Cricket: Unique trifecta for Bay heroes

By Barry Leabourn


Arguably the most memorable season in the 81 years of Bay of Plenty Cricket history has finally ended.

In a history-breaking achievement, the Bay of Plenty senior representative team won all three pieces of minor association silverware that the team is eligible to compete for during the season.

To recognise the outstanding achievements of the 27 players and the coaching and support staff, the Bay of Plenty team has been awarded the BOPCA March Players of the Month Award.

The Bay of Plenty team won the two ND prizes of the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl and the Brian Dunning (One Day) Trophy, with the icing on the cake taking the Hawke Cup from Hamilton and then defending it three times.

While Bay of Plenty suffered two narrow defeats to arch-rivals Hamilton and a two-day loss to Northland in the Fergus Hickey competition, the Bay side amassed enough points in the two competitions to take the two ND prizes.

However, it was in the Hawke Cup contests that Bay of Plenty showed their abundance of talent and genuine fighting qualities.

There is no bigger prize in NZ Minor Association Cricket than the Hawke Cup, which was first presented by Lord Hawke in 1910.

A myriad of records fell when Bay of Plenty grabbed the prize from Hamilton in the last weekend of January.

After rolling the Waikato side for 255, the Bay of Plenty team batted for the next two days, to finish their turn at bat on a massive 701 all out.

While there was plenty of joy - and some celebration - just two weeks later the Bay side faced their first Hawke Cup Challenge from long-time rivals Manawatu.

There was plenty of motivation provided by some players in the 2013 team, who had vivid memories of the Hawke Cup thrashing by Manawatu in 2010.

In what turned out the be the Bay side's finest game in 2013, Bay of Plenty overcame a first innings deficit to grab an outright victory, to successfully defend the cup.

The Bay finished with two further successful defences against Canterbury Country and South Canterbury, to ensure that the Hawke Cup spends the winter in the Bay of Plenty Cricket trophy cabinet.

 

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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