Peter Jones

The Go Fence Marlborough team, from left: Mandy Macfarlane, Glenn Blackmore, Jeremy McKenzie and Kieran Hickman. Photo: Supplied.

Go Fence waiting for Godzone

The Team Go Fence Marlborough crew of Kieran Hickman, Glenn Blackmore, Jeremy McKenzie and Mandy Macfarlane are primed and ready to tackle the 2021 Godzone adventure race later this week.

However, their participation in an event they have trained long and hard for is now in the hands of the government as Covid-19 levels continue to fluctuate.

The ninth chapter is scheduled to be staged in the Rotorua area, beginning on Friday morning. With the nation, apart from Auckland, at level two until Sunday, the four Marlburians are sweating on a decision as to whether the event will proceed.

The Rotorua-based Godzone was originally scheduled for November, 2020, but was deferred to March, again due to Covid concerns which have continued to dog the iconic event.

All four of the Team Go Fence contingent have previously tackled the country’s highest-profile adventure race. Glenn, Kieran and Mandy were part of the 2019 team who completed the Pure course in Canterbury but were ultimately unranked after their fourth team-mate, Andrew Jones, was forced out with injury.

The previous year, in Fiordland, Glenn, Andrew, Kieran and Bec Scherp finished third in the Pursuit section, the second-tier race that allowed support crews to attend to their athletes,

Jeremy is also an experienced adventurer. He was part of the Absolute Wilderness team which took part in the 2014 Godzone, based around Kaikoura. They finished third overall, becoming the event’s surprise package.

Although Glenn suggests the quartet’s training this year has “been a little more individual”, they have got through a tonne of preparation.

“Trying to prepare as a team has been tough but we have done a few events together.”

Glenn, Jeremy and Mandy completed the Marikopa Munter 24-hour race in November; Mandy, Glenn and Jeremy tackled the Five Peaks Race on home territory; Kieran and Mandy competed in the recent Coast to Coast while Kieran, Jeremy and Glenn took part in a “pretty brutal” 48-hour pack raft and foot trek event in Fiordland around Christmas.

“We have had to mix the training around family and work, so we will see how we go.”

They will again compete in the Pure section, which, this year for the first time, will allow the input of support crews.

Go Fence Marlborough’s support crew this year comprises Danielle Blackmore, Tim Macfarlane, Ben and Thomas Blackmore and Finn McKenzie.

Although international teams will be absent from this year’s event, there are still 73 teams entered in the Pure section.

While the course will remain a secret until race day some details of what the athletes face have been released. The 12-stage course will cover approximately 700km, will entail around 14,000m of vertical climbing, around 190km is on foot, 330km on bike and 130km on the water, pack rafting or kayaking.

Glenn says the team’s main goal is simple, “to complete the full course”.

“We have eight and a half days to do it, it’s going to be pretty brutal, [the organisers] have already estimated that only 30-40 percent are going to finish the full course. It’s the longest course they have ever had for a Godzone.

“We also have our micro goals – obviously, enjoyment is a big one and getting the detail right around our navigation will be key.”

The local team’s main sponsors are Goldpine, Liquid Action, Drummond & Etheridge, Starborough Wines and Osgro Seeds.

The Tasman Trophy competition is scheduled to begin on April 10, Covid permitting. Photo: Peter Jones.

Rugby draws released

Marlborough’s premier rugby competition will kick off on April 10, almost a month later than last year.

In 2020, play in the Tasman Trophy competition began on March 14, with one local round being played before the Covid lockdown was instituted. Teams then took an enforced three-month break before resuming on June 20.

This season the premier top of the south competition is scheduled to run from April 10 until the final on July 3.

The format is similar. The first part of the season involves several local derbies, plus cross-over matches against Nelson-based opponents, with points counting towards the Tasman Trophy.

Competition points earned during Tasman Trophy play also count towards the ensuing sub-union competition, which will be decided across the second part of the season.

Eleven teams will contest 11 rounds of Tasman Trophy cross-over matches, with four sides going forward to semifinals on June 26. No double-header weeks have been included in the draw at this stage.

Marlborough teams Central, Waitohi, Moutere, Awatere and Renwick will be joined by Nelson-based rivals Waimea Old Boys, Marist, Stoke, Kahurangi, Wanderers and Nelson in the battle for the prestigious trophy.

A provisional draw has been released with Awatere at home to Nelson in the first week, Moutere hosting Waimea Old Boys, Renwick at home to Stoke, Waitohi meeting Marist away and Central also on the road, playing Wanderers.

