The victorious Nelson side with the coveted Newman Shield. Photo: Peter Jones.

Newman Shield goes west

The Newman Shield is back in Nelson hands after their senior cricket representatives completed a clinical victory over Marlborough at Horton Park on Sunday.

Marlborough, who won the toss and elected to bat first, were bowled out for 205 in the 49th over, setting a mediocre target on a good batting deck.

Nelson paced their run chase superbly, reaching 207 for the loss of just three wickets in the 48th over.

The visitors suffered a setback before play began, keeper Jack Aldridge injuring his ankle in the warm-up, being replaced behind the stumps by coach Ryan Edwards.

The disruption did little to affect Nelson’s early efforts, paceman Josh McKay finding the edge of Ma’ara Ave’s bat in the very first over.

However Prabodha Arthavidu joined Tom Sutherland at the crease and the pair set about building a partnership. They looked comfortable, taking quick singles to rotate the strike, before Sutherland ran himself out after misjudging a push to a close-in fielder.

Skipper Matthew Stretch then joined Arthavidu and the pair amassed the game’s largest partnership. Both batted positively, content to wait for loose deliveries, putting on 98 runs together as the home side began to take control. However, at 132-2 in the 28th over medium pacer Thomas Zohrab got the key breakthrough, trapping the Sri Lankan in front for a well-compiled 51 from 64 balls.

Five runs later Stretch followed him back to the pavilion, bowled by Zohrab for 49 from 63 balls and the tide began to turn.

Jerrym Lamb set about resurrecting the innings, scoring a patient 24 from 38 balls, but was unable to find a batting partner until No 8 Tarin Mason arrived at the crease. The pair put on 33 but when Mason (16 from 42) and Lamb fell in the 190s the writing was on the wall and Marlborough were bowled out with 10 balls remaining to be bowled.

Zohrab finished with the outstanding figures of 5-24 from 10 overs, his accuracy and variations reaping a rich reward. McKay bagged 2-33 from 9.2, Max Mannering and David Zohrab grabbing the other wickets to fall.

Nelson set out the run chase in a sensible, sedate fashion. Openers Zohrab and Finn Raxworthy had reached 31 before Zohrab departed.

However, this brought Nelson’s best batsman, the vastly-experienced Greg Hay, to the wicket and he underlined his class with an unbeaten 83 from 113 balls to guide his side home without undue fuss.

He lost Raxworthy, who scored a solid 56 from 83 balls, at 117 but then found a reliable ally in Patrick Howes (21 from 32) who helped take the score to 154 before falling to a superb outfield catch by Arthavidu.

Despite the home side’s efforts to put Nelson under scoreboard pressure in the final overs, Hay and new batsman David Zohrab (19* from 26) ensured there would be nervous moments by slamming three consecutive boundaries in the 48th over to seal the deal.

Marlborough’s bowlers worked hard for little reward, Sam Boyce with 1-32 from 10 being among the most economical. Nick Weaver and Stretch picked up the other wickets to fall.

Marlborough coach Jarrod Englefield, while disappointed to open the season with the loss of a prized trophy, was happy with some areas of his side’s game.

“The positive thing is that we got two guys that created a good partnership and were well set, the disadvantage is that they didn’t kick on … and we also failed to bat our 50 overs which always hurts. With the runs we were definitely 20 to 25 runs short, minimum.

“If we had got through to 225-230 that would have made a tougher chase, but the reality is that we lost three wickets around the 25th over and then we finished poorly, so in the end we were just too many runs short.”

Looking ahead to next weekend’s Chapple Cup tournament in Napier, Englefield remains confident his side can make a strong showing.

“There was a lot of positive stuff today. We didn’t get the result but we have a lot of good players in this team and we got starts, it’s all about key learnings … what we can learn from this game to make us better heading into the next one.

“We have come a long way in the last three years, there’s a lot of good stuff happening, we were pretty rusty today, especially in the field, our accuracy was pretty low. We need to work on that but we can go up [to Napier] with confidence.”

