When New World Te Puke face off against Eves Realty Greerton this weekend there'll be more than retaining their unbeaten start on the line.
The teams are two of the three leaders of the Bay of Plenty premier cricket competition so far, with the chance to top the other in the Bay of Plenty Cup title race in their clash at Te Puke Domain on Saturday. Te Puke will also put the Western Bay of Plenty Cricket challenge prize of the Baker Cup on the line, giving the game an extra edge.
The clash will boast plenty of enthusiasm from both sides.
Te Puke's Christian MacDonald, Hamish Wilde and Josh Earle couldn't wait to don the Te Puke strip after successful winters playing in the United Kingdom. Greerton's new recruit Bruce Kerr, who previously played in Poverty Bay, has made a big impression with his new club after playing a big part in Greerton posting a massive 254/4, in just 26 overs, against long-time Baywide heavyweights Element IMF Cadets. Coming in at three, Kerr smashed 65, off just 37 balls, to set up a solid platform for his side.
The third team in the competition's top three is Bayleys Central Indians, going two from two in their season start. This weekend they are on the road to the Western Bay, to meet Cadets.
Two of the Rotorua combined side, have made outstanding starts to the season to lead the Bay of Plenty Cup batting and bowling honours. Stephen Nicholls has blasted 204 runs with a best of 126 not out, with Parv Mehta topping the bowling stakes with seven bowling scalps.
Cadets will be hungry for victory after losing their first two games. All rounder Jacob Logan top scored with a hard-fought 37 against Greerton last weekend, while Andrew Mascall got into the 60s on the opening day of the current cricket year.
Carrus Mount Maunganui will be desperate for action, after their last weekend's match at Waipuna Park, was abandoned due to a wet outfield. This weekend they square off with Generation Homes Lake Taupō CC, recording one win and one loss in their first two encounters.
Bond and Co Tauranga Boys' College travel to the Sulphur City to play newcomers Geyser City, with both teams sure to want to secure a win.
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Saturday's BOPCA Bay of Plenty Cup draw:
Carrus Mount Maunganui vs Generation Homes Lake Taupō CC, Blake 3; Geyser City vs Bond and Co Tauranga Boys' College, Smallbone Park; Element IMF Cadets vs Bayleys Central Indians, Mitchell Park; New World Te Puke vs Eves Realty Greerton, Te Puke Domain.
Points Table: Greerton 13, Central Indians 13, Te Puke 13, Lake Taupo CC 7, Tauranga Boys' College 4, Mount Maunganui 4, Geyser City 1, Cadets 1.