The battle for bragging rights between Bay of Plenty's reserve grade cricket teams starts this weekend.
The first round of the McNaughton Trophy, which is contested only by Baywide reserve grade sides, kicks off with six teams taking to the pitch tomorrow and the other five sides sitting on the sideline courtesy of first round byes.
The trophy was donated by the McNaughton family of Te Puke for competition between second-tier teams from the Tauranga and Te Puke sub-associations. The competition has since been expanded to include all reserve grade sides in Bay of Plenty.
Last season's final was a classic intercity battle, between Western Bay side Mount Maunganui, who were gunning for their ninth McNaughton Trophy title, and Geyser City of Rotorua.
Mount Maunganui won the toss and scored 219/9. Nathan Walker top-scored with 59 runs. Satpal Singh and Joe O'Donoghue took three wickets apiece for Geyser.
Josh Allen and Kyle Dovey led the way for the Mount bowlers with three wickets each as Geyser City were removed for 143 to hand Mount Maunganui a 76-run win.
Singh Cricket Club and a Papamoa B Grade selection, both new entrants to the McNaughton Trophy, bring strong credentials to their match at Fergusson Park tomorrow. The Singh first XI are unbeaten in the WBOPCA Reserve Grade title race and sit at the top of the table. The Papamoa combined side will be drawn from the club's three B-Grade teams who have all made strong starts to the Western Bay competition.
There is no lack of experience in the Mount Maunganui B-graders who will take on the Greerton Sikh XI at Blake Park. Cadets will host R&A Sangha who have taken out the McNaughton prize twice in the last three seasons.
McNaughton Trophy Draw
Round One, Sunday
Singh CC v Papamoa, Fergusson Park; Mount Maunganui B Grade v Greerton Sikh XI, Blake Park; Cadets v R&A Sangha, Tauranga Domain.
First round byes: Mount Maunganui, Geyser City, Aquinas College, Greerton, Te Puke.
McNaughton Trophy Playoff Schedule
February 3: Quarter-finals
February 24: Semifinals
March 17: Final