The Marlborough Labour Hire Dolphins continued to show the way in the Tasman Premier League with another comprehensive victory at Horton Park on Saturday.
They were expected to have too much firepower for the Wanderers-Motueka side, who prop up the TPL cricket standings, and that was the case as the Dolphins got home by five wickets.
They dismissed the visitors for just 98 in the 42nd over, picking up wickets regularly through accurate, disciplined bowling and sharp fielding. No 6 batsman Max Mannering with 37 top scored for Wanderers-Motueka, while opener Shaun James added 23, although there were no partnerships of note.
The wickets were shared around, Jerrym Lamb claiming 3-15, Josh Poole 2-28 from 10 with Ben Blackman, Akil Bhardway and Akil Pant bagging one scalp apiece.
In reply Dolphins made a poor start, losing Rikki Bovey first ball but fellow opener Luke Frankland kicked on, scoring 40 from 38 balls to anchor the run chase. With Dolphins in an aggressive mood, five wickets were lost before the lowly target was reached, the match finishing in the 17th over with the home side averaging more than six-an-over.
Jackson Harris, with 2-28 from five overs, was the pick of the visiting attack.
On the No 3 ground the news was not so positive for the other Marlborough side, the Falcons.
Despite fielding what looked, on paper at least, their strongest side of the season they were well beaten by ACOB, who prevailed by eight wickets.
Batting first, the home side were dismissed for just 101 runs in the 37th over. The early loss of Ma’ara Ave, Tarin Mason and Joel Lavender saw them reduced to 3-26 before Matthew Stretch (29) and Chris Turkington (18) mounted a minor recovery with a 42-run partnership.
However, when they were parted there was little resistance to follow as batsmen perished through a combination of bad shot selection and pinpoint bowling.
Jake Milton, 3-13, Thomas Zohrab, 2-16, and David Zohrab, 2-3, were the main destroyers, along with two costly run-outs.
The Falcons made a strong start in the field, Sam Boyce bagging both ACOB openers for ducks, but that was the end of the good news for the locals as Thomas Zohrab, 32*, and Josh Simpson combined for an unbroken 91-run partnership to end proceedings in just the 16th over. Simpson was the main aggressor, smashing 62 from 39 balls, with 10 fours and a six.
While both the Marlborough games were able to be completed on a hot, windy afternoon, the two matches in Nelson were eventually rained out after first innings were completed, allowing Dolphins to gain some ground on second-placed Stoke Nayland.
Wanderers 98 (Max Mannering 37, Shaun James 23, Jerrym Lamb 3-15, Josh Poole 2-28) Dolphins 101-5 (Luke Frankland 40, Jackson Harris 2-28). Dolphins win by five wickets.
Falcons 101 (Matthew Stretch 29, Jake Milton 3-13, Thomas Zohrab 2-16, David Zohrab 2-3) ACOB 103-2( T Zohrab 32*, Josh Simpson 62*, Sam Boyce 2-12). ACOB win by eight wickets.
Nelson College 142 (Ronan Restieaux 34, Finn Restieaux 24, Liam Clarke 2-10, Paddy Howes 2-16, Tom Chambers 2-30) Car Company Stoke Nayland did not bat. The match was drawn.
WTTU 140 (Tom Cross 45, Joe O’Connor 27, Matthew O’Sullivan 2-5, Jason Campbell 3-20, Damian Aitken 3-24, Liam Rowling 2-37 Wakatu 40-1. The match was drawn.