Bay of Plenty will win the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl for the 15th time since the ND silverware was first contested in the 1979/80 season after they play Poverty Bay at the Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui this weekend.
The Bay are unbeaten in the 2015/16 Fergus Hickey season record and if they beat Poverty Bay it will be the seventh time they have won the trophy unbeaten.
They have already picked up the Brian Dunning Trophy, awarded to the ND One-Day champions, having beaten Hamilton, Northland, Counties Manukau, Poverty Bay and Waikato Valley in the ND 50-over competition. The Rigden Shield, which has been played between Bay of Plenty and Poverty Bay since 1945, will be on the line at the Bay Oval from this morning.
Bay of Plenty's unbeaten record has come by way of some fine individual performances. Wicket keeper Tim Clarke has been in career best form with the bat and heads the batting stakes with 271 runs. He posted his maiden Bay of Plenty century with 110 in the one-day match with Poverty Bay.
Northern Knights pace bowler Tony Goodin is the leading wicket taker with nine bowling scalps, while Andrew Gibbs has produced the best match figures of 4-52. Clarke has gloved nine catches while Bharat Popli has grabbed six catches in the field.
The return of Northern Knights Joe Carter, Jono Boult and Brett Hampton give the Bay of Plenty side a strong hand in the chase for a Fergus Hickey unbeaten season. Mount Maunganui bowler Chris Atkinson picks up his fourth Bay of Plenty cap while Greerton leggie James Boyd will make his second Bay appearance.
Bay of Plenty team v Poverty Bay, Bay Oval, 10.30am start.
Peter Drysdale captain (66) Tom MacRury (32) Joe Carter (42) Ben Musgrave (16) Brett Hampton (52) Jono Boult (64) Tim Clarke (54) Sean Davey (23) Tommy Clout (24) Chris Atkinson (3) Campbell Thomas (15) James Boyd (1). Bay of Plenty appearances in brackets.
Coach: Graeme Aldridge Manager: Wayne Brill
Fergus Hickey Rosebowl Points: Bay of Plenty 34, Counties Manukau 22, Hamilton 20, Northland 18, Waikato Valley 9, Poverty Bay 0.
For more articles from this region, go to Bay of Plenty Times