Plans are in place for a full round of Marlborough-only division one matches to follow the Tasman Trophy, running from July 10 until August 7, with a final scheduled for August 14. This option is expected to be confirmed this week.

Kahu Marfell, head of community rugby for the Tasman Rugby Union, said that, although the final dates had yet to be confirmed, it was expected that women’s club rugby would begin on April 17. Dates and teams for division two men’s rugby were yet to be finalised.

The draw for the high-profile Crusaders region First XV competition has also been released. Round one takes place on May 8 with round-robin play concluding on August 7.

Marlborough Boys’ College have drawn six home games and seven away. They begin with a fixture against Mid Canterbury Combined in Ashburton, followed by their first home fixture, against Christchurch Boys’ High School a week later.

Other home games are against Shirley BHS, Rangiora HS, St Andrew’s College, Waimea Combined and Timaru BHS.

The top-level Farah Palmer Cup competition is set to kick off on July 17 and run until September 11, while the Mitre 10 Cup will begin on August 6. The format for this year’s M10 Cup has yet to be confirmed.

MBC Gold player Jared Moli rises high for a spike during Sunday’s final. Photo: Peter Jones.

Gold and Blue to the fore

Marlborough college volleyball teams turned in consistent efforts during the Tasman secondary school tournament staged at Stadium 2000 recently.

Both Marlborough Boys’ College side made strong starts to the two-day annual tournament, played on February 20-21.

MBC Gold and MBC Blue both topped their pools after play finished on Saturday, then met in the semifinals on Sunday morning.

Gold downed both Waimea A and Nelson College A 3-2 while the Blue team surpassed expectations by beating Nelson B 3-1, Nayland A 3-2 and Waimea B 3-2.

The semifinal went Gold’s way and they moved on to a repeat meeting with Nelson College in the decider on Sunday afternoon.

In a tight encounter which lasted a tad under an hour and a half, the visitors prevailed 26-24, 18-25, 25-18 and 25-16 to take the title.

Gold coach Tamati Te Tua said there was no MVP for his side as they played very well as a team, suggesting it was a great start and just the beginning of the side’s 2021 campaign.

MBC Gold’s Josh Whittall sets for his outsider hitter. Photo: Peter Jones.
MBC Gold’s Josh Whittall sets for his outsider hitter. Photo: Peter Jones.

MBC Blue wrapped up fourth place in the tournament which was a superb effort as they were ranked the bottom team.

Marlborough Girls’ College A won their first game against Motueka but had losses to both Waimea A and Garin on Saturday.

The following day they beat Waimea B and Nayland B to come home on a winning note.

Coach Aaron Lyster said his charges had improved from start to finish. He noted it was the first time the team had played together and felt they were going to get stronger as the season went on.

Sylvia Hartland, playing middle was a force at the net while Jenny Tobwara handled the libero’s role very competently.

MGC B came mighty close to a win, losing by two points in five sets across the weekend.

Coaches Amy and Nicky Bain were impressed by their charges as it was the first time this team had played together, half the team coming off the junior tournaments. One of the stand-out players for the B team was Maia Watene who impressed with the quality of her allround play.

Waimea Girls A came from two sets down to beat Nayland A in the girls final.

The teams have a busy few weeks ahead of them as they prepare for nationals at the end of March, if COVID permits.

MGC player Eleri James-Sitters scoots around the Vipers’ defence. Photo: Peter Jones.

Touch club season ends on a high

The Marlborough touch season ended on a high note last week with a series of enthralling and all-action finals.

On Wednesday afternoon the mixed grade deciders were contested.

The Mixed 1 grade final was a cracker, eventually won by Vipers, who downed 7201 7-6 in what was described as a “super, intense” decider.

With the scores being level 5-5 at fulltime the match went into a drop-off scenario. With each side reduced to four players, 7201 scored only for Vipers to touch down immediately after, all within the initial two-minute drop-off period.

For the final golden point period of extra time each side fielded just three players and it was Vipers who struck first, claiming the match-winner with some slick work.

The Mixed 2 final was won by Hamburger$, 4-3 over FYT. In the Mixed 3 decider Wu Tag Clan beat Mixed Bits 11-3, while Blue Ballers prevailed 11-5 over Central Whānau to take third place.

In the Mixed 4 final The Kings Touch downed Saint Clair SuperSonics 6-5 while Team Kairos won 5-4 over Pinecones to clinch third spot.