Nelson Griffins skipper David Zohrab said it was good to get their hands back on the shield, especially given the close games between the two top of the south rivals in recent times.

“It’s been nice to get one over [Marlborough] again. It’s been tit-for-tat recently, they had the wood over us last year with the draw and a win, so it’s good to start our rep season with a win.

“Today was a great hit-out. We have a relatively young, inexperienced side so it was good to blood a few players. Finn Raxworthy batted really well in only his second game … it was very positive to see that from a young player.

Also Thomas Zohrab bowled well and his figures showed that … Artha and Stretchy were batting well and looking dangerous and [Thomas] blunted that and got through them, really opened them up, which was nice for us.”

Local cricket games were rained off at the weekend. File photo.

Stoke Nayland only winners on damp Saturday for TPL cricketers

Car Company Stoke Nayland tightened their stranglehold on the Tasman Premier League club cricket competition, being victorious in the only completed game on Saturday.

Rain intervened in all three other clashes which resulted in no results.

Car Company Stoke Nayland amassed a formidable 267-7 in their allotted 37 overs at the Marsden Rec.  While Chris Dittmer gave them a tidy enough start, both opening bowlers for WTTU also begun well with Sam Baxendine picking up wickets and Josh Newport looking equally threatening.  At 105-6 the visitors were probably just in the ascendancy.

At this stage Stoke Nayland skipper Brendan Hodgson joined the in-form Paddy Howes in a 121-run onslaught. Hodgson attacked from the outset and dispatched five sixes and two boundaries in his 70-ball innings. Howes was unstoppable as he combined beautiful stroke play, brute strength and inventiveness in his second century of the season. He struck 17 boundaries and four sixes in his 135-ball undefeated knock.

Tom Cross gave the run chase a sound enough beginning but wickets fell regularly around him. Stoke Nayland’s young English medium pacer Tom Chambers picked up three top order wickets and came back for another three to complete the innings. Cross had a period of dominance as he smote seven sixes and three fours in his powerful 70-run knock. When he left however the impetus in the run chase diminished.  WTTU showed good intent right to the finish with Sam Baxendine and Dean Hawley hitting out purposefully but in the end the total remained comfortably out of reach.

Car Company Stoke Nayland 267-7 (Paddy Howes 122*, Brendan Hodgson 53, Chris Dittmer 41, Sam Baxendine 4-55, Sam Kininmonth 2-47) WTTU 207          (Tom Cross 70, Dean Hawley 37, Jack Alridge 24, Sam Baxendine 23, Tom Chambers 6-35, Dylan Eginton 2-49). Stoke Nayland won by 60 runs.

Wanderers/Motueka v Falcons

Only 16 overs of play were possible before weather intervened at Brightwater Domain.  Opening bowler Chris Turkington had a couple of wickets as Wanderers/Motueka had a steady enough start before the rain came in.

Wanderers/Motueka 66-3 (Chris Turkington 2-22). Match abandoned.

ACOB v Wakatu

The 14 overs that were played at Botanics was just enough to see a pugnacious little hard-hitting cameo from Matthew Grimes before stumps were pulled after 14 overs. ACOB 50-1 (Matthew Grimes 35*). Match abandoned.

Nelson College v Dolphins – no play possible.

Matthew Stretch scored a blazing century for the Falcons in Nelson on Saturday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Marlborough teams both bag away TPL wins

Both Marlborough Tasman Premier League cricket sides tasted success away from home on Saturday.

The Labour Hire Falcons and Dolphins took on Nelson-based opposition over the hill and came away with victories.

The Falcons accounted for Wakatu by 104 runs while the Dolphins did enough to get the money against WTTU, prevailing by 24 runs.

The Falcons, playing at Nelson’s Victory Square, amassed a formidable total.

On the back of a superb century to skipper Matthew Stretch they reached 294-9 from the 50-over allotment.

Stretch, batting four, took a liking to the Wakatu attack, slamming 123 off just 100 balls, with 11 fours and seven sixes. His side were 47-2 when he strode to the crease, putting together a game-changing 121-run partnership with No 3 batsman Cameron Collins, who scored his first TPL half century, registering 60 from 91 balls.

