Tauranga's Greerton Cricket Club are about to spend six days battling premier club champs from around the country to find the top dog of New Zealand club cricket.
The Eves Realty sponsored Greerton club earned the right to represent Northern Districts at the National Cricket Club Championships, which will be held at Auckland's Cornwall Park from tomorrow until April 7.
The championships have been hosted by the ACA Cornwall Cricket Club since their inception in the 1994-95 season.
Ōtūmoetai Cadets were the first of nine previous Bay of Plenty sides that have represented Northern Districts at the National Club Champs. In the autumn of 2004, Cadets became the first and only Northern Districts club to take out the prestigious club tournament title.
Greerton's road to the nationals began when they annexed the 2018 Baywide Cup competition, played in the first half of the current season.
The Pemberton Park-based side won an absolute cliffhanger against Cadets, chasing down 167 for the loss of nine wickets.
A hard-fought ND Club Champs semifinal victory over Hamilton Old Boys set up a ND title-decider against Northland's Kamo Cricket Club at Pemberton Park in February.
Greerton batted first and were bowled out for 198. Tom Renouf top scored with 61 runs with Nick Hendrie posting a half-century.
Kamo were in good shape with 52 runs on the board for the lost of two wickets but Greerton then tightened the screws and dismissed their opponents for 135 to claim the Eric Petrie Cup, for the second time in four seasons.
Josh Bates was the best of the Greerton bowling attack returning 3-17 with Umesh Ranaraja and Dan Spencer taking two wickets apiece.
Greerton team for the National Club Championships:
Brett Hampton (c) Shane Wineti (vc) Nicholas Hendrie, Henry Collier, Tom Renouf, Pip Thickpenny, Lee Watkins, Umesh Ranaraja, Josh Ormrod, Jared Tutty, James Boyd, Patrick Davenport, Daniel Spencer, Michael Rowland.
BOPCA clubs at National Club Championships:
1998/99 Otumoetai Cadets, 2003/04 Otumoetai Cadets, 2005/06 Otumoetai Cadets, 2008/09 Otumoetai Cadets, 2009/10 Mount Maunganui, 2010/11 Mount Maunganui, 2011/12 Otumoetai Cadets, 2014/15 Greerton, 2016/17 Mount Maunganui.