MBC players Bray Taumoefolau and Charles Tupouto’a cook up an attacking ploy. Photo: Peter Jones.
MBC players Bray Taumoefolau and Charles Tupouto’a cook up an attacking ploy. Photo: Peter Jones.

On Thursday the men’s and women’s finals were decided.

Both top grade clashes featured a Vipers team against College opponents.

The Men’s 1 grade turned into a battle royal, favourite Vipers eventually getting the job done 8-7 against a slick Marlborough Boys’ College combination led by Nikau Peipi, Jake Pacey and Hugh Robinson. Vipers relied on the skills and experience of Todd Nicholas, Quentin MacDonald, Dave Fotu and Vili Taufa.

The Women’s 1 final was more clear-cut, Marlborough Girls’ College turning the tables on the Vipers combination to prevail 6-2. Prominent for MGC were Eleri James-Sitters, Stormy Tupara, Anika Moetaua and Issy Tupouto’a. Franki Paulo, Katie Bradley and Laura-Kate Morgan stood out for Vipers.

The Men’s 2 section A decider was won 9-8 by See You On The Five, while Grizzlies accounted for Cobras 9-4 in the play-off for third and fourth.

Men’s 2 section B was won by Boners, 6-4 over Blue Ballers.

In the Men’s 3 final Simcox downed Lazy D 6-5, with Grovetown Country Hotel Rhinos beating Unevolved 4-1 for third.

The Social Men’s grade was taken out by Usual Suspects, who overcame MVM 6-3. Crowknees took third over Touch & Go, winning 6-2.

Nikau Peipi flies through the air to score a spectacular touchdown. Photo: Supplied.

Touch reps impressive

Marlborough’s representative teams at the Youth Nationals 2021 set a new benchmark for the province.

The under-16 mixed side came away from the Auckland tournament during the weekend of February 13-14 finishing a creditable sixth out of 15 teams, while the under-18 mixed team came 10th out of 13 rivals.

The U16s took their chances and managed to close out the really tight games , something they couldn’t do last year.

Their televised game against Southland was a master class by Marlborough on how to play mixed touch with Delyth James-Sitters taking on the boys in the middle and shutting down tryscoring opportunities. Hugh Robinson proved too much for all teams to handle, scoring in every game or setting up others to score.

They were placed on the tough side of the draw. Nelson, a side they beat 6-1 in a friendly two weeks ago finished fourth while Marlborough held eventual winners Bay of Plenty to the closest score of the weekend.

The U18 reps showed huge improvement, with close scores throughout except a 12-2 loss to eventual winners Te Tai Tokerau, where they couldn’t shut down the speed and aggression of their opponents.

Standout players were Kyren Taumoefolau and Nikau Peipi, with Eleri James Sitters, Anika Moetaua and Stormy Tupara proving they can foot it with the best female players in NZ.

Standout players for the U16s were Hugh Robinson, Jack Burdon and Delyth James Sitters.

In another boost for Marlborough touch, Robinson was named in the New Zealand U16 mixed team, with the Under 18 teams to be announced after senior nationals in early March.

Tour manager Anne Taylor said, “We will review the representative programme in thorough detail as we are now in a position to compete against the best, so every detail counts. These results have been four years in the making and every year we compete we get better.

“The scores don’t always reflect the game as the pressure and competitiveness of touch is huge.

“Everyone in Marlborough Touch is proud of Hugh as he was the standout male player across all teams in the competition. He was absolutely outstanding and it is great to see him recognised.”

Under-21 and open mixed teams will travel to Christchurch in early March to play in the senior nationals.

 

Youth Nationals results:

Under 16 Mixed: BOP lost 4-1;  Manawatu lost 9-7; Southland won 8-5; Otago won 5-3; Te Tai Tokerau won 6-4; Counties Manakau won 7-6; Auckland won 6-5. Play off for 5/6 – lost to Southland 7-4 (Plate Final).

Under 18 mixed: lost to Taranaki 10-7; beat Waikato Black 5-4; lost to Waikato Red 8-5; lost to BOP 8-5; lost to Te Tai Tokerau 12-2. Bowl Final – Lost 6-3 Whanganui.

Lyndon Bray has been working as Game Manager for Sanzaar for the past decade. Photo: Supplied.

Former top referee lands Tasman CEO job

Former NZ Referees Association boss Lyndon Bray is the new chief executive officer of the Tasman Rugby Union.

