Oamaru-St Kevin’s and Union posted solid wins in the Borton Cup at the weekend.
The combined side pumped Valley by 117 runs, and Union ran down Waitaki Boys’ High School by four wickets, in games that were transferred to artificial pitches on Don Field.
Oamaru-St Kevin’s has struggled for consistency with the bat in recent seasons but it produced an excellent all-round effort to post 269 batting first.
Nick Johnston led the way with a sparkling 53 off 51 balls, Craig Smith chipped in 49, William Sunderland scored 38 and Ben Coleman added 30.
Geoff Mavor and Andrew Harding copped some punishment but both Valley bowlers claimed three wickets.
In reply, Valley folded for 152 in the 31st over, despite the best efforts of Lachie Kingan (55) and a late unbeaten 26 from Tom Pitchford. For Oamaru-St Kevin’s, Robbie Breen grabbed three for 26 and both Smith and Ash Abraham took two wickets.
On the ground next door, Waitaki Boys’ chose to bat and managed a respectable 190.
Toby Johnson, younger brother of Volts squad member Llew, led the innings with an unbeaten 53, and Francois Mostert added 37. For Union, club stalwart Glynn Cameron shone with six for 28, and Hayden Creedy had two for 41.
In-form batsman Sam Bastin anchored the Union innings with an unbeaten 78, backed up by Union captain Brad Fleming (46) and Blake James (21). Blake Martin was the pick of the schoolboy bowlers with two for 29.
The round of twenty20 cricket on Friday night was abandoned.
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD?
I’ve banged on about this before but I remain convinced the Hawke Cup is overdue for a bit of a shake-up.
In case you missed it, Counties-Manukau claimed the symbol of New Zealand cricket minor districts supremacy with a thrilling win over Bay of Plenty recently.
The population of Counties-Manukau is about 530,000. The population of Bay of Plenty – based on Tauranga, which is now bigger than Dunedin – is about 250,000.
Why are they still in a competition that includes the likes of North Otago (22,000) and Buller (10,000)?
I’d sweep out the two big guns mentioned above as well as Hamilton (156,000) and return the Hawke Cup to the heartland.
CHARLIE AND CHESTER
I spotted a couple of tidbits while looking at the history of the Hawke Cup.
The all-time highest score in a Hawke Cup game is the 272 not out scored by Charlie Kinzett (relative of the North Otago clan?) for Nelson against Marlborough in 1933-34.
And the best bowling figures in an innings belong to Chester Holland, who took 10 for 35 for Wanganui against South Taranaki in 1922-23.
Frank, Dunc and lads, I hereby issue you a challenge to wipe both those records from the books. No pressure.
ON THE DRAW
Last week, I mentioned the start of the North Otago club rugby season was basically just around the corner.
There are some interesting elements to the confirmed draw.
The opening round (March 24) features a blockbuster, a rematch of last year’s final – Valley against champion Old Boys out at Weston. Athletic Marist and Maheno clash at the stadium, and Kurow hosts Excelsior up the valley.
The following weekend is Easter, and clubs can arrange their own kick-offs. Might we see Thursday or Friday night footy at Maheno, as the country boys host Blues?
A revived Town-Country day will continue on June 2, Queen’s Birthday Weekend.
Semifinals are set for July 14, and the Citizens Shield and Burns Shield finals will be on July 21.
Keep watching for details of the annual Oamaru Mail club rugby special.
A THOUSAND WORDS
The potentially tricky thing about reviving this non-award winning column is that it will require some sort of local photo to go with it.
To be fair, North Otago clubs, teams, coaches and parents have been brilliant at helping me fill these sports pages, but generally they will be used elsewhere, not with this column.
So, two things.
If you take any interesting, funny or news-worthy photos with a sporting theme, send them to me.
I will also be looking into running some stuff from the Oamaru Mail archives, which is always entertaining. Just look at today’s shot.
One of the great Super Bowls, and the Patriots didn’t win. Monday was a good day.
GOD HELP ME
Super rugby is all but here. Too. Soon.