Cricket: Baywide title race on

The Baywide Reserve Grade championship, the McNaughton Trophy, gets serious this weekend with four games spread throughout the Bay of Plenty region.

Tauranga team Cadets will travel to the Kaimanawa Reserve in the Great Lake region to square off against Taupo Wanderers. Traditionally, the Taupo sides that make forays into the McNaughton Trophy prove very hard to beat at home and Cadets could face a real challenge on the road.

Defending champions Mount Maunganui face a real challenge to progress to the semifinals in the form of Te Puke at the Te Puke Domain. The Te Puke second eleven are arguably the most improved side in the Western Bay ranks this season. After earning the wooden spoon last season, they lurk menacingly in second place in the title race.

Katikati, who have been runners-up in the last two McNaughton Trophies, also face a stern test to advance to the last four. They must travel to meet (Rotorua) Central at Smallbone Park. The Rotorua team seems to always bring their A game to the Baywide championship and won the Baywide title in 2008.

Greerton had a warm-up for the quarterfinals when they played Geyser CC from Rotorua in a preliminary round two weeks ago.

The Tauranga side batted first and posted 271/9 and then bowled the Rotorua team out for 217. In the quarterfinals, Greerton are at home at Pemberton Park to fellow Western Bay side R&A; Sangha.

McNaughton Trophy Quarterfinals, February 17

Greerton v R&A; Sangha, Pemberton Park; Central v Katikati, Smallbone Park; Te Puke v Mount Maunganui, Te Puke Domain; Taupo Wanderers v Cadets, Kaimanawa Reserve.

McNaughton Preliminary Round,

February 3

Greerton 271/9 (Ranjit Singh 50, Sam Brown 48, Cameron Lockett 47; Chris Nairn 2/37, Ben Dyson 2/38) defeated Geyser CC 217 (Greg Campbell 31; Rob Inglis 3/42, Paul Inglis 2/16, Sean Crotty 2/47)

- Bay of Plenty Times

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