Fifty-four-year-old Bray replaces Tony Lewis, who resigned just before Christmas to take up the position as CEO of the Western Force union, based in Perth, Australia.

Bray has enjoyed a varied professional career, which has traversed both the corporate and sporting worlds over the last 30 years.

From 2001 to 2008 he was one of the country’s leading rugby referees, taking the whistle in seven internationals.

He then moved into sports management, becoming the NZRU’s high performance referee manager for three years.

In 2011 he took up the role of Game Manager with Sanzaar where he has remained ever since.

TRU Board chairman, Wayne Young, notes “Lyndon is a passionate rugby person and is a well-known senior executive with Sanzaar and very accomplished ex-International rugby referee. Most importantly Lyndon brings a proven track record of success as a leader both in rugby and corporate circles”.

Bray will be relocating to Tasman and is very much looking forward to integrating into the community. His immediate objectives will include engagement with the TRU staff and directors; commercial sponsors and community clubs so that he can gain a firsthand insight into the requirements of all stakeholders.

“The appointment of Lyndon brings a great balance between passion for rugby and a proven skillset and track record at the executive leadership level. The Board are excited at the prospect of Lyndon leading the TRU”, said Wayne.

Bray added, ‘I am especially excited and humbled to be given this incredible opportunity to join one of NZ’s premier Provincial Unions and to be given the responsibility to help make a difference in the next era of Tasman Rugby.  Tony Lewis has left us all a very well-oiled ship and I am indebted to him for that.  This is a very special new journey for me and I look forward to the challenge.”

Lewis was in charge of Tasman rugby since 2013, leading the nation’s newest union to back-to-back Mitre 10 Cup premiership titles as well as successfully hosting an All Blacks’ test match in Nelson for the first time.

The victorious Blenheim RC club pair of Fred Vavasour and Dylan Burton share the podium with coach John Robinson. Photo: Supplied. 

Rowers bring home their share of precious metal  

Marlborough-based clubs picked up 16 medals of differing colours when the 2021 national rowing champs concluded at Lake Ruataniwha on Saturday.

With changes necessary thanks to a Covid-induced lockdown from Monday to Wednesday, the programme was abbreviated and formats altered to condense five days of proposed racing into just three days.

This made for a busy schedule for most of the rowers, who stepped up admirably and made the most of tranquil conditions on all three days.

All finals were contested on Saturday, racing concluding with the women’s and men’s premier events in a new draft format.

Central Rowing Performance Centre crews came away with a host of medals, head coach Marion Horwell especially happy with the efforts of the younger brigade.

She made special mention of the women’s under-22 double crew of Mollie Nicol and Phoebe Collier who placed fourth in a very competitive field.

“[Mollie] had an outstanding regatta … the young ones really stepped up, many of them are straight out of school,” said Marion.

Collier went on to pick up her first red coat as a member of the victorious mixed women’s premier four, while Sarah Wootton also earned her first red coat, winning a premier title in the women’s quad.

Kobe Miller was another to have an energy-sapping final day, coming very close to bronze in the men’s U22 single final, won by Central clubmate Luke Brady, placing second in the U22 double, alongside Brady, then earning his first red coat as stroke of the victorious mixed premier men’s quad.

“That was his third race on the day,” said Marion, “he just put everything on the line.”

Brady, Miller, Wootton and Jamie Hindle-Daniels have all earned national trials.

Marion said racing at the premier level was tight, with the standard particularly high.

Of particular note among the more experienced rowers was the effort of Chris Harris to pick up a couple of premier bronze medals, while Georgia Nugent-O’Leary and Ruby Tew looked really strong in the women’s premier double, qualifying for the Olympic quad.

Marion also praised the way her charges handled the challenge of the Covid delay and inability to get on to the water until race day.

“It gave everyone the perspective of this is just one of those things that is normal in rowing … just one of those challenges that you have to learn to deal with. It definitely brought the group together.

“I think if we had had two days of finals instead of one, things may have been different … but it was certainly a learning curve for such a young group.”

The Blenheim Rowing Club also enjoyed plenty of success, their nine-strong group of MBC students picking up two gold medals and a bronze in intermediate and club events.

The crew of Fred Vavasour, Sam Feltham, Rhys Salvador, Dylan Burton, James Fitzgerald, Leon Poswillo, Flynn Mercer, Buster Jennings and coxswain Walter Wickham won the men’s intermediate eight, while Burton and Vavasour led all the way to take gold in the men’s club pair.

With their ultimate sights set on the forthcoming Maadi Cup regatta in March, their coach John Robinson suggests they are on track.