Stretch fell in the 45th over with his side well-placed at 246-5, the lower order Falcons batsman hitting out to push the score close to the 300 mark. Damien Aitken, 3-40, Campbell McLean, 3-56, and Liam Rowling with 2-66 were the best of the home side’s attack.

Wakatu’s reply stuttered from the outset. Falcons’ opening bowler Nick Weaver bowled seven overs straight, restricting the score and taking two scalps. He was well supported by Sam Boyce as they applied the brakes.

Wickets fell regularly as Wakatu tried to break out of the shackles, an eighth-wicket partnership of 60 between McLean, 84 from 85 balls, and Rowling, 24, the only combination of substance but when that was broken the end came quickly.

Falcons’ paceman Tarin Mason stepped up to bag four middle order scalps as the home side were dismissed for 190 in the 41st over.

The Dolphins, playing at Jubilee Park, also batted first and scored a healthy 266-8.

Josh Pooole with 79 from 120 balls top scored, Prabodha Arthavidu continuing his recent strong form with 55 from 81. Their partnership of 130 for the fourth wicket was the key to a decent total, which was boosted by a quickfire 39 from 12 balls by Joe Timms down the order. Sam Baxendine, 3-71, was the most successful of the home side’s attack.

WTTU’s reply was steady, Cross opening and putting together 50 from 54 balls to get the ball rolling. Fellow opener Joe O’Connor chipped in with a well-constructed 55 but both failed to go on and as middle order wickets fell, so did the scoring rate. Andrew Drummond, with an unbeaten 65 did his best, but WTTU were always behind the required rate and were unable to up the ante against a steady Dolphins attack. Iain Charles-Jones with 2-27 was the most successful of the visiting bowlers, for whom Poole and Arthavidu proved the hardest to get away.

Meanwhile, in the other two TPL games played on Saturday, Stoke Nayland got home by two runs against ACOB, while Nelson College won by four runs against Wandrers/Motueka.



Falcons 294-4 (Matthew Stretch 123, Cameron Collins 60, Tarin Mason 36, Damien Aitken 3-40, Campbell McLean 3-58) Wakatu 190 (McLean 84, Liam Rowling 24, Mason 4-32, Weaver 2-10). Win to Falcons by 104 runs.

Dolphins 266-8 (Josh Poole 79, Prabodha Arthavidu 55, Joe Timms 39, Sam Baxendine 3-17, Josh Newport 2-57, Tom Cross 2-66) WTTU 242-6 (Cross 50, Joe O’Connor 55, Andrew Drummond 65*, Iain Charles-Jones 2-27). Dolphins win by 24 runs.

Stoke Nayland 201 (Kurt Pahl 65, Brendan Hodgson 37, Clayton Campbell 26, Joseph Gregan 4/43, Jake Milton 3/26, Ollie Jones-Allen 2/39) ACOB 199 (Milton 64, James Graham 33, Joe Higgins 26, Jones-Allen 24, David Zohrab 20, Darius Skeaping 2/11, Liam Clark 2/24, Ben Stark 2/33, Patrick Howes 2/38) Car Company Stoke Nayland won by 2 runs.

Nelson College 268-7 (Patrick Wilson 68, Finn Raxworthy 55, Jack Morris 49, Ronan Restieaux 46, Max Mannering 3/33, Z Mahommad 3/64) Wanderers/Motueka 264. Nelson College won by 4 runs

Dolphins’ opener Rikki Bovey cuts behind point at Horton Park on Saturday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Dolphins at the double

The Marlborough Labour Hire Dolphins continued their strong start to the Tasman Premier League season with a cricket double at the weekend.

On Saturday they beat Wakatu then, a day later, tipped over fellow Marlborough-based side, the Falcons in the top of the south 50-over competition by four wickets.

The Marlborough derby encounter effectively became a 27-over game after the Falcons were dismissed for 117 just past the halfway mark in their innings at Oliver Park. Cory Golding claimed 2-14 from nine overs and Prabodha Arthavidu picked up 2-20 as the Falcons batting failed to fire. Their best was Cooper Roberts with 30, while Patrick Moran scored 17 to lead the other scorers. Three of the Falcons batsmen were run out.

