Looking good for clash
OBR by eight wickets; OBR by 54 runs.
These were the Senior B cricket pacesetters' margins of victory against Bollywood High School Old Boys Presidents.
Heading into Round 14 and two weeks out from the semifinals, their third meeting constitutes 1 v 3.
Both clubs are in good shape, player-wise, for that clash on Harry Barker Reserve No.3. Jake Theron and Herman Fourie will turn out for the Presidents, and Rawhiti Legal Old Boys Rugby's powerful batting line-up is in great touch.
OBR captain Craig Christophers carried his bat for 65 in the first meeting, Ian Loffler is averaging 109 and Thom Berry is coming off an unbeaten 130 against Horouta.
HSOB Presidents captain Isaac Hughes knows what could swing the game his team's way: “We need to get their bigwigs out early.”
OBR will have to respect opposition medium-pacers Nathan Quimpo and Israel Turner, who were good value against Campion College last Saturday.
Giving HSOB different attacking options with the ball is their very good off-spinner Simon Blaker.
Last week, Ngatapa were worthy winners — but the first eight overs of that game aside, Gisborne Boys' High School were not pleased with their match-effort.
GBHS took a wicket and conceded only nine runs in their first eight overs, but at drinks Ngatapa were 52-2 on their way to victory by 78 runs.
Boys' High were dismissed for 90 in 22.3 overs by the Civil Project Solutions Ngatapa Green Caps, and while Angus Orsler and George Williams are tall men able to get good bounce, Boys' High's next opponents — Coastal Ultrasound Horouta on HBR 1 — also have dangerous bowlers.
Horouta bowler Kayley Knight took 2-46 against OBR last week, a commendable effort with Berry in full flow.
She and left-arm orthodox spinner Clarence Campbell (2-44) stuck to their guns in that clash, one game on from Hasantha Vithanage's magic 3-5 off six overs — including three maiden overs — against Ngatapa.
Only Sebastian Wilson, with 45 from No.5, batted well for Boys' High last weekend, and GBHS captain Daniel Stewart has clear thoughts on the game to come: “We need to keep our focus when bowling and fielding and not slacken off — keep the pressure on.”
Max Briant and Nathan Trowell were superb with the new ball against Ngatapa, and in bustling left-armer Travis O'Rourke, they have a bowler capable of maintaining pressure and taking wickets.
Daniel Watts, Matt Foster, Wilson and Cohen Loffler augment the pace attack. Mel Knight and Horouta captain Heyan Ranasinghe are key in this 5 v 6 battle. Theirs is the veterans' ability to punish the bad ball and frustrate the younger team.
Ngatapa are team No.2. This is 2 v 6.
But Campion College won't go down without a fight. Player-coach Mark Naden, Daryl Dunn and Blake Marshall are all back on deck after missing the game against HSOB last Saturday.
Naden and his charges relish the contest on HBR 4: “Ngatapa are great to play against: they encourage our young players and look after them, keeping a good balance of competitiveness and fun.”
In Angus Orsler, Ngatapa have the form bowler of the Hope Cup. Jeremy Castles is a fine all-rounder, and Green Caps skipper Mike Gibson's pugnacious 33 against GBHS was tremendously important.
“I'm happy to be passing the gloves back to our first-choice keeper, Simon Wilson,” Gibson said.
“No doubt the Hurlstones will enjoy their father-son battle.”