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President’s hard to beat


High School Old Boys won it convincingly.

The Isaac Hughes-led blue and whites beat a good Campion College side by seven wickets at Harry Barker Reserve in the closest game of cricket played in the Hope Cup on Saturday.

Bollywood HSOB made no rush of the chase. Campion won the toss and posted 159-7 in their 30 overs. HSOB were 161-3 off 26.5 overs at the end.

Top scorer for HSOB was opener Glen Udall, who hit seven fours in his 41-ball 40. Ollie Needham hit 38 not out, Simon Blaker, 36no, and first-drop Jeremy Tucker, playing his first game for HSOB this season, hit 24.

Against the Campion batsmen, Hughes bowled everyone bar himself and wicketkeeper Needham. Wily off-spinner Brett Armour (2-7 off two overs) and seamer Joe Reynolds (2-23 off four) were the pick of the bunch.

Campion’s Year 11 members very much wanted a stronger showing against the President’s than was the case last month when Udall hammered 107 before retiring in what was a 125-run win.

Campion’s increasingly capable batting line-up hit a high percentage of boundaries. No.5 Darryl Dunn (41) and player-coach Mark Naden (35) both hit six fours, while second-drop Max Briant (29) hit five of the same in only 25 balls.

Briant has been in good all-round form in the past two weeks. His 1-32 was complemented by leg-spinner Liam Barbier’s 1-35 and Luke Hurlstone’s 1-36, all three bowling six overs.

Campion captain Liam Spring said: “We were happy to post 161. We bowled tightly and the whole team went hard in the field to keep us in the game — as with Cam Rowell’s catch at square leg to dismiss Glen off Liam.”

Eight wickets and 75 runs — both are big margins of victory. Such were the margins for the Civil Project Solutions Ngatapa Green Caps against Gisborne Boys’ High School Colts and Rawhiti Legal Old Boys Rugby against Coastal Ultrasound Horouta respectively.

OBR captain Craig Christophers won the toss on his club’s home ground — HBR No.3 — and OBR made 156-7 batting first.

Second-drop Rongomai Smith, who finished Round 6 against the Colts with a devastating six, dropped the hammer again with three sixes and two fours. Smith struck 40 off 41 balls. In terms of a taste for cricket and more particularly aggressive batsmanship, Smith is just getting started.

Christophers’ 30 at the top of the order and No.3 Ian Loffler’s 29 were the other scores of consequence in the first innings.

Horouta’s opening bowlers — Etienne Botes (2-24 off five overs) and Kayley Knight (2-23 off five) — were tidy.

Horouta were bowled out for 71 in 20.1 overs in response. First-drop Mel Knight (20 from 39) was their only batter to spend an appreciable length of time in the middle. Botes, coming in at No.6, made the next-highest score: eight.

Lloyd van Zyl (3-10 off six) and Christophers (3-12 off two) saw to it that OBR were not long on the park in the second innings.

OBR are efficient, enjoy what they do and at the moment are doing that well enough to occupy third place behind Ngatapa and HSOBP. Behind OBR are Horouta, the Colts and Campion.

Christophers said: “We are building a strong team culture and winning is a part of that. It’s important, too, to play the game in the right spirit, respect your opposition — that’s the attitude our boys turned up with. And Jack Notting, son of the legendary Bryan Notting, picked up the last Horouta wicket with just his second delivery.”

Ngatapa did it without fuss.

Mike Gibson’s Green Caps beat Boys’ High by eight wickets in a solid display, chasing down the Colts’ 114-9 to finish the game at 118-2 in 22.5 overs. GBHS first-drop Nathan Trowell (31 off 56 balls) and No.7 Travis O’Rourke (30 from 49) both showed the value of batting time.

The young team won the toss and chose to bat first. The 31-run second-wicket stand between Trowell and opener Matthew Foster (12) was the first of their two significant partnerships. The second was a stand of 40 for the seventh wicket between O’Rourke and Noah Torrance-Cribb (11).

Big left-armer Will Faulks (3-8 off six overs) and fellow medium-pacer Tim Gardner (3-25 off six) were on song for Ngatapa, who then went to work with the bat.

Second-drop Jock Spence’s unbeaten 43, No.3 Faulks’s 36 not out and opener Grant Walsh’s 22 were the three innings that saw Patutahi’s finest home.

Faulks and Spence are good cricketers. The big men thumped six and seven boundaries respectively, and when they hit the ball, it stayed hit.

O’Rourke (1-15) and Foster (1-29) were the Colts’ only wicket-takers.

“Boys’ High batted 30 overs and bowled very tightly,” Ngatapa player co-ordinator Chris Hurlstone said.

“We thoroughly enjoyed that game. Big Will took a catch at first slip — the catch of the season — to get Nathan out off my bowling.”

GBHS captain Daniel Stewart said: “Ngatapa bowled very well and we batted OK. In the second innings, we restricted them to only 54-2 in 15 overs, but Will and Jock put real pressure on us after drinks.”

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