The time-honoured Williams Cup is a fitting prize for Baywide championship which begins tomorrow with three games in the Western Bay of Plenty.
The Williams Cup was first presented in the 1932/33 season, when the City Cricket Club took out the first Bay of Plenty Cricket championship title.
Over the years Te Puke leads the most wins list with 16 Williams Cup crowns and Otumoetai Cadets have won the Baywide big prize 10 times since their first success in 1995.
A measure of the competitiveness of the batsmen and bowlers is that just two centuries and a solitary six-wicket bag were recorded in last season Williams Cup title race.
Long-time Te Puke batsman Tai Bridgman-Raison blasted the season's highest score against Tauranga Boys' College of 174.
A second ton came in the Williams playoffs against Greerton, when he posted his 12th premier grade century for his club.
Cadets all-rounder Ben Christensen grabbed the only six-wicket bag of the 2016/17 Williams Cup, taking 6-13 in his side's win over Te Puke in preliminary Williams Cup action.
In this weekend's opening round matches, defending champions Element IMF Cadets take on 2012 champions Eves Realty Greerton at Pemberton Park. With the two sides losing players to the Bay of Plenty team who are defending the Hawke Cup for the first time this season, both teams will look to their respective reserve team ranks for replacements.
Carrus Mount Maunganui and New World Te Puke square off at Blake Park while Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys' College, fresh from a week-long campaign at the Super Eight schools tournament in Napier, will host Bayleys Central Indians at Nicholson Field.
Williams Cup draw
Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys' College v Bayleys Central Indians, Nicholson Field; Carrus Mount Maunganui v New World Te Puke, Blake 2; Eves Realty Greerton v Element IMF Cadets, Pemberton Park; GM Painters Lake Taupo CC the bye.
Williams Cup Champions (2000-2017)
2017 (Otumoetai Cadets
2016 Te Puke
2015 Mount Maunganui
2014 Te Puke
2013 Mount Maunganui
2011 Mount Maunganui
2009 Tauranga Boys' College
2008 Mount Maunganui
2007 Rotorua Central
2004 Te Puke
2001 Te Puke
2000 AC United
Western Bay of Plenty Reserve Grade draw
Tauranga Boys' College v Katikati, Fergusson 3; Cadets v Te Puke, Fergusson 2; Mount Maunganui v Greerton Sikh XI, Blake 3; Whakatane United v Greerton, Rex Morepeth Park; Aquinas College v Albion Singh XI (to be played at a later date).
Points Table: Greerton Sikh XI 20, Greerton 20, Albion Singh XI 20, Mount Maunganui 20, Cadets 15, Aquinas College 8, Tauranga Boys College 7, Katikati 6, Whakatane United 6, Te Puke 5.
Western Bay of Plenty B Grade Championship — No play