Club cricket season begins

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The club cricket season is upon us as the Dick Hunt holiday competition begins tomorrow at the St Kevin’s College artificial turf.

Games will be played in Twenty20 format until October 18 with the teams playing two rounds each Saturday while the Borton Cup will return to its original structure six teams competing with Oamaru and St Kevin’s College joining forces.

The Choccos struggled last season but skipper Matt Murphy is hoping the influx of young St Kevin’s talent in Brady Kingan, Brodie Flannery and Matt Brien along with the influence of Ben Cant and Englishman Ed Hall will give his side a much needed boost.

“It’s more of a partnership than an amalgamation, to establish a competitive team for the senior competition,” he said.

“We haven’t really been able to get these young players to come and play for us, and now we can show them what we can offer.

“We’ve got some talented young players and also secured the services of Ben Cant and Ed Hall which is going to benefit us and SKC.”

Last year’s Dick Hunt competition winners, Union will be skippered by Jeremiah Shields this season with his brother Thomas heading to the UK to play rugby, the big-hitter will be missed but Union’s ranks may be bolstered by Neil Rushton.

“We’re the same side but we’ll miss Tomo (Thomas Shields) but there’s a possibility of Neil Rushton coming to play, depending on work commitments,” said Jeremiah Shields.

Union will be looking to regain the Borton Cup after keeping a 100 per cent record in the round-robin section last year before falling to a shock loss against Albion in the final.

Eastern’s season will begin next Saturday but team manager Jeff Grub said his side is struggling for numbers.

“It’s not going to good at the moment, we’re still in rugby mode I think,” he said.

“It’s just a lack of players, we’ve lost five or six that have moved out of the district .

“We’ve still got about eight regular players, we’ll get there.”

Borton Cup holders, Albion will be without Dylan Winter for the duration of their campaign and Gary Mahuika for the opening six weeks of the season.

Skipper Peter Cartwright said his team will be hoping to perform well in the holiday competition, having last won the tournament in 2010 and prevent another lethargic start in the Borton Cup.

Valley will be fielding the same side as last season, with one exception.

Francois Mostert will join the ranks this year after playing for Oamaru last season.

Captain Hamish McKenzie said the holiday competition will offer a good opportunity for his players to get back into the swing of things ahead of the Borton Cup.

Saturdays Dick Hunt holiday competition fixtures, week one, round one.

Albion v Union – St Kevin’s Artificial 1

Valley v Oamaru – St Kevin’s Artificial 2

Eastern v BYE

Week one, round two.

Albion v Oamaru – St Kevin’s Artificial 1

Valley v Union – St Kevin’s Artificial 2

Eastern v BYE

By JAMES FORD