“They took it up a different level from the South Island champs. We only had a small contingent and they did a lot of racing, their endurance came through well.

“The whole group stood up and did what we asked for. It is hard to single anyone out.

“We now have a six-week training block so I’m sure we can go to another level again.”

Picton crews grabbed a brace of silver medals, to the men’s senior eight and the men’s club quad, while featuring in eight A finals.

Club spokesman Keiran Gaudin said the eights race was one of the toughest he had been involved in, the Picton crew being shaded by 3.5 seconds.

“We thought we would be there or thereabouts and just got run down after leading from the start,” he said.

“We were pretty happy with how we went … obviously you got there to win gold but the other crews were just faster on the day.”

Wairau club rowers also made several A finals, bagging two bronzes.

 

Results of Marlborough-based clubs on finals day:

Central RPC

Men’s premier single (Chris Harris) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

(Tom Murray) 5th in A final

Women’s premier single (Jackie Kiddle) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

(Zoe McBride) 7th in A final

(Ruby Tew) 6th in A final

(Sarah Wootton) 8th in A final

Men’s U22 single (Luke Brady) 1st in A final – GOLD

(Kobe Miller) 4th in A final

Men’s premier pair (Tom Murray, Phillip Wilson) 4th in A final

Women’s premier pair (Kerri Gowler, Ella Greenslade) 2nd in A final – SILVER

(Jackie Gowler, Beth Ross) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

Men’s U22 double (Miller, Brady) 2nd in A final – SILVER

(Arie Magasiva, Oliver Fahey) 5th in A final

Women’s U22 double (Mollie Nicol, Phoebe Collier) 4th in A final

Men’s premier double (Chris Harris, Phillip Wilson) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

Women’s premier double (Georgia Nugent-O’Leary, Ruby Tew) 2nd in A final – SILVER

(Zoe McBride, Jackie Kiddle) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

(Sarah Wootton, Alice Fahey) 5th in A final

Women’s senior single (Mollie Nichol) 8th in A final

 

Blenheim

Men’s intermediate eight (Fred Vavasour, Sam Feltham, Dylan Burton, Rhys Salvador, James Fitzgerald, Leon Poswillo, Flynn Mercer, Buster Jennings, Walter Wickham) 1st in A final – GOLD

Men’s intermediate double (Salvador, Fitzgerald) 5th in A final

Men’s intermediate coxed four (Vavasour, Feltham, Burton, Salvador, Wickham) 4th in A final

Men’s intermediate quad (Salvador, Fitzgerald, Feltham, Poswillo, Wickham) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

Men’s club pair (Vavasour, Burton) 1st in A final – GOLD

 

Picton

Men’s club double (Keiran Gaudin, Hayden Gaudin) 6th in A final

Men’s senior four (Mark Patterson, Will Johnston, Ryan Gaudin, Shae Gaudin) 7th in A final

Women’s intermediate double (Charlotte Lightfoot, Jamie Cunningham) 7th in A final

Men’s senior eight (Keiran Gaudin, Greg McLaughlin, Mark Patterson, Ryan Gaudin, Simon Smith, Will Johnston, Hayden Gaudin, Shae Gaudin, Cameron Leydon) 2nd in A final – SILVER

Men’s club quad (Keiran Gaudin, Hayden Gaudin, Angus Coull, Thomas Ryan) 2nd in A final – SILVER

Men’s senior pair (Ryan Gaudin, Will Johnston) 4th in A final

Men’s intermediate single (Matthais Alexander) 6th in A final

Men’s senior single (Mark Patterson) 5th in A final

 

Wairau

Women’s intermediate single (Bridgitte O’Leary) 7th in A final

Men’s club single (Lawrence Birch) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

Women’s club double (O’Leary, Stormont) 6th in A final

Men’s senior single (Docherty) 3rd in A final – BRONZE

Part of the large crowd at Spring Creek. Photo: Supplied.

Moutere farewell ‘Uncle Arthur’

Awarua Park, home of the Moutere Rugby Club, was a sombre place on Saturday afternoon as a large crowd gathered to farewell one of the club’s stalwarts.

A funeral service was held on the No 1 ground for Arthur Pacey, known to all and sundry as “Uncle Arthur”. The 96-year-old had held every position at the club since joining in 1954 and continued to pull on the boots until aged 90.

