Pre­miers get into gear

Te Puke Times - - SPORT - By Barry Le­abourn

The New World Te Puke premier team will be­gin their 2018/19 cam­paign at Bo­ord Park in Ro­torua this Satur­day, with the open­ing two rounds of the BOPCA Bay­wide Twenty 20 cham­pi­onship.

Long­time coach Pete Swan said, “We have an ex­cit­ing mix of younger tal­ent and proven per­form­ers.

“Mikaere Leef pro­vides qual­ity off-spin along with qual­ity bat­ting depth.

“Iman Singh de­liv­ers class leg-spin whilst also pro­vid­ing bat­ting strength.

“Blair McKen­zie, who has come to us from Mount Maun­ganui, pro­vides great bal­ance in the top order whilst as­sum­ing the wick­et­keep­ing role.

“We will look to build on last sea­son’s growth of our depth whilst pro­vid­ing the en­vi­ron­ment for our tal­ent to shine. Te Puke pre­miers want to play a brand of cricket where we ex­cel on the field and strengthen our club pride.”

They open their T20 sea­son against Eves Realty Greer­ton. Last year Te Puke de­feated Greer­ton, af­ter re­strict­ing them to a rel­a­tively mod­est 121/7 then chas­ing down the to­tal with five wick­ets to spare.

Round two sees Te Puke square off with Mount Maun­ganui. The last 2017/18 qual­i­fy­ing T20 round matched Te Puke with Mount Maun­ganui, who went on to win the Bay­wide Twenty 20 ti­tle. The Moun­ties posted 163/8 be­fore hold­ing Te Puke to 146/9, with long­time lo­cal bats­man Tai Bridg­man-Rai­son top-scor­ing with a hard-fought 58 runs.

The Te Puke 2nd XI are the cur­rent West­ern Bay of Plenty re­serve grade champs and start their sea­son next Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 13, in the re­serve grade Twenty 20 com­pe­ti­tion.

Cricket is alive and well in Pa­pamoa, with three sides lodg­ing en­tries in the B Grade com­pe­ti­tions.

Dur­ing the win­ter break, the Pa­pamoa Cricket Club was es­tab­lished with a com­ple­ment of B Grade se­nior men’s, col­lege and ju­nior cricket sides. Two new Pa­pamoa B Grade sides will join Pa­pamoa Wan­der­ers in B Grade com­pe­ti­tion.

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