Cricket: Tough tussle guaranteed by top two

It will be a competition-defining encounter in the Baywide Cup at Blake Park tomorrow when the two unbeaten teams square off, the winner taking a big step towards winning the first piece of Baywide cricket silverware on offer this season.

The match between home side Mount Maunganui and Eves Realty Greerton brings together two teams from different spectrums.

Mount Maunganui has a nucleus of players in skipper Mark Divehall, Pete Drysdale, Daniel Hill, Dale Swan and Tony Goodin, who have secured many Baywide trophies in the past few years.

Two seasons ago they annexed all three Baywide trophies and added the ND Club title for good measure.

In contrast, Greerton won their first major piece of Baywide silverware for nearly three decades when they won the Williams Cup in the last match of the season.

The revival in Greerton's fortunes started with the arrival of Tauranga Boys' College allrounder Brett Hampton three seasons ago.

While Hampton has gone on to earn a Northern Knights contract, several Tauranga Boys' players have followed him to Pemberton Park.

The latest young guns are Tommy Clout, Elliot Timoti and Cameron Neal, who all played for the Bay of Plenty Development team while playing for Tauranga Boys.

However, while the winner from the weekend encounter will be eying the Baywide trophy, hovering just off the pace in the first-past-the-post competition are defending champions Element IMF Cadets.

No team in Baywide cricket has won more trophies in the past two decades than the Tauranga Domain-based side, the tally including nine Williams Cups.

This weekend Cadets host Central at the Tauranga Domain.

While the Rotorua team has had an up-and-down ride in recent seasons, they have players with the credentials of genuine match-winners.

In other Baywide Cup games, Te Puke could have their hands full when East Bay United pay a visit, the Eastern Bay side having won their last two matches.

Tauranga Boys' College are home to BOP Indians, who now have Bay of Plenty batsman Bharat Popli in their ranks.

BOPCA Baywide Cup Draw: Element IMF Cadets v Central, Tauranga Domain; Mount Maunganui v Eves Realty Greerton, Blake1; Te Puke v East Bay United, Te Puke Domain; Tauranga Boys College v BOP Indians, Nicholson Field.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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