Ka­iapoi cricket hits 150 not out

Northern Outlook - - WAIMAKARIRI UNITED FC - JONATHAN LEASK

The Ka­iapoi Cricket Club is pre­par­ing for their 150th sum­mer.

Cur­rent pres­i­dent Dean Arps said the ‘‘club has gone through ups and downs over the years like any club’’ and was look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the mile­stone.

The club formed in 1867 but the orig­i­nal home re­mains a mys­tery.

‘‘The guys at the mu­seum didn’t know, and I asked around the club but no one knows. They may not have even had a home ground to start with,’’ Arps said.

He had heard the ru­mours of games at a ‘‘Kaikanui field’’ but it was when the rugby club was es­tab­lished, at Ka­iapoi Park, that the cricket club also found a home.

The golden age of the club was the 1970s and 80s, win­ning 11 se­nior two-day com­pe­ti­tion ti­tle, in­clud­ing in seven be­tween the 1980-81 and 1990-91 sea­sons, and five one-day ti­tles.

A fea­ture through the golden pe­riod was Peter Wil­liams, who played for Ka­iapoi for 25 years and is now club pa­tron and a life mem­ber.

‘‘I played for the se­nior team straight out of high school in 1966. We had two very com­pet­i­tive se­nior sides of equal strength,’’ Wil­liams said.

Fea­tur­ing two teams was a one off but high­lighted the dawn of what was to be a strong 20 years of Ka­iapoi cricket. From the heights of the 80s, the club dropped out of the top grade in the late 1990s.

They gained pro­mo­tion back to the North Can­ter­bury se­nior grade for the 2005/06 sum­mer. Ka­iapoi have yet to fea­ture in the more re­cent Can­ter­bury Coun­try Premier com­pe­ti­tion, which Arps said is a goal for the club in the next few years as their top team plays in the Coun­try Se­nior A grade. They will en­ter three open grade sides this sum­mer and a sim­i­lar a num­ber in the ju­nior grades.

‘‘The ju­nior sec­tion has de­clined. We have only had two ju­nior side’s which is a bit dis­ap­point­ing. I know there are kids that go to lo­cal schools but play at other clubs which is baf­fling.’’

Arps has also been work­ing with Ka­iapoi HS to get a Y9/10 team into the Can­ter­bury Coun­try com­pe­ti­tion.

The ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions will be held on Septem­ber 29 to Oc­to­ber 1, be­gin­ning with an in­for­mal gath­er­ing at the clu­b­rooms on Fri­day. A 30 over match will be played on Satur­day be­tween past and present play­ers be­fore a func­tion in the Ka­iapoi Club. A Sun­day lunch will be held at the Kaikanui Tav­ern.

The Coun­try premier club sea­son starts on Oc­to­ber 7.

Ka­iapoi Cricket Club life mem­ber Peter Wil­liams and pres­i­dent Dean Arps look at old photos ahead of the 150th ju­bilee

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