Revital Fertilisers Taranaki left their best performance to the last game of the season completing an outright victory over Horowhenua.
Horowhenua won the toss and elected to bat, Andre Halbert and Dion Sanson went about their business and seemed to have little trouble with the Taranaki seam attack. The pair would combine for a century opening stand before Taranaki’s skipper Mattie Thomas would strike having Halbert caught for 58. Sanson would continue leading the way and looking to build a sizeable first innings total. Ryan Watson finally got through his defences bowling him for 94, this left Horowhenua 184 for 3. Watson and Thomas continued to toil away with the two bowling a mammoth 49 overs between them. Success would eventually come as the picked up three wickets for four runs to leave Horowhenua 200 for 6 shortly before tea. Into the final session on day one Ryan McCone and Jamie Pinfold put on 55 for the 7th wicket before Watson struck again, he would pick up three wickets in the space of four balls. Horowhenua dimissed for a competitive 273. Watson finishing with 6 for 47 and Thomas 4 for 44.
Taranaki’s reply got off to a shaky start as both openers were dismissed before the score reached 50. Josh Borrell and Shaun Sullivan would combine to see them through to stumps, the pair would resume the next morning and put on 134 for the 3rd wicket before Sullivan was dismissed for 35 and Taranaki 183 for 3. Borrell would be the next to go but not before posting his maiden century at representative level, he ended with 133 off 174 balls, an innings that included 25 boundaries. Taranaki’s middle order all contributed and they picked up first innings points with the loss of only four wickets. With the pressure off the batsman started to play freely, debutant Adam Keene showed why he is a player to watch with 57 off 46 balls, teenager Ben Frewin finished the innings off with 35 off 18 balls before he was the last man dismissed with Taranaki posting 415.
With a 142 run lead the Taranaki bowlers came out attacking, this soon paid dividends as they had Sanson caught by Keene off the bowling of Watson for a duck. Michael Blanks and Ethan Keller would strike before Watson struck again to have Horowhenua 64 for 4. Horowhenua still had opener Andre Halbert at the crease holding the innings together, Skipper Thomas enticed him into a false shot which was caught by Watson, he would then have McCone caught behind the very next ball and all the momentum was with the Taranaki side, Thomas would tear through the lower order picking up the last six Horowhenua wickets to fall, Horowhenua all out for 126 giving Taranaki an outright victory by an innings and 16 runs. Thomas finished with figures of 6 for 28 which gave him match figures of 10 for 72.