Red Star romp continues


Cricket

Red Star have emerged as the team to beat in the Wairarapa Cricket Association's Bidwell Cup two-day competition.

Their outright victory over A1 Homes Kuranui Old Boys last weekend shot Red Star to a commanding 21-point lead on the competition ladder and they will be keen to extend that advantage when they confront third-placed Wairarapa College tomorrow.

The fact they will have Joe Hull, Harry Clinton-Baker and Jarred Watt back from rep duties will, of course, do nothing to harm the Red Star cause with Clinton-Baker's excellent form for Wairarapa in the last couple of Hawke Cup games clearly making him the prize scalp for the students.

On the bowling front, Red Star will be anticipating another big effort from Josh Mann, who pressed strong claims for inclusion in the Wairarapa side to play Manawatu next weekend when he claimed 11 wickets against Kuranui Old Boys - four in the first and seven in the second.

A repeat performance tomorrow and you'd have to think a return the rep arena would be a certainty for the medium pacer who is no mug with the bat either.

It would be wrong, however, to completely discount the prospects of Wairarapa College upsetting Red Star.

The college team has performed consistently well through most of the season, aided and abetted by a couple of non-students in Justin Herbert and Jake Ross, who have been a big help in the batting department.

Herbert, who also happens to be in his first year as chairman of the WCA, was deservedly drafted into the Wairarapa side for their Hawke Cup encounter with Horowhenua-Kapiti last weekend and had the misfortune to pick up a "pair" against what was a lively new ball opposition attack.

He will want to use tomorrow's game as an opportunity to show that was no more than a minor blip on what for him has already been a profitable season in the run-getting stakes.

Flight Centre Lansdowne sit second on the Bidwell Cup points table and they will be eyeing their match against Marist Old Boys this weekend as a royal opportunity to pick up maximum points.

It is, in fact, a former Lansdowne player in Robbie Speers who could offer the best hope of MOB making a decent game of it.

Speers is coming off the back of a century against Greytown and, while he is certainly better known as a batsman than a bowler, he has also been making an impact with the ball as well.

For Speers and company, the main challenge could be to quell the influence of Lansdowne's Henry Cameron whose century for Wairarapa against Horowhenua-Kapiti was a clear indication that he has recaptured the batting form which has seen him terrorise some pretty useful attacks in the past.

The local derby between Turkey Red Greytown and Kuranui Old Boys promises to be an interesting affair with both teams having individuals who have the skills to tip the balance of a game.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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