A highly competitive game between two evenly matched teams is the scenario likely to play out in the 2018 Williams Cup final at the Bay Oval from 11am today.
Eves Realty Greerton and Element IMF Cadets will fight out the Baywide premier cricket prize, first contested in the 1932-33 season.
Greerton have led the standings since the opening round in late January, brushing aside all six challenges in qualifying play. Cadets, who sat at the bottom of the standings after the first four weeks of competition, have diced with sudden-death cricket to contest the title decider.
Last weekend, Greerton defeated Bayleys Central Indians in the major semifinal, to move directly to the Williams Cup final stanza. Cadets qualified in fourth and dispatched Carrus Mount Maunganui last Saturday, before eliminating Central Indians in Sunday's preliminary final in Rotorua.
Both sides will be at full strength with ND all-rounder Brett Hampton returning to the Greerton ranks as his side chases their fourth Williams Cup title.
Two other key Greerton players are opening batsman Tom MacRury and pace bowler Tommy Clout who have both worn the Bay of Plenty representative uniform this season.
Cadets will have three players in captain Jono Boult, Joe Carter and Sean Davey who all have played major association cricket in recent seasons. Boult has been in vintage form, taking two Williams Cup six wicket bags in the last two weeks.
A Cadets success would give them their 11th Williams Cup title since 1995 and cement second place behind Te Puke who have won 16 titles since their first triumph in the 1938/39 season.
BOPCA Williams Cup Final 2018
Eves Realty Greerton v Element IMF Cadets, Bay Oval 11am start
Williams Cup Victories
Element IMF Cadets: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2017 (10)
Eves Realty Greerton: 1984, 1985, 2012 (3)
BOPCA Williams Cup Honours Board 2018
147 — Stephen Nicholls (Central Indians v Lake Taupo)
146 — Tai Bridgman-Raison (Te Puke v Lake Taupo)
109 — Ruben Clinton (Cadets v Mount Maunganui)
103 — Joshua Bates (Element IMF Cadets v Greerton)
Bowling (Five wickets)
6/15 — Jono Boult (Cadets v Mount Maunganui)
6/22 — Jono Boult (Cadets v Central Indians)
5/19 — Gurwinder Singh (Cadets v Lake Taupo CC)
5/46 — James Boyd (Greerton v Cadets)