Wet weekend looms as teams hunt semifinal spots

17 Nov 2023

The rain might have the final say in the Expert Turf 50-over premier cricket competition as it heads into its final round tomorrow with two teams battling it out for the last semi-final spot.

Stratford is in the box seat, and can secure fourth place with a bonus point win over Civil Quarries Inglewood at Karo Park, not necessarily an easy task given the form the home side has been in.

Stumble Inn Woodleigh on the other hand also have a chance when they take on bottom-placed Metcalfe Real Estate Hawera at home. The formula is simple, if Woodleigh wins and Stratford lose, they will go through. If Woodleigh win with a bonus point and Stratford only picks up four points then it will go down to net run rate to determine the fourth semi-finalist. If Woodleigh lose, they are out.

The final matches of the round are between Nag N’ Noggin NPMU, who can lock up top place with a win over the NPBHS First XI, while Merit RV NPOB take on Whitaker Civil FDMC, also still hunting for a top two finish and a home semi.

But it may all come to nothing, with the heavy rain that has fallen Friday and the prospect of more to come on Saturday. If Saturday’s matches are washed out and the points table stays as is the semi-finalists, in finishing order, will be Marist, Inglewood, NPOB and Stratford.

The pick of last weekend sixth round matches was the top of the table clash between Marist and Inglewood at Karo Park. The two sides didn’t disappoint with a thriller that came down to the final over as Inglewood chased down a tough 257.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Marist would surely have been happy as Michael Blanks (88) and Robbie Yule (90) put on a big stand to set the platform. Daniel Bernet (36 not out) Jarred Cunningham (22 not out) iced the cake at the end of the innings. For Inglewood Matt Simpson (3/48) took three of the four Marist wickets to fall.

The homes side’s opener Aaron Taylor set the tone for the chase with a well hit 68, and important contributions came from down the order with Tyla Judson hitting 51 and Troy Chilcott 44 to take the game deep.

It wasn’t until the final over that the home side hit the winning runs, with Simpson capping a good game with 18 runs off 17 balls at the death, including the winning boundary.

In other matches, NPBHS got their first win of the season, and they would have been very pleased to take out the match with FDMC for bragging rights. NPBHS’s Dean Robinson made 94 not out as his side chased down the FDMC total of 200 with eight wickets and three overs in hand.

In Hawera, Stratford put themselves into the box seat for semifinal contention with a thrashing of the home side. Liam Muggeridge was the star for the visitors, taking 5/7 off six overs, including a hattrick as Hawera slumped to 57 all out. He then top scored with 28 not out as his team got home in just the 12th over.

NPOB got up at home over Woodleigh, having set the visitors a target of 213 to win off the back of an innings of 73 from Josh Borrell. Woodleigh had moments where they looked right in the game, but in the end came up well short, their chase finishing 90 runs shy.

Full details including scorecards, points tables and live scoring can be found here at PlayHQ.