A vital step on the pathway to success for Bay of Plenty cricket players is the annual Northern Districts Senior Secondary tournament played in Gisborne every December.
Bay of Plenty teams representing the Lakeland (Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupō) and Coastland (Western Bay of Plenty) regions have been selected for the five-day tournament next week (December 9-13), with many of those selected having Baywide Premier grade experience.
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Twelve months ago, Bay of Plenty Coastland lifted aloft the Alan Whimp Trophy at the tournament, winning the ND age-group title for the sixth time since 2004.
The Bay side squared off against Hamilton, who had provided the Coastland side with their only defeat of the tournament in the qualifying rounds. The first mistake made by Hamilton was electing to bat after winning the toss.
The Coastland bowlers ripped through the Waikato team, rolling them for 80 runs.
A walk in the park best describes the Coastland charge for championship honours, with a 10-wicket win coming with the fourth ball of the 13th over.
Bay of Plenty Lakeland also held their heads high with some good performances during last year's tournament. While they were beaten by Waikato Valley in the Plate final, the team performed well throughout.
Two of this year's Coastland side made their mark with bat and ball at the 2018 tournament.
Taylor Bettelheim was in the hot seat opening the Coastland batting. On day four he led his side to a massive 299 for four wickets as the Bay team demolished Counties Manukau by 118 runs in their championship semifinal. Taylor smashed 131 off 157 balls in a knock which included 11 fours.
On the same day, Lakeland bowler Tommaso Pini (playing by invitation) wrecked the Poverty Bay innings as the home side were bundled out for just 68. Tommaso weaved magic with the ball in taking six wickets for just 11 runs.
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Bay of Plenty teams
Bay of Plenty Lakeland: Ben Astwood, Cameron Ingram, Sam Lund, Robert Ward, Miles Tapsell, Ryan Hall, Nathan McNeish, Harrison Hill, Sam MacLauchlan, Veeral Solanki, Viren Patel. Coach: Sam Kershaw. Manager: Bryan Astwood.
Bay of Plenty Coastland: Taylor Bettelheim, Blake Pentecost, Harrison Leach, Toby Taylor, Niven Dovey, Dillon Preston, Tommaso Pini, Isaac White, Liam Collett, Mitchell Fergus, Ben Vyver. Coach: Peter Swan. Manager: Shaun Riley.