A clinical performance with bat and ball has seen Central Cricket Club crowned the Rotorua/Taupo Senior Reserve Grade pre-Christmas champions.
Batting first against Geyser City John Paul College Old Boys in the final at Smallbone Park on Saturday, Central put 201 runs on the board in their 40 overs. They then bowled Geyser JPC out for 117 to win the final by a comprehensive 84 runs.
Central's victory was set up by batsman David Hunt, who scored a patient 63 runs from 87 balls, including four boundaries. The other major contributors were Sam Gordon (26), Ben Fraser (24) and Nathan Hall (21).
Manish Kumar was the pick of the Geyser JPC bowlers, taking four wickets for 39 runs in his eight overs. Satpal Singh and Karamvir Singh Benipal took two wickets each.
After posting a total they were confident of defending, Central got to work with the ball and had Geyser JPC's top four batsmen back in the sheds after just nine overs, having scored 14 runs between them.
Liam Kelly steadied the ship a little, coming in at number five and scoring 14 runs, and Satpal Singh did his best to put the side on his shoulders as he top scored with 38 from 32 balls, including four 4s and a 6.
However, once Central had gotten rid of the danger men they tore through the lower order. When the 10th wicket fell they erupted into celebration.
Dave Lewy was the best of the Central bowlers with four wickets for 41 runs, while Ben Fraser took three wickets for 21 runs, including three of the top four batsmen.
Central captain Paul Wyllie said he was "absolutely ecstatic".
"There's no other way to describe it. We kind of knew when they were four of five down that we pretty much had it, but there was still a job to do.
"We won the toss and chose to bat first, knowing anything over 150 would be a good total. What we really wanted was to get to 200 because we knew, mentally, it would be tough for them to chase down.
"[David] Hunt's 63 was patient but aggressive at the same time, he occupied the crease for about 25 overs, and on the day it was worth 100 to us," Wyllie said.
He said his side got off to a perfect start in the second innings.
"Ben Fraser and Ejaz [Khalid] bowled great line and length at the start. Once we got the top order out we brought on the slow bowlers to finish the job off and they did it. Our fielding was great too, Brad Wiggins made two very special catches which potentially changed the course of the game.
"We firmly believe that when all our players are available, we are the best team in the competition. We proved it on Saturday and we are absolutely looking forward to proving it again next year," he said.