Cricket ground a hit
Black Caps bowler opens the new KCG with 250 guests attending
The KCG — Katikati’s new cricket ground and wicket oval at Moore Park was opened on Sunday by Black Cap fast bowler Neil Wagner and has already featured nationwide on television show, The Project.
Wagner officially opened the grounds at 1pm where a new brass plaque is to be placed on a huge 3.5 tonne rock donated by Katikati Quarry.
Some 250 guests arrived to a carnival setup. Among them were Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber, council reserves manager Peter Watson, local golf course expert Owen Williams, exBC’s Gareth Hopkins, Matt Horne, Northern Districts and NZ representative players Holly Topp and Brody Gilroy.
People got to see first hand Eden Park’s head groundsman, Blair Christiansen prepare a very wet wicket from the previous 24 hours rain. Cricket covers donated by Tanner Spraying saved the day to enable a shortened game to be played and locals had air blowers and lawn mowers drying things out.
Wagner and Katikati Cricket Club president Ben Warren were pleased to present life memberships to11 past cricket club members — Graeme, Murray, and Roger Earl, Don Grayling, Ken Purcell, David Stewart, Sid Turnbull, Ted Schischka, Andy Roche, Tony Dimmock, and Clive Kenyon, 97. Apologies were received from Tom Chase, John Carson, Bob Hayward and Tom Harray.
Warren says it was a real pleasure and thrill to have Neil Wagner(Wags) showing his support for Katikati cricket.
“Neil was so down to earth and helpful, he really made it a fantastic day for everyone and has provided some great memories for our locals.”
To celebrate the opening of Katikati’s new cricket ground, a match was played between the “Hurley Hurricanes”, captained by comedian Ben Hurley and “Hoppy’s Highlanders” captained by ex NZ international Gareth Hopkins.
Black Cap Neil Wagner batted for both sides and bowled a few overs for the Highlanders, much to the delight of the lads playing and the crowd.
Some thrills on the day were Oscar Sandford bowling Wagner, and then young Fletcher Anderson catching Wags out in his second bat with a great diving effort in front of the crowd.
The crowd got to see Hopkins show off his keeping skills and some big hitting shots as well as past Northern Districts Spirit rep Holly Topp hitting a number of boundaries at the end to fall just four runs short of winning the game for the Hurricanes.
The interaction between Hurley and the The Project’s comedian Tony Lyall was entertaining. A promotion of the day’s activities screened on the TV show on Monday.
Hurley again showed his commitment to supporting Katikati events and entertained on and off the field and conducted the fundraising auctions with some great dry humour. An autographed Kane Williamson test cricket shirt, a team-signed ND Knights shirt and a new Black Caps T20 shirt were among items auctioned.
Warren says the club sincerely appreciated his efforts and time.
The club rounded out the season with the senior and junior prizegiving. A big thank you to the Rhys Montgomery AFC, Lions Club of Katikati, Auto Super Shoppe Pat Freeman, Nicky Austin, Centurion Bats Colin Henderson, Bryce Dinneen and C4 events, David Pearce WBOPDC, and the Katikati Cricket Club committee and volunteers.