The road adjacent to Pemberton Park in Tauranga, is likely to be under siege tomorrow when the big hitters of Baywide Cricket take aim on the boundaries, in the Baywide Cup encounter to be played at the tranquil suburban cricket ground.
With just two rounds remaining in the Baywide Cup first-past-the-post competition, there is likely to be no quarter asked or given when Eves Realty Greerton play Element IMF Cadets at Greerton headquarters.
Greerton master blaster Brett Hampton can smash the ball like few others in Baywide cricket and will relish the opportunity to belt the Cadets bowlers all over Pemberton Park. In his sole Baywide Cup game this season, he smashed 148 against BOP Indians as his side reached 357/7 declared.
Cadets don't lack for firepower with the bat either, with New Zealand Under-19 opener Joe Carter also in sublime form. On the same afternoon that Hampton posted his century, Carter carried his bat to an unbeaten 131 against Te Puke.
Another Cadets batsmen in fine form is Josh Evemy who has a strike rate of over two runs per ball.
Both teams also have firepower with the ball. Greerton quick Tommy Clout leads the Baywide bowling figures with ten wickets, while Cadets skipper Jono Boult recently grabbed a six wicket bag for the Bay of Plenty team.
Mount Maunganui should increase their advantage at the top of the Baywide Cup standings, when they travel to Rotorua to play BOP Indians at Smallbone Park.
While the Rotorua side sit at the bottom of the point's ladder they have several quality players in their ranks. Bay of Plenty master blaster Bharat Popli has joined the team this season and Prashant Dhanjee was recently selected for the Bay Development side.
Tauranga Boys' College and Te Puke could have an encounter that goes down to the wire at Nicholson Field, while East Bay United will be chasing their third successive Baywide Cup victory when they meet Rotorua Central in Whakatane.
Baywide Cup Draw 1 December
Eves Realty Greerton v Element IMF Cadets, Pemberton Park; Tauranga Boys College v Te Puke, Nicholson Field; East Bay United v Central, Rex Morepeth Park; BOP Indians v Mount Maunganui, Smallbone Park.
Mount Maunganui 61, Element IMF Cadets 59, Greerton 56, East Bay United 51, Te Puke 48, Tauranga Boys College 45, Central 42, BOP Indians 39.
Bay of Plenty Cricket fans will get the opportunity to watch to two home-grown players in action when the Northern Spirit hit town during the weekend.
They play a three-match series with the Wellington Blaze, at the Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui, starting with today's Twenty20 encounter, before backing up in two one-day games on the weekend.
Bay of Plenty White Ferns Anna Peterson and Jacinta Coleman will join Northern Spirit teammates in playing alongside the Spirits' 2012 overseas recruit, Naomi Stalenberg, who is a member of the New South Wales Women's cricket squad.
Stalenbeg has joined the Spirit for the 2012/13 season and is coming off a spell playing for the Dutch national side that plays in the English County League.
While Coleman is a recent recruit to the Northern Spirit, Peterson has become one of the anchors of the ND team in recent seasons. The 2012 White Fern has blasted more than 500 runs in NZ Cricket Twenty20 and limited over matches and last week took five wickets against the Canterbury Magicians at Cobham Park in Whangarei.
Northern Spirit Coach Owen Stevenson is another cricket mentor, who has worked his way up the coaching pathway, to take charge of a major association senior team.
The NZ Cricket Level Three Coach has an extensive coaching background. He has coached a number of ND age group teams and has also had stints in England, while more recently he has been the Waikato Valley Senior Men's representative coach.
NZ Cricket Women's Games at the Bay Oval.
November 30 Northern Spirit v Wellington Blaze (T20) - 4pm start.
December 1-2 Northern Spirit v Wellington Blaze (One-Day x 2) - 10am start
Mount Maunganui batsman Peter Drysdale has received the October Bay of Plenty Cricket Player of the Month Award. He ensured the premier club cricket season opened with a bang, smashing a big century on the opening day of the new season on October 6.
Seven years ago, Bay of Plenty Cricket introduced the BOP Cricket Player of the Month Award to recognise excellence in Bay of Plenty cricket during each month of the playing season.
In a few short seasons, Drysdale has established himself as one of the best premier batsmen in Baywide cricket for some time.
In the 2009/10 season he blasted 159 in the Baywide Cup for Mount Maunganui and last season posted a unbeaten 140 in the same competition.
However, it is in Fergus Hickey representative cricket where the younger brother of Olympic gold medallist Mahe Drysdale has really made his mark.
Since he was first selected for the Bay of Plenty senior men's team four years ago, the former Tauranga Boys' College batsman has blasted his way on to 19th position on the all time batsmen list.
In just four seasons, Drysdale has grabbed a place in the top 20 all time batting list, ahead of such as former New Zealand captain Geoff Howarth and original Young Gun Black Cap Kyle Wealleans.
Last season the talented batsmen played a huge part in the Bay of Plenty winning the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl.
