Short sharp season for premier grade teams
After rain forced all cricket matches to be abandoned for the second weekend in a row last Saturday, the forecast is looking good for players to get back into the swing of things.
This Saturday, premier cricket sees Gisborne Boys High School face Bollywood Stars HSOB, while Coastal Concrete OBR play Siteworx Civil Horouta in what will be a pair of exciting encounters.
After just 13 overs of premier-grade cricket were bowled in the last two weekends, it's still all to play for as teams start to settle into their season and a clearer picture forms of who will be the competition front-runners.
Last weekend in the rain, HSOB and Horouta bowlers made light work of their relative opponents in what looked to be conditions that favoured the fielding team.
A skittish ball on a slippery pitch saw Horouta's Bruno Judd earn a hat trick against GBHS, while HSOB worked their way through the OBR line-up with four wickets to Cody Andrews to have them 47/5 at the end of play.
HSOB captain Carl Shaw said he expects an unchanged squad from their first-up game against GBHS, where they reduced their opponents to 88/9 after 30 overs.
“Everyone is capable of great things and I'm looking forward to celebrating people's success,” he said.
Horouta Captain David Situ said he also expects to have the same squad this weekend and will be hoping for some more magic from Judd with the ball to get a quick start.
In the second match of the weekend, OBR and GBHS will be keen to put together a stronger start than last weekend.
OBR captain Nick Greeks said they would be looking to Jack Faulkner to set another good platform after looking in good form this season, having scored 20 runs before being caught behind last weekend.
“The boys are keen to get stuck in after a couple of frustrating weeks with rain,” he said.
“Getting the ‘W' this week is important for us moving into the final round.”
GBHS captain Nathan Trowell said he expects the same team from week one to take the field, with Graham Sharp playing this weekend.
Only one game was rained out all of last season, while this year teams will need to contend with getting back in form after taking an extended break.
And with just three weeks of competition left until the Christmas break starts, teams now have a shortened runway if they want to make their mark on the early half of the season.