Cricket: Top sides bottleneck in title race

By Greg Taipari


Who will be crowned Rotorua Reserve Grade champion will come down to the wire as three teams vie for the title tomorrow.

In a repeat of last year's final Taupo Wanderers will host Central at Kaimanawa Reserve. With both teams equal on 18 points, barring a non-result one of these teams will be guaranteed a hand on the trophy. Whether they will have to share the trophy will be decided when Rotorua Boys' High School take on their college counterparts John Paul College at Ray Boord Park tomorrow. If teams are on equal points after this round the title will be shared.

As last year's title holders, The Wanderers will go into the match as slight favourites because they are always hard to beat at home. But Central have been the in-form team this season and apart from the poor showing against Boys' High last weekend, they are a side not to be taken lightly.

Central can boast a solid top order when it comes to their batting line-up, however they have a long tail and once it is exposed, it can be rather frail.

However, they have a bowling attack that equals most within the reserve grade competition, so it would be foolish for the Wanderers to go into the match thinking it will be easy.

Over the last couple of weeks Rotorua Boys' High School have struck serious form and providing they can field the same side they have put on the paddock for the last two weeks, it is hard to see this side not picking up the win.

But the Mark Chapman lead side have quality written all over them and if there is a side which could cause an upset it's this team.

For a side which started off so well, it would be fair to say Western Heights High School didn't reach its full potential this season. Lead by John Borrows the side is stacked full of talent. They will get the chance to show what they can produce when they go up against Rotorua Indians.

The Indians will be feeling confident after they won a thriller against Geyser City. Chasing 210/6, the Indians mowed down the total in the 36th over, thanks to century-maker J Sima 105 and S Reddy 41.

It's been a hard slog for the Geyser City team with no wins on the board. Tomorrow should be the time for them to tick the wins column. Their captain Karl McKnight scored a classy 70 last weekend and should be too strong for Taupo College. But like all the college teams this season, Taupo are a side who can't be taken for granted and can easily upset the Rotorua side. All games get under way at 12.30pm.

Draw: Rotorua Boys' High School v John Paul College, Rotorua Boys' High School; Western Heights High School v Indians, Boord Park; Geyser City v Taupo College Boord Park; Wanderers v Central, Kaimanawa Reserve.

Points Table; Taupo Wanderers 18, Central 18, Rotorua Boys' High School 18, Indians 12, John Paul College 12, Taupo College 12, Western Heights High School 6, Geyser City 0.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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