It took Dolphins just 27 overs to reach their target, for the loss of six wickets. Arthavidu, with 29, top-scored while Rikki Bovey and Jerrym Lamb chipped in with handy runs. Sam Boyce, who claimed 4-29 from nine overs was a stand-out in the field for Falcons.

On Saturday both the Dolphins and Falcons notched wins on Horton Park.

The Dolphins beat Wakatu by 84 runs on the back of a century from Arthavidu as the Dolphins posted 300-8. He struck 13 boundaries and three sixes in his 135-ball unbeaten 140, tormenting the visiting bowling attack. He entered the fray in the seventh over and was undefeated at the close, playing shots all around the wicket.

Bovey, with 67, then Lamb with 40 offered him substantial support.

While Wakatu put up marginal resistance the Dolphins bowlers all picked up tidy wee hauls as they completed the job in a professional manner.

Meanwhile, on the number three ground, the Falcons picked up their second win of the 2019-20 campaign, beating Nelson College by one wicket.

College batted first, their total of 147 appearing under par on a flat Horton Park deck. The accurate Falcons attack regularly picked up wickets after the schoolboys had begun promisingly enough with a half-century opening partnership.

However, once Jack Morris was dismissed wickets fell regularly. Joel Pannell, the experienced Matthew Stretch and left-armer Nick Weaver maintained a stranglehold on the College batsmen as they were dismissed in the 47th over.

Once the run chase begun however, the College total seemed more than adequate. Wickets fell constantly fall as a potpourri of bowlers displayed their wares. Nine bowlers were tried, and most tasted some success. Stretch, however, again showed his fortitude and along with Weaver and Chris Turkington they kept the scoreboard ticking over. Falcons always seemed in control of the run chase but when Weaver’s was the ninth wicket to fall with the scores tied there were some anxious sideways glances. Pannell however eked a single off Finn Restieaux to get the home side home by the narrowest of margins.

Meanwhile, in Nelson Stoke Nayland and ACOB managed comfortable bonus-point victories.

Stoke Nayland extended their stranglehold on the competition with a suffocating demolition of woeful Wanderers/Motueka at Marsden Rec.

After skittling the combined team in just 21 overs, Stoke Nayland then took only 24 only overs to wipe off the deficit.

While ACOB were disappointed to be bowled out in the 37th over at the Botanics, as it transpired their score of 148 was easily adequate.

The slow and low track well suited Jake Milton’s off spin as he was lethal in a ten over spell that netted four wickets for a paltry seven runs.

Saturday: Dolphins 300-8 (Prabodha Arthavidu 140*, Rikki Bovey 67, Jerrym Lamb 40, Campbell McLean 3/49, Jason Campbell 2/53) Wakatu 216 (McLean 65, Campbell 55, Daniel Hooper 33, Bovey 2/13, Lamb 2/35, Cody Golding 2/40, Josh Poole 2/48). Dolphins won by 84 runs
Nelson College 147 (Jarrod McKay 38, Finn Raxworthy 25, Joel Pannell 3/24, Matthew Stretch 2/21, Nick Weaver 2/31) Falcons 148/9 (Weaver 32, Stretch 31, Chris Turkington 21, Jonty Raxworthy 2/11, Rohan Chauhan 2/18, McKay 2/23, Ronan Restieaux 2/28) Falcons won by one wicket.
Wanderers/Motueka 73 (Ben Stark 3/6, Thomas Chambers 3/16, Dylan Eginton, 2/18, Billy Guyton 2/32) Stoke Nayland 76/3 (Dylan Eginton 24*, Max Mannering 2/15). Stoke Nayland won by 7 wickets.
ACOB 148 (Shane White 24, Greg Chitty 24, James Graham 21, Joe O’Connor 2/21, Samboa Tatterton 2/24, Josh Newport 2/40) WTTU 90 (O’Connor 33, Jake Milton 4/7, Joseph Gregan 3/21, Ollie Jones-Allan 2/26) ACOB won by 58 runs.