Needing to beat Hamilton to pip their traditional rivals in the ND representative title, the Bay master blaster smashed 102 to put his side in a unbeatable position.
Bay of Plenty's young swimming stars of the future will get their chance to shine when the junior swim champs get underway tomorrow.
More than 200 swimmers from 20 clubs from around the North Island are set to take to the water for the two-day meet of the Bay of Plenty Junior Swimming Championships at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.
Swimming Bay of Plenty president Bronwen Radford said she was expecting some talented swimmers for the meet.
"There are some very talented youngsters from around the region and their are a lot of new names coming through who will be looking to make their mark," Radford said.
The event gets underway tomorrow, with the first session beginning at 9am and finishing at 12.30pm. The second session starts at 5pm and runs through to 7.30pm.
The third and final session begins on Sunday at 9am and concludes at 1.30pm.
Radford said she was particularly excited about the prospects of some of the Swim Rotorua competitors.
Several of the swimmers produced outstanding performances at the Auckland Junior Championships held last weekend.
Swim Rotorua head coach Alistair Johnson said Paddy Baylis, 12, David Boles, 12, Bianca Donelley, 10, Anasetini Nagera, 12, and Jopae Nagera, 12, were a testimony to the young talent coming through the ranks of the club.
"After two full days of racing, the athletes set new national qualifying times for the New Zealand National Junior Championships in a total of 22 events," Johnson said.
Swimmers from around the country including a representative team from New Caledonia and Tonga competed and the action in the pool was fast and furious.
"Paddy, who turns 13 in the new year, improved a further 9 secs on his national qualifying time for New Zealand Division II Competition," Johnson said.
The coach said the young athletes displayed their champion qualities with their thirst for learning and their competitive commitment: "Bianca was in a class of her own, and dominated the freestyle events claiming gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle and a silver in the 200m freestyle."
Johnson said a further 16 swimmers from within the club achieved a Bay of Plenty qualifying standard and would be competing during the weekend.
They vanquished all their Kiwi rivals last season and nearly conquered the world but don't expect the champion Piha men's surf boat crew to let their standards slip.
The revamped national series gets under way tomorrow with the Wellington Super Surf Boat carnival at Paekakariki. At stake in the series are two spots - open male and open female - to compete in a transtasman test against Australia's best crews at Waihi in February.
Piha are sending six crews south to compete across four divisions this weekend, with their top two open men's crews, swept by Mark Bourneville and Shane O'Halloran, among the warm favourites.
A strong local contingent, led by Lyall Bay, Titahi Bay and hosts Paekakariki, have Piha's well-publicised supremacy firmly in their sights.
"It's great to see clubs like Lyall Bay getting themselves back into the fold and Titahi Bay used to provide a lot of the motivation that drove me so relentlessly to knock the buggers over," former Kiwis league player Bourneville said.
"It took us many years of building and planning to knock the likes of Titahi Bay off the top of the castle and we don't intend to give the space up any time soon."
Bourneville's crew has got the form to back up those claims, having just returned from the Rescue 2012 world interclub championships, where the club finished second overall.
Bourneville's crew also won the State New Zealand long course championships in Gisborne in March and became the first Kiwi crew to win a major Australian crown, at the ASRL Open at Newcastle's Stockton beach in February.
But his wariness at the Titahi Bay revival is well justified. The perennial surf boat powerhouses have been rebuilding over the last two seasons and a largely under-23 crew, swept by Wil McDowell, are making a permanent move into the open ranks this season.
"We've got a whole lot of junior girls coming through and three male crews, which is the most for a few years," McDowell said. "We've had guys like [former champion sweep] Paul McVicar helping out and Tim Marsden has been setting our programmes, which has given us a big boost.
"Piha will be right up there with the best and they're coming off some good form at the worlds but knocking them off is always one of our goals for the season and we'll definitely be going for it."
Lyall Bay grabbed second in the short course at nationals earlier this year, although they've had a disrupted off-season with crew changes.
Crew member Brad Lawson said he believes Lyall Bay will relish the predicted flat conditions at Paekakariki, with the transtasman test series spots adding major motivation.
"It's been a big incentive throughout winter and it will be lurking in the back of our minds but Piha are a long way ahead of the rest of the country," Lawson said. "They're got a really good programme going up there but we're pretty keen to give it a crack."
The women's division may be given a shake-up this year, with the outstanding national champion Mairangi Bay crew without key rower Nina Reid this season.
That could open the door for Red Beach and Orewa, who took out the minor placings in the long-course at nationals, with Mount Maunganui also expected to feature.
Waihi Beach's indefatigable 74-year-old Dan Harris will enter his 60th season of surf lifesaving competition when he sweeps his national champion under-19 crew for another year, while he'll also control an under-23 crew.
Blenheim's Rarangi club will cross Cook Strait as the only club with a crew in all six divisions.
Tomorrow's racing starts at 10am.