The business end of the 20163-17 Baywide cricket season has arrived with the Williams Cup playoffs taking place over the weekend (18-19 March 2017).
Rotorua City Cricket Club, became the first name engraved on the Williams Cup in the 1932/33 season, with the Bay of Plenty premier trophy having been contested every year since the early thirties, except during WW2. Te Puke leads the all-time Williams Cup title list, winning the big Bay of Plenty Cricket prize on 16 occasions, while Otumoetai Cadets have annexed the Baywide big prize nine times since the 1994/95 season.
Element IMF Cadets finished at the top of the standings and will play Carrus Mount Maunganui in the major semi-final at the Tauranga Domain. The winner of the match will progress straight through to the Williams Cup Grand Final the following Saturday (25 March 2017), with the loser given another bite of the cherry against the minor semi-final winner on Sunday.
With the highly successful Bay of Plenty representative campaign completed, with last weekend’s retention of the Hawke Cup against Southland, Cadets and Mount Maunganui will be at full strength with the return of their representative players.
Cadets are likely to have Bay master blaster Sean Davey, who posted over 623 runs in twelve Bay of Plenty games this season, along with Donovan Deeble and Northern Knight Jono Boult. Deeble who is better known as an attack bowler posted a maiden Hawke Cup century against Counties Manukau, with Boult grabbing six wickets in the last two Hawke Cup defences of the season.
Mount Maunganui will welcome back Bay of Plenty skipper Peter Drysdale, Tony Goodin, Ben Musgrave, Chris Atkinson and Brenton Thompson. Drysdale brought up 80 games for his province against Southland and has hit over five hundred runs during the current representative season. Thompson and Musgrave will greatly strengthen the Mount Maunganui batting attack, with Goodin and Atkinson leading the Mount pace bowling attack.
A sudden death match-up will take place at Pemberton Park between Eves Realty Greerton and New World Te Puke. The prize at stake is a place in the preliminary final, against the major semi-final loser, while the beaten team can reflect on the ups and downs of the Baywide Cricket season.
Opening batsman Tom MacRury and Northern Knight all-rounder Brett Hampton will bolster the Greerton eleven. MacRury has been another prolific run scorer for the Bay team this season with Hampton always likely to put the boundary ropes at Pemberton Park under siege.
Te Puke captain Stephen Crossan returns to his side after Hawke Cup duty last weekend. Leading the Te Puke batting attack will be Tai Bridgman-Raison, who tops the Williams Cup batting stakes with 348 runs and a highest score of 178. Cam Riley sits in second place on the Williams Cup wickets total with 16 bowling scalps and best figures of five for 29.
BOPCA Williams Cup Playoffs 18 March 2017
Major Semi-Final: Element IMF Cadets v Carrus Mount Maunganui, Tauranga Domain.
Minor Semi-Final: Eves Realty Greerton v New World Te Puke, Pemberton Park.
Williams Cup Points Table (Final) Element IMF Cadets 52, Carrus Mount Maunganui 46, Eves Realty Greerton 40, New World Te Puke 28, Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys College 16, Bayleys Central Indians 15.
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