Cricket: Central find the right spirit

By Greg Taipari,

Central's reserve side appear to be the team to beat in the Rotorua senior reserve competition this season.

Beaten in last year's finals by a fired up Taupo Wanderers, this year Central appear to have a good team spirit.

Maybe it has something to do with the Downs brothers - Jono and Richie - whose family can be seen every week encouraging the team from the sideline.

Both brothers have contributed with the bat this season.

Jono opens with Ben Fraser. The pair work well together with Jono an aggressive batsman who can punish even a good ball, while Fraser will build an innings.

Then you have Richie, a top-order batsman who can either build an innings or smash the ball to the boundary.

Central take on Western Heights' High School 1st XI today on Ray Boord Park. The Heights had a narrow win over Geyser City in round one and will be keen to build on that performance today.

Rotorua Boys' High School will host the Wanderers at Boord Park today led by Shaquille Graham. Boys' High have an exciting team this season. Last week in a rain-affected game against Geyser City the high school team showed they have a batting line-up which can accumulate runs quickly. They will need to be able to do this against a Wanderers side who are mentally tough.

It has been a baptism of fire for John Paul College these last couple of weeks. In round one, they faced Central who piled on more than 230 runs - 70 extra runs thanks to wides - then were bowled out for 113.

Then last weekend, when it looked like the side might post a reasonable total, the rain came and ruined any chance of a result.

John Paul College now face Geyser at Boord Park. Geyser, led by Karl McKnight, will be still smarting from their loss in round one and like the other three teams who are yet to post a win in the 2012/2013 season will be looking to change this today.

Meanwhile, the Bay of Plenty Indians will travel to Taupo to take on Taupo College. The Indians will be confident they can topple the high school side even on their home turf. Taupo are led by Michael Hargeaves who will be working hard along with his young team to ensure they don't make it easier on their older rivals.

All games get under way at 12.30pm.

Rotorua senior reserve grade

Round 3 draw: Central v Western Heights' High School, Boord 1; Rotorua Boys' High School v Wanderers, Boord 2; Geyser City v John Paul College, Boord 3; Taupo College v Indians, Kaimanawa Taupo.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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