The biggest game of the Baywide Cup season is to take place at Blake Park, Mount Maunganui on Saturday when the top two teams in the standings square off.
Defending Baywide champions and 2013 competition leaders Mount Maunganui will face the challenge from long time rivals Element IMF Cadets. With just three rounds before the Baywide Cup final, the winner from the weekend encounter will take a big step towards securing a berth in the title decider, with the loser left to fight for a place in the final stanza.
Mount Maunganui batsman Peter Drysdale will be one of the keys to a Mount victory. Sitting in third place on the season tally with 224 runs, the Mount skipper's innings will be crucial to the home side posting a competitive total against their arch rivals. Two Mount bowlers are at the top of the wicket taking list with Dale Swan on 13 wickets chased by Tony Goodin who is just two behind.
Cadet's master blaster Joe Carter, who posted two solid turns at bat in his debut game for the Northern Knights last weekend, is capable of blasting the opposition out of the game.
Over a thousand runs for the Bay of Plenty senior rep team (in 24 games) testify to Carter's ability with the bat. James Birchall is turning into a game-winner with a six wicket bag earlier in the season, followed by a hard hit 38 not out against Te Puke last Saturday.
The big mover on the standings is Central, who moved into the top four after defeating East Bay United last weekend. The arrival of the Vaughan and Kyle Blanchard from Counties Manukau has strengthened the Rotorua contenders. However they have a battle on their hands this week against Eves Realty Greerton at Smallbone Park.
In other Baywide Cup encounters, City Sports Bar Te Puke should move back into the top four if they beat East Bay United at the Te Puke Domain, with BOP Indians meeting Tauranga Boys' College at Boord Park in Rotorua.