A Bay of Plenty intercity derby and a replay of last weekend's contest between long-time rivals Element IMF Otumoetai Cadets and Carrus Mount Maunganui highlight the Williams Cup playoffs this weekend.
Eves Realty Greerton, who finished the Williams Cup qualifying competition with an unbeaten record, will host Rotorua side Bayleys Central Indians at Pemberton Park in the major semifinal tomorrow.
The winner between the top two finishers in qualifying play will progress straight to the Williams Cup final next Saturday with the loser squaring off against the winner of the minor semifinal between Otumoetai Cadets and Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Greerton's Pip Thickpenny and Lee Watkins sit in the Williams Cup top five run-scorers and leg spinner James Boyd has been one of the best attacking weapons all season.
Central Indians have a genuine master blaster in Stephen Nicholls, who has fired with the bat throughout the three Baywide competitions. Last weekend Nicholls smashed the season's highest Baywide score blasting 147 runs at Owen Delaney Park in Taupo.
Over at Blake Park a sudden death clash will take place with Mount Maunganui hosting Cadets for the second successive weekend. Last Saturday Cadets had to win to grab a semifinal berth. Batting first Cadets posted 249/6, with Ruben Clinton blazing away to post a hard-fought century. Cadets skipper Jono Boult then got onto the Williams Cup honours board, taking 6-15 as Mount Maunganui were removed for 114.
Both Williams Cup contenders have one hand on the Hart Family Trophy, which is awarded to the Baywide champion of champions. Cadets won the Baywide Cup and went on to represent Bay of Plenty in the ND Club champs with Mount Maunganui winning the T20 prize for the first time.
BOPCA Williams Cup
Major Semifinal: Eves Realty Greerton v Bayleys Central Indians, Pemberton Park
Minor Semifinal: Carrus Mount Maunganui v Element IMF Cadets, Blake 2.
Saturday March 25
Williams Cup Final