woodleigh opener Shaun Sullivan was left not out on 44 and looking strong after grinding out his runs from 102 deliveries.  When the players came from the pitch around lunch time on Saturday due to rain, Woodleigh were looking comfortable at 172-1. However that would be where the score stayed with no play whatsoever on Sunday. 

The opening day saw Inglewood struggle at the crease, with only four batsmen scoring in double figures. Aaron Taylor (48) provided a strong platform at the top of the order, Hayden McIntyre (56) and Jason Dombroski (21) handled themselves in the middle of the order, and Jamie Farquhar (46) worked away at the bottom of the order.

Woodleigh's Andrew Mason did most of the damage with the ball finishing with figures of 5-64, capably helped by Simon Bird who had 3-43. Needing wickets quickly, Inglewood were unable to break the Woodleigh opening partnership until they had posted 140 runs and despite rain handing Woodleigh the title, they did look to be in control of the fixture.

Incredibly, the match being abandoned means both teams finish the season unbeaten. Woodleigh topped the table after round robin play with four wins, two draws and one abandoned match, while Inglewood finished fourth with three wins and three draws.

Inglewood 201 (H McIntyre 56, A Taylor 48, J Farquhar 46, J Dombroski 21; A Mason 5-64, S Bird 3-43) met Woodleigh 172-1 (P Ingram 104, S Sullivan 44no).

Woodleigh named competition winners as highest qualifying finalist.