Union and Albion will contest the Borton Cup cricket final at Milner Park in Oamaru tomorrow after downing Waitaki Boys’ High School and Valley respectively in last Saturday’s semifinal ties.
This season has been the 99th of its kind, and the final will pit the holder, Albion, against the competition’s most successful side, Union, which has won the senior grade 35 times.
The Borton Cup has been dominated by this year’s finalists for the past decade.
Albion has lifted the cup three times in the past 10 years and Union has won the coveted prize four times in that period.
Union held the trophy for four seasons before Albion broke the Blues’ era of dominance in the 2012-13 season, and retained it last year.
The sides met in last season’s final, in which the Mungas took a 48-run win.
Albion produced an impressive performance at Waitaki Boys’ artificial surface for a 308-run victory in its semifinal fixture.
The visiting side’s total of 402 for seven wickets was the highest 50-over total in the club’s history.
Opener Ammer Mirza (78) got the Mungas off to a solid start, but Gary Mahuika was the standout performer with the bat.
Mahuika set a record of the highest score from an Albion senior batsman with 172, including 22 fours and nine sixes in a dominant display.
Waitaki was then skittled out for a meagre 94 in just 16 overs. Brad Kernahan was in exceptional bowling form, taking four for nine from two overs while Paul O’Dell (three for 38 off six) and Ian Cooney (two for 14 off two) also had a good day.
In the opposite fixture, Union knocked out the David Sewell Shield winner, Valley.
Union won the toss and elected to bat and was all out for 226.
Brad Fleming (81 not out) was the standout with the bat, while Dan Conlan (43) also performed well.
Nick Kelland (two for 46 off 10 overs) and Tom Squire (three for 36 off nine) were the best with the ball for Valley.
In reply, Valley could muster only 190.
Mike Ormandy took three wickets for 35 runs off his eight overs and Paul Johnston’s good form (four for 37 off 10) continued.
Tomorrow’s final will begin at 12.30pm at Waitaki Boys’ High School.
Saturday. Senior, Borton Cup final, 12.30pm. Albion v Union, Waitaki 1.
Senior reserve, NOCA Cup final, 12.30pm.
Waitaki 2XI v Eastern, Whitestone Contracting Stadium’s outer oval. Second grade, JP Dell Cup final, 1pm.
Albion 2nd grade v Valley, WCCP Oval.
By James Ford