Cricket: Primary rep team grab close win

By Cameron Leslie

Winning tight games seems to be a specialty of the Northland Primary School cricket team.

In an evenly contested match which had parents and supporters sitting on the edge of their seats, Northland grabbed victory over Manukau Districts with 10 balls remaining and their last pair at the crease.

Chasing 179 to win, Northland began cautiously on Sunday but solid partnerships kept them in the hunt. Captain Quinn Pooley (36) did a fine opener's job, hitting the ball into gaps and along with Lewis Miller (16) and Austin Ryburn (11) built the platform.

At 92 for 4 Northland needed to kick on, Hamish Kidd (23) was striking the ball sweetly and combined with Sean West to put on a 33 run partnership. But when they both were removed, Northland still needed 45 off 10 overs with four wickets in hand.

Cullen Lowe, who has been a big improver this year, started to hit out but was bowled for 26 with Northland still needing six runs from the last pair at the crease.

Up stepped No 10 Liam Wewege, who three weeks ago was the hero with the ball in a similar situation, who calmly hit a two over the inner ring and then cracked a stunning cover drive to the boundary for four to lead Northland home.

Earlier in the day Northland began slowly, taking a while to wake up in the field. Manukau though, never could achieve dominance with Cullen Lowe [2 for 26], Kurt Oldridge [1 for 5] and Ben Trigg [1 for 29] bowling tightly. Van Grooby bowled 10 straight overs of controlled off-spin, taking 1 for 28.

The win completed a busy yet successful representative season for players from one of cricket's smaller provinces.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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