Sunday: Falcons 117 (Cooper Roberts 30, Cory Golding 2-14, Prabodha Arthavidu 2-20) Dolphins 118-6 (Arthavidu 29, Sam Boyce 4-29). Dolphins win by four wickets.

Dolphins fielder Josh Poole is about to run out ACOB batsman Daniel Grimes during the match at Horton Park on Saturday. Photo: Peter Jones.

Dolphins get better of ACOB

There was a mix of good and bad news for the two Marlborough teams contesting the Tasman Premier League cricket competition on Saturday.

The Dolphins scored a three-wicket win over Nelson side ACOB at Horton Park while the Falcons went down by 107 runs to defending champs Stoke Nayland in Nelson.

After restricting ACOB to 172 from 46.5 overs, a very competitive early-season total, the Dolphins batted well to reach their target.

Their bowling highlight came from Josh Poole, with 4-18 from 10 overs, while Prabodha Arthavidu anchored their batting, amassing 77 from 127 balls before falling 20 runs short of victory. However a quickfire cameo of 18 from nine balls from Joseph Timms alleviated the home side’s nerves, seeing them home with eight balls to spare.

The Falcons managed to restrict Stoke to 196, taking Stoke’s final wicket with the last ball of the allotted 50 overs.  Nick Weaver, Matthew Stretch, Andrew McCaa, Bradley Horton and Harrison Boyce all claimed a brace of wickets, Boyce the most economical.

However their reply with the bat was well below par, being dismissed for 89 in the 36th over. At one stage the Falcons were 16-5 before some late runs from Alex Kennedy (21), Stretch (17) and Weaver (15) added some respectability to the scorecard.

The Stoke Nayland innings was something of a stop-start affair with Darius Skeaping and the in-form Patrick Howes getting them away to a solid start but then requiring a rear-guard action from the reliable Dylan Eginton.

Wickets were shared around amongst five of the Falcons bowlers with Harry Boyce picking up a couple cheaply towards the back end of proceedings.

The Falcons never really fired a shot in response as Ben Stark took great delight in terrorising his former teammates.  He made the early in roads and at 16-5 off 12 overs the match was pretty much over as a contest.

Skeaping and Howes both completed tidy game stats as the Red Machine carried on their traction.  They are going to be a difficult unit to beat.

WTTU and Wakatu were the other winners over the hill.


Stoke/Nayland 196 (Patrick Howes 43, Dylan Eginton 43, Darius Skeaping 27, Harry Boyce 2-10, Bradley Horton 2-21, Andrew McCaa 2-26, Nick Weaver 2-35, Matthew Stretch 2-42) Falcons 89 (Alex Kennedy 21, Ben Stark 4-19, Patrick Howes 2-7, Darius Skeaping 2-22) Stoke Nayland won by 107 runs.

Dolphins 175-7 (Prabodha Arthavidu 77, Kirk Nicholas 29, Joseph Timms 18*, Nibu Jose 2-14, Joseph Gregan 2-18) ACOB 172 (Greg Chitty 28, Matt Eden 22, Nick Thomsen 35, Josh Poole 4-18, Jerrym Lamb 3-42). Dolphins won by three wickets.

WTTU 87 (Jarrod McKay 4-23, Kaleb McKay 3-22) Nelson College 72 (Cade Armstrong 4-28, Tom Cross 3-7) WTTU won by 15 runs.

Wakatu 235-6 (Brad Smith 63*, Tom Argyle 43, Fergus Hughes 42, Devon Serruier 21, Campbell McLean 20, A Brogan 2-43) Wanderers/Motueka 118 (Max Mannering 25, Damian Aitken 6-35). Wakatu won by 117 runs.

Falcons skipper Matthew Stretch drives the ball through the covers on his way to a half century against Wakatu as the TPL competition began at Horton Park today. Photo: Peter Jones.

Falcons defy weather to grab early points

The Tasman Premier League cricket season got off to a soggy start in Blenheim on Saturday, with the Marlborough Labour Hire Falcons side being the main benefactor after both games were rain-shortened.

