Wairarapa College have won their way through to the next stage of the NZCT Year 9 national secondary schoolboys cricket tournament after a battle royal with arch-rivals Rathkeale College.
The annual fixture was played at Wairarapa College on Tuesday, with Wairarapa winning by just 14 runs and thereby earning the right to play the winners of either the Manawatu or Hawke's Bay zones in the second elimination round.
The coach and teacher in charge of cricket at Wairarapa College, Alistair Payne, said it was the first time in several years they had beaten Rathkeale in this particular match.
Batting first, Wairarapa College were all out for 147, with the major contributors being Guy Percy (49) and Jacob Morrison (20).
Rathkeale College looked well placed at 94-3 but, shortly later, had slumped to 99-8 and were finally dismissed for 133.
Guy Percy completed an excellent all-round performance for Wairarapa College by taking 3-25 and Ben Steventon took 3-21.
Meanwhile, old foes Flight Centre Lansdowne and Red Star will do battle when matches in the Wairarapa Cricket Association's Umpire's Cup limited-overs competition continue tomorrow and an interesting contest is in prospect.
Lansdowne and Red Star have 10 points on the competition table, four (or one win) behind joint leaders A1 Homes Kuranui Old Boys and Wairarapa College, and the knowledge whoever wins tomorrow could join the two in front of them will be an extra incentive.
Lansdowne caused what could be labelled a minor upset in beating Turkey Red Greytown by 26 runs last weekend, with Hayden Barrett and Tom Adamson providing useful knocks with the bat and Jock Cameron snaring three wickets with the ball.
Red Star also go into tomorrow's game at the Park Sportsground on the back of a winning performance. They had a decisive six-wicket win over Rathkeale College, thanks in the main to some accurate bowling from rep players Jared Watt and John Wells, and solid batting from Troy Burling and Chris Wendon.
The toss could play an important role in the end result here as Red Star do look to have the more penetrative attack and would probably welcome the chance to bowl first on a wicket which usually provides a bit of early bounce.
Other Umpire's Cup matches tomorrow will see Wairarapa College up against Marist Old Boys at Wairarapa College and Greytown at home to Rathkeale College.
On the face of it, the in-form Wairarapa College side should have little trouble accounting for a Marist Old Boys outfit still looking to register their first win but they will need to guard against complacency. Marist Old Boys are a better side than their results would suggest and the limited-overs game is always open to upsets.
Greytown and Rathkeale College are both sitting on six points and theirs should be a close match. Look to the rep players to make a big impression, Tim Lucas and Daniel Haxton for Greytown, and Harry Clinton-Baker and George Deans for Rathkeale.