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Speedster Lines returns for HSOB

FOR High School Old Boys Presidents, it won't be long now.

The question is — will the tide turn tomorrow?

The defending champions of Senior B club cricket beat OBR to claim the Hope Cup last season as underdogs, but never in the past two years have their backs been against the wall as they are now.

The Ollie Needham-led crew are lucky to have a man of calm disposition at the helm.

Gloveman Needham mused: “Champion sides are judged on their ability to overcome adversity, to respond. We get a chance to do that tomorrow against front-runners OBR. Win, lose or draw, if we come off Harry Barker Reserve No.3 knowing we've given our best effort across 60 overs, we'll be satisfied.

“I want our bowlers to forget about wide balls, and instead focus on running in and actually bowling the ball. That approach has a greater chance of success than just lobbing the ball down.”

Odds-on, the return of speedster Jason Lines will see HSOB bowl fewer than the — on average — 41 wides that the blue-and-whites have conceded in the past two weeks.

In the absence of regular captain Craig Christophers, OBR will be led tomorrow by another capable all-rounder in the left-handed Jannie Jacobs.

Presidents — who, like the Gisborne Boys' High School second 11, have just one competition point for the match abandoned on November 6 — will need to tighten their belts in tomorrow's replay of the 2020-2021 final versus a Rawhiti Legal Old Boys Rugby mob that, like Ngatapa, has won three from four with one match having been abandoned.

OBR, who like Ngatapa have 10 points, received a timely gut-check from the Campion College first 11 (3 pts) that took five wickets off them for four runs and later reduced them to 7-48.

Aiden Armstrong, the Year 9 who with the bat showed true grit for the Campion team that came close to springing the mother of all upsets against OBR a week ago, makes way tomorrow for Izahn Duckworth. Armstrong, Duckworth and Anikate Bandral are all past Poverty Bay Riverbend representatives.

Campion won't be able to ambush Ngatapa.

The Civil Project Solutions Ngatapa Green Caps under Ben Holden head into the clash with Mark Naden's Campion with steam-train momentum, on the back of a 10-wicket win over GBHS 2.

Holden and his posse are familiar with Campion — the clash on H4 having a father v son component in the form of old fox Chris Hurlstone in the green and white of the great country club v Luke Hurlstone in the green and gold of Campion.

Campion know that the 62 which they posted last weekend against OBR should not have been anything like a defendable score — but such has been Rhys Grogan's superb bowling form (5-24 v HSOB, 3-15 v OBR) in the last fortnight, that they almost got home.

The classic New Zealand outlook would be that Grogan has been great in the last two weeks — it may be someone else's turn to step up now.

The typical NZ outlook needs a rethink. Grogan has been magic with the new ball — there is no reason that, in rhythm as he is as a bowler, he should not now make runs with the bat. He is a fine young all-round cricketer capable of both.

Campion coach Mark Naden has a short list of to-dos for his captain Liam Spring and company.

“It's important that we be patient with the bat. We want to bowl accurately again and field aggressively.”

The Gisborne Boys' High School second 11 work hard and are ready to do so once more on the practice wicket.

Vishal Singh can be destructive for The Waka at the top of the order. For as long as he lasts, he makes great hay. Last week, he played at and missed the first delivery he faced, then hit a pull-shot for four and smashed the next nut he got down the ground before he was bowled, four balls in.

Horouta captain Mel Knight summed her No.2's approach up thus: “Vishal swings hard.”

Such a hitter can affect the confidence of young bowlers badly, which is why the Boys' High bowling attack led by co-captains Bekko Page and Lukas Fry must pitch up.

Charles Morrison and Ryan West were accomplished with the willow last week. Singh and the veteran Mike Tapp are another right-hand, left-hand opening pair, but that is the sum of their similarity.

Horouta welcome Grace Kuil into their 11 for Kayley Knight, and have good bowling variety as regards their bowlers. The younger team has two very different spinners — an offie in George Gillies and a leftie in Riker Rolls, plus Makiri twins Akira and Keanu among their seam-bowling options.

Kelan Bryant wasn't at the wicket long enough against OBR — four minutes six, for two runs from six balls — to accurately gauge his batting form, but he will be in Gisborne Boys' top-order again tomorrow.

In-form, he is the most capable strokemaker they have with three Senior B Grade half-centuries to his credit. Page has the ability to make 50-plus at this level, but while 60, 88 and 92 all represent a small weekly improvement in terms of a team total, Boys' High need to knuckle down with the bat. To make runs takes time, and no team in either the Senior B or Premier Grade wants any fewer overs to bat than 30.

Horouta: Mike Tapp, Vishal Singh, Mel Knight (c), Bhushan Dave, Jimmy Craig, Aman Kamboj, Riley Horsfield (wkp), Billy Morse, Piumal Madasanka, Grace Levy, Clarence Campbell, Grace Kuil.

GBHS: Kelan Bryant, Lukas Fry (cc), George Gillies, Akira Makiri, Keanu Makiri, Gareth Langford (wkp), Jarrod Ormiston, Bekko Page (cc), Riker Rolls, Jett Whitaker, Dylan Worsnop, Malsha Mahabalage.

OBR: Rongomai Smith, Amit Vyas, Jannie Jacobs (c), George Reynolds, Lloyd Van Zyl, Matt Lotar Mcfatter, Peter Stewart (wkp), Phil Viljoen, Tama Wirepa, Thom Berry, Mana Taumanu, Olly Garland.

HIGH SCHOOL OLD BOYS: Jake Theron, Nathaniel Fearnley, Marius Weyers, Ollie Needham (c, wkp), Anil Kumar, Jason Lines, Mahmood Khan, Nathan Quimpo, Kyle Jean-Louis, Billy Stackhouse, Nic Armour, Michael Francis.

Ngatapa: Cambell McNaught (wkp), Charles Morrison, Aidan Starck, Willie Short, Zac Borrie, Ben Holden (c), Ryan West, Will Faulks, Jeremy Castles, Harry White.

Campion College: Liam Spring (c), Daniel Baillie (wkp), Levi Alexander, Connor Starck, Rhys Grogan, Luke Hurlstone, Hamish Swann, Jonty Fenn, Izahn Duckworth, Gagan Singh, Raman Singh, Manjot Singh, Anikate Bandral.