With just two points between them in the Versatile Williams Cup cricket competition, Tauranga Boys' College and Mount Maunganui look set for an intense battle this weekend.
Bond & Co Tauranga Boys' College, with 21 points, sit in second place on the competition ladder and will host the third placed Carrus Mount Maunganui at home on Saturday in a match up that will be key for both teams to win.
The school team is having a stunning season, winning the Bay of Plenty Plate in the first half of the season and then annexing the Western Bay Challenge prize of the Baker Cup two weeks ago.
Much of Tauranga Boys' success over the years, has been built on the schools cricket pathway, with a large number of players going on to Bay of Plenty senior representative selection and beyond. Currently Tim Pringle and Niven Dovey have earned Bay of Plenty senior honours, with keeper Ben Vyver playing for the Bay Development side on Sunday.
Mount Maunganui will be looking to write their own piece of Baywide premier history by becoming the first team to win all three Baywide competitions in one season. So far, they have taken out the Bay of Plenty Cup and the Baywide T20 titles and are aiming to claim the season trifecta, with the Williams Cup silverware.
Meanwhile, other matches this weekend include Eves Realty Greerton, which failed to chase down Tauranga Boys' modest total of 90 two weeks ago, heading to Te Puke Domain to play New World Te Puke. Te Puke are in the last chance saloon and must beat Greerton, to stay in contention to make the semifinals in three weeks time.
Defending Williams Cup titleholders Element IMF Cadets look set for a win this weekend against Geyser City in Rotorua. However the Rotorua side have a genuine game winner in their ranks in Sam Kershaw. The Geyser overseas recruit has been in outstanding form with the bat, blasting 689 runs in the three Baywide competitions, with a highest score of 101 not out.
Generation Homes Lake Taupō, are also in a must-win situation when they host cellar dwellers Bayleys Central Indians at Owen Delany Park.
Versatile Tauranga Williams Cup 22 February 2020 draw:
Bond and Co Tauranga Boys' College vs Carrus Mount Maunganui, Nicholson Field; Geyser City vs Element IMF Cadets, Smallbone Park; New World Te Puke vs Eves Realty Greerton, Te Puke Domain; Generation Homes Lake Taupō vs Bayleys Central Indians, Owen Delany Park.
Points Table: Cadets 25, Tauranga Boys' College 21, Mount Maunganui 19, Greerton 19, Lake Taupō 13, Te Puke 12, Geyser City 6, Central Indians 4.
Versatile Tauranga Williams Cup 2020 Honours Board - Centuries:
Tim Clarke (Tauranga Boys' College vs Geyser City), February 22: 143.
Drew Brierley (Lake Taupō vs Tauranga Boys' College), February 8: 128.
Ben Vyver (Tauranga Boys' College vs Central Indians), February 1: 112.
Sam Kershaw (Geyser City vs Lake Taupō), February 1: 101no.