CHB v NTOB
NZ Club Champs
WITH PEOPLE forever misspelling their surname, one can be forgiven for not knowing that Englishmen Paul Hindmarch and Stephen Hindmarch are in fact brothers plying their trade in Hawke's Bay.
Is it a coincidence or did they plan to be in the region?
"He came to play football so I just wanted to join him here," Paul Hindmarch, 24, says of his younger brother, Stephen, 23, who is playing soccer for the Kinetic Electrical Hawke's Bay United franchise in the ASB Premiership this summer.
The older Hindmarch is a pivotal allrounder for the Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay (CHB) premier men's cricket team who are locking horns with Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB) at Ongaonga Domain, near Otane, from 11am today to decide who will be the top Bay qualifiers in the campaign to make the cut for the annual National Club Championship One-Day Knockout Tournament at the end of this summer in Auckland.
The winners will play Wairarapa's top qualifiers before competing in a two-day knockout tourney in Palmerston North over two days to see who the Central Districts qualifiers will be.
Hindmarch arrived in the Bay this summer thanks to CD stand-in skipper Jamie How who was playing in Cumbria, England.
"I emailed to all the cricket clubs here and no one got back to me," says a grinning Paul Hindmarch who hails from Keswick, in the picturesque Lake Districts where he played for the Unicorns in the ECB one-day domestic competition that offered a few county teams in the mix.
Considering himself a bowler who can bat but evolving into an all-rounder lately, Hindmarch also had two seasons for Waneroo in Perth in the Waca first-grade competition and also a pre-season with Durban in South Africa.
He says his brother is definitely a better cricketer and soccer player than him and was equally adept at rugby but had to make a choice at 16 to define a path in a professional sporting career.
"I used to bowl a lot of balls to him in the nets to convince him to play cricket but I didn't succeed," he says, although they dragged along sister Ellen, who turns 20 on Christmas Eve but doesn't play cricket now while working as a hairdresser in Wellington.
While Perth and Hawke's Bay have an almost similar climate, he believes the former, with South Africa, has better batsmen than bowlers.
Sold on the theory that batsman set up a game while bowlers win it, Hindmarch says NTOB are a traditionally strong side but CHB, who beat Cornwall in the first round, will beat Tech today if they take their chances.
"We've lost to them this summer. They didn't beat us," he says of the George Diack-captained Tech who beat Taradale.
CHB skipper Scott Schaw backs the new format this season as opposed to the old one where the previous summer's champs always represented the province.
"We have enough motivation this time to do the job," says Schaw, emphasising CHB had their chances of winning the English-style 120-over competition but bowed out after losses to NTOB.
Diack says they included veteran Craig Findlay for experience after Stevie Smidt (injured thumb) and the "best fielder in Hawke's Bay", Alex McGarva (injured ankle playing indoor soccer), were unavailable.
Findlay and Diack were in the national club champs-winning Tech side in 2002.
"It's the strongest CHB side I've ever played," Diack says, not accepting a losing draw in the 120-over match against CHB as a defeat.
"We don't intend to start losing to them now but they are the team to beat." CHB only ever won the premier Bay club competition once, believed to be in 1997, but have not gone on fly the flag at the national champs before.
For the National Club Championship One-day Knockout Cup qualifying match between Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay v Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys at Ongaonga Domain today from 11am:
CHB: Scott Schaw (c), Sam McConville, Jame Mackie, Paul Lyttle, Paul Hindmarch, Angus Schaw, Ben Smith (wkt), TobyRichardson, Henry Hunter, Driaan Lubbe, Hamish Lewis.
Coach: Colin Schaw.
NTOB: George Diack (c), Indika Senarathne, Bronson Meehan, Matt Edmondson, Christian Purchass, Craig Herrick, Liam Rukuwai, Jurgen Andersen, Craig Findlay, Turangi Fraser, JK Whyte (wkt).
Coach: Dale Smidt.