Golden ducks have long been associated with the game of cricket. But white sheep?

Northern Advocate editor Craig Cooper was in Hamilton last week watching a Northland Primary Schools representative match when a sheep - with a sheep dog in hot pursuit - ran through the middle of the game being played at the University of Waikato.

"I thought it had something to do with the uni students, but it turned out it had escaped from a nearby abattoir and made a bid for freedom," he said.

The sheep ran across the outfield and wicket, before the sheep dog bailed it up and a woman wrestled it to the ground.

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The brief but bizarre interruption didn't affect the match.

Northland beat Hamilton Gold and went on to win the Northern Districts tournament. The sheep's day did not end as successfully - it was returned to the abattoir.