The Borton Cup will begin tomorrow after three weeks of twenty-twenty cricket in the Dick Hunt holiday competition.
Following a dismal string of results last season, Oamaru will be bolstered by players from St Kevin’s College this year after the two teams amalgamated.
Captain Matt Murphy will hope the influx of young St Kevin’s players, Brady Kingan, Brodie Flannery and Matt Brien, along with the influence of Englishman Ed Hall, will give his side a much-needed boost but Oamaru will be without Ben Cant after the opening batsman broke his foot during practice.
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 strengthened by Neil Rushton.
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 represented themselves well in their maiden Borton Cup campaign last season but will be without several key players who have left the district.
Borton Cup holders Albion will be without Dylan Winter for the duration of their campaign, along with Paul Odell and Marshall Smith for the foreseeable future, while Matt Day will be unavailable due to a broken finger.
Valley will field the same side as last season, with one exception – Francois Mostert will join the ranks this year after playing for Oamaru last season.
Borton Cup round one fixtures:
Albion v Oamaru, WCCP Outer Oval, 12.30pm.
Union v Valley, (Payne Tempero Challenge), King George Park, 12.30pm.
Waitaki v Eastern, Waitaki 1, 12.30pm.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Oamaru will be without Ben Cant, as the opening batsman broke his foot in a training session and is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.