Premiers get into gear
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.