Cricket: Great position squandered

By Cameron Leslie

It seems Northland's secondary school cricket team isn't immune to the batting difficulties we see from our national team.

Northland gave themselves every opportunity of advancing to the final of the Northern Districts Senior Secondary Tournament in Gisborne when they bowled Hamilton out for just 145.

And then what all Black Cap supporters are accustomed to seeing happened - a top order collapse.

After an excellent bowling and fielding display, Northland's batting again let the side down on Wednesday as they slumped to an unbelievable 32 for six wickets in 10 overs.

Captain Ben Smith watched four partners come and go until a seventh wicket partnership with Max Davis stemmed the flow of wickets and gave the team some hope.

However, after both fell in quick succession, it was left to Adam Ogle and Nick Stobart to show the top order what could have been, as they added 36 for the ninth wicket. Ogle was stranded on 20 not out when the innings ended on 90.

Earlier it had looked promising for Northland after all catches were held with two run outs and a stumping helped tie Hamilton down.

Stobart and David Armitt were the leaders with the ball as they bowled their 10 overs unchanged in tandem, conceding just 23 runs each.

Northland are currently playing a two day game against Counties-Manukau to decide the third and fourth placing. The final will be played between Bay of Plenty Coastlands and Hamilton.

Earlier in the week Northland dodged a bullet to make the semi after losing by 18 runs in their must win match, but making it through thanks to a superior runs per wicket average. But, it was a close one.

After knocking Bay of Plenty Coastlands over for 177, Northland's response was again poor.

This time though, the top order was strong as they reached 73 for the loss of two, with Jacob Cherrington contributing 34, Northland looked to have the game well in hand. Then, three wickets fell for just two two runs.

After Kurtley Watson added 22, three more wickets were lost with the score at 114 for eight. The calculators were then brought out prematurely to determine who would finish second in the pool behind BoP before Max Davis and Max Trimble put on 39 for the last wicket - ensuring Northland had the best runs per wicket rate among the three sides who finished second.

Results: Bay of Plenty Coastlands 177 (Tom MacRury 60, Alex Oakley 49; Eden Crawford 3/27, Matthew Lobb 2/46) beat Bellahomes Northland 159 (Jacob Cherrington 34, Kurtley Watson 22, Max Trimble 18); Hamilton 145 (Shaun MacCarthy 44; Eden Crawford 2/10, Adam Ogle 2/18, Nick Stobart 2/23) beat Bellahomes Northland 90 (Adam Ogle 20 n.o., Nick Stobart 13; Matt Wallbank 4/14).

- Northern Advocate

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