The Falcons took on Nelson side Wakatu at Horton Park, battling their way to a meagre total of 144 from just 41.4 off their 50-over allocation.

Rep skipper Matthew Stretch underlined his early-season form with a second consecutive half century, following 64 for a Marlborough Invitation XI last weekend, when he notched a hard-hit 55 from 63 balls. His innings, plus a timely 26 from Chris Turkington and an unbeaten 18 from veteran Greg Stretch gave the local innings some much-needed middle order substance.

Damian Aitken, who took 3-34 from eight overs, Campbell McLean with 2-19 from seven, Liam Rowling with 2-16, also from seven, and Hunter Cavil with 2-49 from his full complement of 10 overs did the damage on a slowish wicket.

With rain threatening, Wakatu came out chasing hard but lost wickets regularly, eventually left sitting at 86-6 when the rain came after 24.5 overs, leaving the home side winners under the Duckworth Lewis system. Opener Jim Morrison was on 32 when the rain came, having carried his bat, but received very little help along the way. Aitken scored 24 batting at seven, but at 5-50 the writing was on the wall early for Wakatu.

Main destroyers with the ball for the Falcons were Nick Weaver, with 2-16 from four, Sam Boyce, 1-14 from four, Greg Stretch with 1-21 off 8.5 and Matt Stretch with 1-27 from eight.

On the other ground, the Marlborough Labour Hire Dolphins were well on top when the weather deteriorated, but with their innings not having reached the 20-over mark, they were unable to force a victory over WTTU.

Batting first, the visitors were dismissed for 156 in the final over. They were handily placed at 76-3, but lost their way as the Dolphins slower bowlers took control. Tom Cross, who scored 50 at the top of the order led the way with the bat, his main support coming from Sam Baxendine with 24, batting seven.

Josh Poole led the way for the home side with the ball, taking 4-23 from his 10 overs, while Rikki Bovey, 3-15 from nine, was the other standout.

Despite facing a handy WTTU bowling unit, Dolphins openers Luke Frankland and Bovey prospered. Frankland was the anchor, scoring 19 not out from 63 balls, while Bovey went on the attack, amassing an unbeaten 50 from 53 balls, with 10 fours.

Nicely placed at 90-0 after 19 overs, the home side’s scoring rate was well ahead of the required Duckworth Lewis target, but an over short of making it an official game, so they had to settle for sharing two points apiece after the match was abandoned.

The two matches in Nelson avoided the rain but had vastly different results, Nelson College easily accounting for the newly-promoted Wanderers/Motueka side while the other fixture, between Stoke Nayland and ACOB, ended in a late-evening tie.

TPL round one scores

Falcons 144 (41.4 overs) Wakatu 86/6 (24.5 overs). Match abandoned. Win to Falcons on D/L System.

WTTU 156 (49.4 overs) Dolphins 90/0 (19 overs). Match abandoned. Two points each.

Stoke Nayland 262/9 (Patrick Howes 117, Clayton Campbell 45, Ricky Edwards 30, Reuben Smith 3/38, Daniel Grimes 2/38, Ollie Jones-Allen 2/43) ACOB 262 (Daniel Grimes 71, Jack Milton 60, Ollie Jones-Allen 22, Shane White 21, Dylan Eginton 3/56, Thomas Chambers 2/49). Match tied.

Nelson College 212/2 (Jack Morris 104*, Finn Raxworthy 56, Finn Restieaux 29*) Wanderers/Motueka  57 (Finn Raxworthy 5/4, Jarrod McKay 3/11). Nelson College won by 155 runs.

For the first time this season the sound of willow on leather reverberated around Horton Park as a Marlborough Invitation XI took on their Nelson counterparts in a pre-season match on Sunday, signalling the opening of the 2019-20 season. The teams played two 25-over matches, Marlborough winning one by three wickets, Nelson taking out the other by nine wickets. Next week the opening rounds of the Tasman Premier League will be played. Photo Peter Jones.