The former Marlborough and South Island Maori rep played many years of senior rugby before turning his attention to Golden Oldies through the Moutere Magpies and Vintage Musseleers sides, winding up an astonishing 71-year rugby career in 1995.

The Moutere life member was farewelled in style, with tributes from club patron Ewen Robinson, Phil Gibbons from the Musseleers, plus family, before being taken to the Maori Island Urupa in Grovetown.

Moutere chairman Laurin Gane described Arthur as “the ultimate clubman” and said he would be “a massive loss to the club”.

“He was very loyal and passionate and did an incredible amount of work over the years.

“And he always had his boots in the back of the car … just in case he needed to play,” Laurin added.

South Island cross country MTB champions: Neve McKenzie, Maddy Sinclair and Ian Thomas. Photo: Supplied.

Mountain bikers shine in the south

Three Marlborough mountain bikers picked up South Island titles in Queenstown recently.

On Saturday, February 13, Mountain Bike NZ [MBNZ] hosted the South Island cross country championships at Coronet Peak, near Queenstown, with a strong contingent of Marlborough riders competing on a challenging course.

While the course for quite short, it featured a steep climb up the ski runs followed by a technical download, including rock gardens and steep rocky shoots.

Showing the way for the top of the south club were Neve McKenzie, who claimed the under-15 female title, Maddy Sinclair, who was victorious in the under-17 female section, and Ian Thomas who won the Masters 3 title.

In addition, Cam Anderson claimed silver in the very-competitive under-17 male category. Finn McKenzie, Jeremy McKenzie, Callum Anderson and Lachlan McNabb also recorded top 10 finishes.

Maddy Sinclair launches off a step down near the bottom of her race run at Coronet. Photo: Supplied.
Maddy Sinclair launches off a step down near the bottom of her race run at Coronet. Photo: Supplied.

Neve’s times were very impressive while Maddy put in a courageous ride after crashing while practicing for the downhill race the previous day and ending up in hospital to have suspected broken ribs checked.

The following day the final round of the MBNZ national downhill series was hosted, also at the Coronet Peak course.

Again, the Marlborough Mountain Bike Club was well represented.

The national downhill series had been staged over the previous four weekends and included rounds at 440 Mountain Bike Park in South Auckland, Dome Valley in Warkworth, Kaka in Nelson and at Coronet.

Cameron Clemett and Ben Sziranyi achieved very creditable top 10 results in the ultra-competitive under-19 and under-17 male categories.

Unfortunately, Cameron had a crash in his race run at Coronet that cost him a top five result for the series. Ben produced steady results throughout the series to achieve a creditable overall result.

Maddy turned in a steady race run following her crash on Friday to take the bronze medal in the Coronet round. Following a fourth placing at 440, plus bronze medals at Dome Valley, Kaka and Coronet, Maddy also won the bronze medal for the overall series.

Tim Petrie scored 88 to help MBC clinch a place in the Gillette Cup Central Districts play-offs. Photo: Peter Jones.

MBC cricketers progress to play-offs

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XI cricket team booked a place in the district play-offs for the Gillette Cup at Horton Park on Thursday.

MBC scored a comprehensive 57-run over their Nelson College counterparts, progressing to the next stage of the nationwide secondary school competition.

Sent into bat, MBC compiled a very respectable 270-4, thanks to a series of solid contributions throughout the order.

Opener Luke Pannell scored 38 from 52 to provide a solid start, before skipper Cooper Roberts and Tim Petrie came together for a match-winning 128-run partnership for the third wicket.

Although their cause was helped by some below-par catching in the outfield by Nelson College, they mixed composure with skill and power on their way to half centuries. Roberts ended with 60 from 85 balls but Petrie continued, putting together a superb 88 from 93 deliveries, with 11 fours and one six. Ben Holdaway, with 32 from 25, and Tom Leonard, 26 from 12, added icing to the cake in the final overs.

Lachlan Bartlett, who snared 2-32 from his 10 overs, was the most successful of the Nelson bowlers.

In reply, the visitors threatened at times to match the high asking rate, led by a fighting 79 from 81 balls from No 4 Ronan Restieaux, but their chase ended in the 48th over as the home side tightened the screws, dismissing their rivals for 213.

Hunter Ruffell, who bagged 3-23 from five overs, Joel Pannell, 2-34 from nine and Luke Pannell, 2-37 from 8.3, were the main wicket-takers, although spinners Griffin Carter and Tim Petrie were instrumental in slowing the Nelson momentum during the middle of the innings. Petrie also contributed a superb outfield catch to cap a top performance.