BATTLE OF THE SOUTH IN ROUND 2
Four teams sit atop of the leaderboard in the Revital Fertilisers Premier One Day competition. NPOB, NPMU, Inglewood and Woodleigh all came away with bonus point wins in the first round.
Round two kicks off on Saturday and the game of the round will see the “Battle Of The South” with Stratford playing host to Hawera United. Both teams are coming off heavy losses in round one and will be looking for a better effort this week.
Stratford was undone by some power hitting by Josh Barrett, prior to Barrett’s innings the game was evenly poised and Stratford could take some confidence from that. They will look for openers Paul Lightoller and Liam Muggeridge to provide the bulk of the runs with new recruit and Hawera born Finbar Moriarty looking for some early season runs. Stratfords bowling line up is consistent with stalwart Grant Commerford leading the way. Stratford welcome back captain Kayne Dunlop in the only change from last weeks game. On paper Hawera look to have the edge but were very disappointing against Inglewood last week. The top four in the order will need to do a better job and capitalise on the starts they make, captain Nick Walker, Chris Stephens, overseas Ngoni Mupamba and the destructive Adam Keens need to set the platform if Hawera is going to post a competitive total. Hawera’s bowlers did a fine job restricting Inglewood with Cody McGrath and Liam Heibner leading the way, if they can pick up some early wickets it will go a long way to them being victorious.
For either of these teams to make the finals then this is the game they need to win and for the record my money is on Hawera.
In other games this week we see a blockbuster clash with Woodleigh playing host to New Plymouth Marist United, both of these teams will be in contention come finals time and will be looking to continue on the momentum they both gained from last week. With Woodleigh missing some experienced players I am leaning towards NPMU to make it two from two.
New Plymouth Old Boys play host to FDMC at Western Park, with the dry spring we have experienced it has allowed NPOB to get the grass wicket up and ready early in the season, it looks like another long day for FDMC.
NPBHS travel to Inglewoods Karo Park, NPBHS put up some fight against NPOB in round one and could upset some teams this season, however with Inglewoods experienced line up I don’t see it being this week.
All games start at 11am and live scoring can be found through TCA’s website www.taranakicricket.co.nz