Seven straight rounds of Williams Cup qualifying play that kickoff this Saturday (2 February 2019), will lead to a four team shootout in late March 2019, to find who will lift aloft in triumph the oldest Bay of Plenty Cricket trophy still in competition.
The Williams Cup was first presented in the 1932/33 season, when the City Cricket Club, took out the first Bay of Plenty Cricket championship title. In earlier decades the Williams Cup was a challenge trophy.
Two Western Bay of Plenty 2019 contenders stand out like beacons on the Baywide cricket prize, which was first contested nearly nine decades ago. Te Puke Cricket Club is one of the oldest in the country, having been formed in 1888 and has a proud Williams Cup record over the seasons
Te Puke has won the Williams Cup a record sixteen times, with their first victories in the shadows of WW2, in 1938/39 and 1939/40. Their most recent success came in the 2015/16 season, when they chased down the Mount Maunganui total of 136, in a rain affected match.
Otumoetai Cadets kick-started their Williams Cup winning streak, with five successive wins from 1994/95 to 1998/99. They have since won the Baywide trophy on a further five occasions. Cadets last success came just two seasons ago, when they posted 210 for the loss of four wickets and then restricted Mount Maunganui to 198/9
Defending Williams Cup Champions Evers Realty Greerton, who will sit on the sideline courtesy of drawing the round one bye, will keep a wary eye on the other six contenders.
Carrus Mount Maunganui, who won the Baywide Twenty 20 competition two weeks ago, could have a good battle on their hands when New World Te Puke pays a visit to Blake Park.
A Bay of Plenty central region derby, will take place at Smallbone Park in Rotorua, with Bayleys Central Indians hosting GM Painters Lake Taupo CC. The Rotorua combined side have had a solid season, with their latest effort a third place finish in the Baywide Twenty 20 competition.
Element IMF Cadets, will meet Bond & Co Tauranga Boys College, who are coming off a very busy week with four days of competition in the Super Eight secondary school competition.
Williams Cup 2 February 2019 - Round One Draw
Bayleys Central Indians v GM Painters Lake Taupo CC, Smallbone Park; Carrus Mount Maunganui v New World Te Puke, Blake 3; Element IMF Cadets v Bond & Co Tauranga Boys College, Tauranga Domain; Eves Realty Greerton the bye.
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