"Runs on the board in a final are worth their weight in gold".
Those were the words of Mount Maunganui cricket captain Dale Swan and he would know - his side lifted aloft the Bay of Plenty Cup on Saturday. It was the club's seventh title since the competition was established in the 2007/08 season.
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Mount Maunganui batted first in the final against Greerton, and reached 200 for the loss of seven wickets in a game reduced to 40 overs per side because of an afternoon downpour with the Mount at 122/5.
Batting at four, Tim Tomlinson top scored with 36 while Dominic Crombie came in at No 6 to post a hard fought 32. Lee Watkins and James Boyd took two wickets each for Greerton.
Swan said the runs on the board, coupled with an outstanding opening spell by bowler Chris Atkinson, in which he took a hat-trick, really put Greerton on the back foot.
Atkinson ended up with figures 4-34 as Greerton were all out for 117. Swan himself, who sat at the top of the Bay of Plenty Cup wicket table, increased his tally to 23 as he returned 4-18 in the Cup final.
"Chris had four wickets within the first 10 overs, he just ripped through the top of the batting order. I just helped clean up what was left."
Greerton opener Taylor Bettleheim, stood like a sentinel at one end as wickets fell at the other, going on to top score with 51. Umesh Ranaraja was the only other Greerton batsman to show any substantial defiance with 31 runs.
"It was a pretty hard campaign and we had it tough getting to the actual final so it was good to get across the line when we got there," Swan said.
"It comes down to attitude more than anything. We've been training as a squad for the last three years so it has been a long time coming in terms of putting a consistent performance on the board.
"This season has just been more consistent and we've continued to build on it. We've got guys who have played together for the best part of a decade so it helps to have a little bit of trust in your teammates, know what their capabilities are and be able to make a plan to all perform at once."
He said cricket was very competitive at the Premier level in the Bay of Plenty and the competition was the first step on the pathway to higher honours for many.
"At premier level it is taken pretty seriously and there are lots of guys in the competition looking to push for those higher honours; playing for Bay of Plenty, playing for Northern Districts.
"It's a really good pathway and it introduces them and keeps them at a level of men's cricket which is actually competitive and testing as well.
"There are a lot of good players spread around a lot of good clubs and basically, the better the Black Caps do the more our numbers grow which helps to build a stronger competition."
It was a pretty hard campaign and we had it tough getting to the actual final so it was good to get across the line when we got there.
Meanwhile, in the Plate final, Bond & Co Tauranga Boys' College showed maturity beyond their years to beat Generation Homes Lake Taupō.
Taupō batted first and were in a very strong position at 161 for the loss of two wickets, courtesy of a 141 run partnership, when Habib Malik was dismissed for 68.
Michael Mitchell continued the assault on the college bowlers, top scoring with 88 runs which included eight fours. Led by four wickets from Kieran New, the visitors stemmed the tide with Lake Taupō reaching 212/7 at the end of their allotted overs.
Ben Vyver and Niven Dovey came together after Tauranga Boys' first wicket fell with just five runs on the board. The top order pair settled down to produce a match winning 177 run partnership before Vyver was dismissed for 66.
Dovey went on to post the sixth Baywide Premier cricket century of the season as he smacked 105 runs at a tad better than a run a ball. His innings contained 17 fours and one six, with Tauranga Boys' requiring just 14 runs more when he was removed.
Bay of Plenty Cup
Mount Maunganui 200/7 (Tim Tomlinson 36, Dominic Crombie 32; James Boyd 2-25, Lee Watkins 2-43) beat Greerton 117 (Taylor Bettelheim 51, Umesh Ranaraja 31; Dale Swan 4-18, Chris Atkinson 4-34) by 83 runs.
Bay of Plenty Plate
Lake Taupō 212/7 (Michael Mitchell 88, Habib Malik 66; Kieran New 4-28) lost to Tauranga Boys' College 215/4 (Niven Dovey 105, Ben Vyver 66; John Dolan 3-29) by 6 wickets.