Cricket season already here

Cricket’s Tasman Premier League competition begins on Saturday with two Marlborough-based sides and six Nelson teams, including one newcomer, in the mix.

Stoke-Nayland, who took out the 2018/19 title will be back and an obvious pre-league favourite.

Also firmly in with a shout will be the Dolphins, last year’s losing finalist, and the Falcons. The two Marlborough combinations have been prominent in recent seasons and should feature at the business end again.

The newcomer, bringing the total teams to eight and eliminating the bye this season, is Wanderers/Motueka.  Neither the Wanderers nor Motueka clubs have been able to field a competitive senior team in recent years. The common-sense approach was taken, and the two clubs have amalgamated to get back up with the big boys.

The TPL will again consist of a double round-robin. Round one sees Falcons host Wakatu at Horton 1 while Dolphins meet WTTU on the adjoining pitch. Nelson College will host new boys Wanderers/Motueka at Ngawhatu and ACOB travel out to challenge Stoke/Nayland at Marsden Rec. All fixtures begin at 11.30am.

Meet the teams

The Dolphins chances of success this season will depend heavily on the skills of key players Jerrym Lamb, Josh Poole and MCA development officer Prabodha Athavidu. The trio of influential all-rounders played a big input in propelling their side to the 2018-19 TPL final. Lamb’s medium pacers, coupled with Arthavidu’s off spin and Poole’s left arm spin accounted for the majority of the Dolphins overs last season. They are also accomplished batsmen, making for a formidable top order, backed up by the likes of Luke Frankland and Rikki Bovey, who is back in the fold this season. Ben Blackman is another talented all-rounder who will be a key with the ball, alongside former Wakatu opening bowler Cody Golding.

Squad: Prabodha Arthavidu, Jerrym Lamb, Josh Poole, Luke Frankland, Akhil Pant, Akhil Bhardvaj, Piers Landon-Lane, Kirk Nicholas, Hayden Gaudin, Ricki Bovey, Iain Charles-Jones, Ben Blackman, Jack Holdaway, Liam Young, Logan Robinson.

The Falcons have named a large squad to cover for the fact several players will be unavailable in the early stages of the season and a couple are injured.

Their challenge will be based around rep players Matthew Stretch, who will lead the side, left-arm pace bowler Nick Weaver, Sam Boyce, Tarin Mason, Alex Kennedy, Benjamin Ivory-McCullum and Ma’ara Ave, whose participation will depend on his CD commitments. Although up-and-coming all-rounder Joel Lavender is struggling with injury at this stage, fellow youngsters Patrick Moran, Cooper Roberts, Cameron Collins and Joel Pannell will be given a chance to show their skills in the top of the south league.

Inconsistency blighted the Falcons’ efforts last season, although they reached the play-offs, and they will be hoping to string some good results together early on.

Squad: Matthew Stretch (captain), Nick Weaver (vice-captain), Patrick Moran, Cameron Collins, Sam Boyce, Tarin Mason, Harrison Boyce, Alex Kennedy, Chris Turkington, Ma’ara Ave, Benjamin Ivory-McCullum, Andrew McCaa, Joel Lavender, Cooper Roberts, Greg Stretch, Heath Murphy, Harry MacDonald, Joel Pannell.

Nelson teams

Wanderers-Motueka will be largely made of a core of Wanderers regulars, backed with promising Motueka up-and-comers and a couple of overseas pros. Player/coach will be Englishman Max Mannering, an off spinner and a handy batsman. Zade Mohamnard, an Afghani out of England, is a genuine left arm quick who has been released from his English club side. Boe Bamford is a highly-regarded youngster while old hand Hayden Ingham will provide support with middle innings overs.

Stoke-Nayland will be looking for Patrick Howes to have a big year, plus overseas seamer Tom Chambers who is expected to add some heat to their attack. The champions also welcome former Griffins all-rounder Liam Clark back from Christchurch. His arrival offsets the losses of Ili Tugaga, Symon Carr, Sam Chamberlain and Clayton Campbell. Stoke-Nayland will boast their usual club stalwarts in skipper Brendan Hodgson, vice-captain Dylan Eginton, Chris Dittmer, Ricky Edwards, Ben Stark, Darius Skeaping, Ben Homan and Kurt Pahl.

