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Posted: Friday, 15 January 2021

Alice Johnson Oval in Papamoa hosts an intriguing Versatile Tauranga Williams Cup match-up this Saturday (16 January 2021), between an old contender and the latest entrant into Baywide cricket.

Papamoa, who are playing their first Williams Cup match after earning promotion to the premier cricket ranks this season, have made solid progress in their initial Baywide season. Bayleys Central Indians have links back to the 1950's, through the Central Cricket Club who last won the big Baywide prize in 2007.

Both sides showcased their batting and bowling firepower, during the 2020/21 Bay of Plenty Cup, with players taking high ranking on the individual competition lists. Central Indians Captain Stephen Nicholls was in good touch with his bat with 270 runs, while Nadeera Nawela (208) broke through the two-hundred run barrier. Ben Guild was Papamoa's top run scorer with a best of 108 not out with Andrew Goldsmith another to belt a three figure total.

Nicholls finished the Bay of Plenty Cup as the leading all-rounder, after grabbing 14 wickets, with veteran Andrew Gibbs showing he was still a force with the ball in hand with 12 bowling scalps. Papamoa bowlers Reece Shelton and Guy Wilkins both reached double figures, with Shelton leading the way with 13 wickets.

A forty year rivalry will resume at the Tauranga Domain when Element IMF Cadets host Flying Mullet Te Puke. Both sides have experienced the euphoria of lifting aloft the Williams Cup in triumph on multiple occasions, with the weekend winner taking a solid step towards the March playoffs.

Last weekend Cadets batsman Tim Pringle, smacked the (equal) second highest Williams Cup score of the last decade, belting 174 runs at the Tauranga Domain. Countering the Cadets batting firepower, Te Puke has two master blasters in their side, with skipper Stephen Crossan and Tai Bridgman-Raison having multiple three-figure scores to their name.

Defending Williams Cup titleholders Eves Realty Greerton, put their batting and bowling strengths on display in Taupo last weekend. Top order batsman Taylor Bettelheim finished with 111 runs, with Dan Spencer taking seven wickets at a cost of just 10 runs.

Holland Beckett Law Tauranga Boys College, who oppose Greerton at Nicholson Field, will need no more motivation than to recall last season encounter between the two sides at Tauranga Boys headquarters. Bowled out for what looked to be a modest 90 runs, the Tauranga students then bowled their opponents out three runs short of their target to claim bragging rights on the day.

Craigs Investment Partners Geyser, can also look back twelve months for motivation, when they square off with Generation Homes Lake Taupo at Smallbone Park. Geyser picked up their first win in their first season in Baywide cricket, with Geyser restricting the Taupo side to 225/8, then getting home with five wickets to spare. 

Lake Taupo grabbed revenge for the 2020 Williams Cup loss, when they beat the Rotorua side in this seasons Bay of Plenty Cup. Batting first Lake Taupo posted 288/5 before bowling Geyser out for 144, to claim a big 144 run win.

BOPCA Versatile Tauranga Williams Cup Draws – 16 January 2021

Holland Beckett Law Tauranga Boys College v Eves Realty Greerton, Nicholson Field; Craigs Investment Partners Geyser v  Generation Homes Lake Taupo, Smallbone Park; Element IMF Cadets v Flying Mullet Te Puke, Tauranga Domain; Papamoa v Bayleys Central Indians, Alice Johnson Oval; Bond & Co Mount Maunganui the bye. 

Points Table: Greerton 7, Cadets 7, Central Indians 7, Mount Maunganui 6, Te Puke 1, Lake Taupo 1, Geyser 0, Tauranga Boys College, Papamoa 0.

2021 Versatile Tauranga Williams Cup Milestones


174     Tim Pringle (Cadets v Geyser)

111      Taylor Bettelheim (Greerton v Lake Taupo) 

Six Wickets

7/10     Daniel Spencer (Greerton v Lake Taupo) 

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