It was four seasons in a day but that didn't stop the Hawke's Bay premier men's club cricketers from opening their season in Napier today.
Remarkably Havelock North CC registered first innings points against The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist (NOBM) in the Property Brokers 110-over English style format on a day when all the games were played at Nelson Park.
Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay CC drew with You Travel Taradale CC and so did Innovative Electrical Ltd Napier Technical Old Boys against Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC.
Ironically bone-chilling winter conditions greeted the country's No 1 summer sport, a far cry from the springy weather leading up to the premier club season.
Play didn't start until almost 12.30pm and the overs were reduced to 75.
Havelock North captain Graeme Tryon paved the way at first drop with a run-a-ball rate with 76 runs from 77 balls, including 10 boundaries and a six, as the villagers declared at 214-6 from 43 overs.
"I'm pretty happy but the other boys chipped in with some good scores," said Tryon, the inclement weather prompting an early declaration.
No 4 Will Clarke forged a robust partnership to maintain the run rate with 34 from 36 balls before tailenders Tim Ferguson and Jared Priest added 28 runs each.
For NOBM, medium pacer Harry Ghodke and off spinner Nihal Sihar claimed 3-66 and 2-59, respectively.
In reply, NOBM were skittled for 53 in 25.3 overs with left-hand opening batsman Bob Patel top scoring with 19 and only two other batsmen getting past 10.
Tryon was delighted with his bowling attack with no one going for more than 2.8 runs an over.
First-change fast bowler Rythm Sharma claimed 4-19 and Black Caps seamer Ben Wheeler took 3-14 while Will Clark claimed 2-10 from seven overs, including three maidens, to join a wicket-less Joey Field in the frugality stakes.
"We thought there was no chance of getting on today so it was good to get a game in," said the 23-year-old electrician's apprentice, lauding Sharma and Central Districts Stag Wheeler returning from back surgery.
Cornwall were skittled in their innings but not before posting 193 in 54.4 overs.
No 7 Cyle Crawford led the attack with 46 runs and No 4 Graeme McCarter and No 10 Rohan Fendall added 36 and 35 runs, respectively.
NTOB opener Todd Watson took 3-50 while Mitchell Williams-North, captain Liam Rukuwai and Morten Freer all claimed two scalps each.
In reply, NTOB stuttered to 95-6 in 20 overs with just veteran George Diack offering some resistance as an opener with 27 runs and former Black Cap Jesse Ryder, as player/coach, stalling the rot at No 5 with an unbeaten 16. No 8 Rukuawai was 1 not out.
Cornwall seamer Liam Dudding, returning this summer after a year's layoff from a broken wrist, claimed a five-wicket bag (5-38).
His skipper Jacob Smith said the weather made it tough to gauge situations.
"Our middle-to-lower order stood up for it so it was good to see that," Smith said.
The 27-year-old Bayley's Real Estate employee felt the top-order batsmen needed some time in the nets but it wasn't a major issue because the wicket had a greenish tinge to it at the start of the day.
"He missed almost all of last season so it's good to have him back in the team," Smith said in saluting former Stags seamer Dudding's spell. "Hopefully he pushes for CD."
Freer didn't mince words, saying NTOB struggled with the ball and couldn't find much traction with the bat either.
"It was freezing out there but it was also a good eye-opener for our guys because after last season's success we need to understand it's not just going to happen for us and that we need to train a bit harder to get better," said the 30-year-old who has assumed the mantle of NTOB community sports club manager of cricket and rugby.
Freer said it was awesome to see Dudding out there making life difficult for everyone.
"Cornwall were 100 per cent the better team on the day."
Kilbirnie Sports T20 champions CHB padded up to post 164 all out in 34.5 overs after Taradale won the toss and chose to bowl.
No 4 Joshua Clarkson, a Stag, top scored with a crisp 58 runs from 41 balls, including 11 boundaries.
Opener Toby Richardson added 46 from 48 balls, including seven fours and a six, while No 8 Shaun Newland was 28 not out in rounding up batsmen who got into double figures.
Matthew Quinn took 4-49 at first change after seamer Ben Stoyanoff kept it tight with 1-54 while fellow opener Angus McKnight was expensive at 3-69 for Taradale.
In reply, the Maroons mustered a sedate 104-3 from 35 overs with left-handed opener Brayden Hill unbeaten on 52 from 114 deliveries but no one interested in hanging around with him until another lefty, Callum Hewetson, arrived at No 5 to post 31 not out to ensure there was a stalemate.
Openers Aneurin Norman and Clarkson took 2-21 and 1-18, respectively, as CHB employed seven bowlers.
Echoing the sentiments of better to have played than not, Taradale veteran skipper/wicketkeeper Luke Kenworthy felt they deserved more than a draw but the format, with reduced overs, made it tougher.
"I'm pretty impressed with Brayden, who's still in school so he's involved with the premier team," Kenworthy said of Hill, a Napier Boys' High School pupil.
He also praised his bowlers for putting in solid shifts and backing up each other as a unit.
CHB skipper Dominic Thompson said they contributed but it was always going to be difficult to eke out a result.
"We rotated a few bowlers but we started well and took a few early wickets so when it looked like a draw we all had a good bowl, actually," said Thompson, revealing the wicket was batsmen friendly although the overcast conditions made the ball swing a little.
The MJF Shrimpton one-day format starts next Saturday while the 110-over competition goes into recess.