The Nelson College 1st XI will have their usual battles, losing a number of senior players to tertiary education this year. Fergus Hughes, Damien Aitken and Louis MacAlister will be playing for Wakatu, however College have retained the services of opening bowler Jarrod McKay and younger sibling Kaleb. Finn Restieaux, Mason Lund and the Raxworthy twins, Finn and Jonty, will be key players. Garry MacDonald returns as coach.

ACOB have their entire 2018-19 squad returning for the upcoming campaign, apart from Nic Clark. They will also welcome quick bowler Nibu Jose, a talented youngster with overseas experience. Former players Duncan Taylor, Joseph Gregan, Jake Milton and Daniel Grimes make a return. ACOB will look to the experience of Milton, Greg Chitty, Reuben Smith, Horse Baumfield, James Graham and last season’s club MVP Matt Eden to provide early momentum, plus captain and coach BJ Barnett.

Wakatu will be without skipper Devon Serrurier this season so Campbell McLean will lead them around the paddock. They will largely depend on the likes of Daniel Hooper and Brad Smith to lead the way with bat in hand and for Ryan Hooper and Matt O’Sullivan to dictate terms with the ball. The all-round contributions of Jared Exeter, Campbell McLean, Aitken and Liam Rowling will also have a bearing on their success rate. Veteran Mason Robinson will again be behind the stumps as he prepares for the Over 50s world cup next year.

WTTU will be led again by bowling all-rounder Sam Baxendine, surrounded by some of the experienced senior leaders from last year. Joey O’Connor, Mason Thelin and Tom Cross will be expected to make major contributions. The only major loss from last season is all-rounder Kurt Thompson to Australia while Josh Newport has returned from playing in Ireland.

New MCA life member Barry Roberts with grandson Cooper Roberts at the association’s AGM. Photo: Peter Jones.

Cricket stalwart honoured with life membership

Marlborough cricket has a new life member.

At the Annual General Meeting on July 22 Barry Roberts, the province’s most successful senior rep coach, was presented with life membership, an honour accorded to only 18 others in the association’s 125-year history.

Barry was nominated by the Wairau club, in recognition of a cricketing career that spanned over 60 years.

Born in Fiji, Barry moved to this province in 1957 and played his club cricket for Woodbourne, Marlborough Boys’ College, Picton and Wairau.

He made his senior Marlborough debut in 1965 and was a member of Marlborough’s first Hawke Cup-winning team in 1968.

In 1970 he transferred out of the province, before returning in 1982.

During that period he was part of the Taranaki team that won the Hawke Cup in 1970 and played in every defence until Taranaki lost the trophy in the final game of the 1973 season. He also played for Counties, before transferring to Hamilton from where he was selected for Northern Districts, playing two limited over and two first class games.

On returning to Marlborough, Barry was persuaded to take on the rep coach’s role, a position he held, with the exception of one season, until 1998.

After unsuccessful challenges for the Hawke Cup in 1986-87, then 1991-92, Marlborough reclaimed the trophy in the 1993-94 season, with Barry earned the distinction of winning the cup as a player [with two provinces] and as a coach.

Barry stood down from the Marlborough coaching role in 1998 but resumed the role in 2002 before finally retiring in 2005.

He was also coach of the Central Districts U20 team in 1987-88 and 1988-89 and a CD selector from 1998-2001.

Over the last seven years he has once again become involved with coaching, this time at junior level. For the last two seasons Barry has been head coach of the Marlborough primary school representative team. He joins Jon Cunliffe, Brian Fitzpatrick, Don McIntyre, Graeme Hawtin, Stan Lane, Bob Wilson, Gary Bartlett and Greg Stretch as life members of the MCA.

In other news out of the AGM, Denis Aberhart was reappointed to the board, which will again have Greg Stretch as chairman and Vaughan Harris as deputy chair.

The MCA announced a small surplus for the 2018-19 season, around $5000.