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Stepping up . . . North Otago batsman Lachie Kingan was impressive in his first year captaining the team. PHOTOS: KAYLA HODGE

In the end, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Hawke’s Bay beat North Otago by an innings at 52 runs last weekend to win the Hawke Cup.

Despite being unable to defend the cup, coach Pete Cartwright was proud of his side.

fight. At the end of the day, it’s a season that the boys will remember – they did very well. They’re the third [North Otago] team ever to win a Hawke Cup.”

North Otago made 145 runs last Friday and Hawke’s Bay was two runs ahead at the end of the day.

Hawke’s Bay captain Angus Shaw, batting at seven, steered his side home, finishing with 129 runs to push the side’s total to 317.

North Otago bowler Jeremy Smith took four wickets, and Ben Donkers followed with three.

In the second innings, North Otago’s openers Jeremiah Shields and Stephan Grobler made 79 without loss, but from there the side struggled to push on, finishing with 120 runs.

Cartwright said Hawke’s Bay was a strong outfit and Shaw played a brilliant innings.

“They were just too good for us. We didn’t have them under pressure for long periods at all,” Cartwright said.

“The first innings, every time we built a partnership to bat they broke through.”

It had been a special season – the team was the first North Otago side to beat Southland outright in Invercargill, and it won the Hawke Cup in Nelson in convincing fashion.

“It was a pretty special couple of days for everyone that was involved.

“The Southland result was one of the more tense games of cricket I’ve ever been involved with. That was a pretty cool afternoon – once it was all over, anyway.”

Watching the younger players, such as Tom Dempster, step up and develop throughout the season was exciting, and captain Lachie Kingan was impressive in his first year at the helm.

“The guys will stick together, I hope. They’ve got a good mix, they’ve got a good leadership group across the whole team.

“Jeremy Smith was asked to lead the bowling attack all season and he did a great job. He’s really developed, and he’s still reasonably young as well .. he’s had a really good season and still has a lot of Hawke Cup cricket in front of him, hopefully.”

The support from the North Otago community throughout the season had been felt, and was greatly appreciated by the team.

“We had a great bunch of supporters, and parents. I think they were in Invercargill, and two weeks later they were in Nelson – they travelled the whole South Island.”