The Horowhenua Kāpiti Senior Men's Rep side made a huge statement in the Furlong Cup with their first round outright victory against Wairarapa on the weekend at Donnelly Park.
On a deck that looked to offer a bit for the bowlers early, HK leader Andre Halbert chose to back himself and the rest of the top order when he won the toss and batted first. The decision looked dubious at 62-3 with Bailey Te Tomo, Matthew Good and Kelsey Fahey back in the sheds cheaply.
This left Halbert and player-coach Chad Law at the crease and the pair started to go about their work and played with impressive patience and temperament as they denied Wairarapa and the opportunity to gain further inroads and started to tick the score up as the openers baked in the hot Levin weather.
Halbert was eventually dismissed for 69 from 163 deliveries and was soon followed by Jamie Pinfold. Keegan Maclachlan looked good while at the crease until he fell to the bowling of Stephan Hook who bowled a mammoth effort of 27 overs 11 maidens 1-43, figures that do not in the slightest reflect how well the seamer bowled.
This meant debutant Dylan Reder entered Hawke Cup Cricket for the first time at 159-6 with the game in the balance.
Reder rose to the occasion and began fearlessly attacking the Wairarapa bowlers, playing his natural game Reder upped the run rate at a critical time in the game as Chad Law took a back seat and watched Reder lead the way as the pair got us through to 237-7.
Law, who was once again battling injury, fell for 63 from 198 deliveries, an innings of which the importance can't be overstated in the context of the match. Andrews and Bartholomew fell cheaply trying to up the scoring rate and Liam Pinfold saw Reder through to a deserved 50 before he hit one to deep mid-wicket to end the innings at 257.
The Childs twins from the Wairarapa Bush both bowled well without luck Ethan taking 3-56 and Quinn 4-47 proving that they will be huge players for both Wairarapa in the Hawke Cup and Red Star in our Coastal Challenge Cup this season.
HK went into the field with 14 overs left in the day and with what is becoming a habit for the team, they proved that you don't want to face a Bear late in the day, reducing Wairarapa to 27-5.
Carter Andrews with relentless accuracy and Fraser Bartholomew charging in with some serious fizz doing the damage as Andrews clean bowled opener Mckenzie with a peach to start proceedings and Bartholomew snagged four Wairarapa victims including the key wickets of Brock Price first ball and Jaco Vorster with the last ball of the day sparking wild celebrations.
Day 2 began and HK showed no signs of slowing down as Wairarapa was dismissed for 61. Ethan Childs, Anthony Sprownson and remarkable 15-year-old debutant Jake Jonas were the only players to enter double figures.
Carter Andrews finished with 2-18 from his 8 overs, Daemon Kennett cleaned up the tail with 2-2 from 3 overs and Fraser Bartholomew claimed 6-22 from his 13 overs.
Halbert enforced the follow on and Wairarapa went out to bat again but all that pre-season fitness paid off for the Bears.
Carter Andrews and Daemon Kennett reduced Wairarapa to 16-3 before Jaco Vorster and Jack Forrester formed a partnership to get their side up to 43 before Liam Pinfold joined the party, taking 3-12 from 6 overs Liam operated how he does swinging the ball both ways with good control and ramped up the pace when he needed too.
Carter Andrews came back and cleaned up the tail to grab himself a very impressive 4-26, Kennett grabbed 2 and Bartholomew 1 to bring the Wairarapa innings to a close with the score at 83, giving the Bears an outright victory with maximum bowling points.
A massive performance from Jamie Pinfold behind the stumps with 10 dismissals for the match, to go from a very part-time wicketkeeper to put in a performance like that within 2 seasons is an amazing achievement due to a lot of work behind the scenes.
The Bears have a game this Sunday vs Wellington U19's at Donnelly Park as they cast their eye ahead to the Chapple Cup in Hawkes Bay from Nov 22-24.