Lakelands have beaten Western Bay of Plenty by four wickets in a low-scoring reserve grade representative match.
Western BOP batted first, in the game played at Smallbone Park in Rotorua on Sunday, and were all out for 119 off 33 overs.
Opener Matthew Manners did his best to see out the new ball, scoring 15 off 50 balls, but was forced to watch from the other end as three batting partners came and went.
When Manners was out LBW to Josh Love-Parata in the 18th over, No 5 batsman Sunil Gaur came in and steadied the ship, scoring 33 runs off 47 balls. Finn Dempsey chimed in with 18 not out to help his side limp to 119.
Love-Parata ended up with impressive bowling figures of four wickets for just 28 runs off his 10 overs, including three maidens.
Lakelands opener Ryan Neeves paced his side's run chase superbly, with a well-crafted 54 runs off 54 balls, including three 4s and a 6.
Habib Malik and Cameron Ingram contributed 11 and 16 runs respectively, but the second top score for Lakelands came in the extras column. The 28 extras bowled by the Western BOP bowlers helped Lakelands across the line.
The best of the Western Bay of Plenty bowlers was Olly Smythe who took three wickets for 28 runs off nine overs, including two maidens.
Lakelands captain Jake Rowe said the game was a good opportunity for some younger players to get a taste of representative cricket.
"It was really nice to see some of the youngsters picking up wickets and getting runs. It looks like there are a few good young guys coming through the ranks to join us in the premier team.
"In terms or Rotorua and Lakelands, having a Lake Taupo side in the prems is really good. There's not so much of a need for players to go over to Tauranga, it's slowly building to a more balanced competition," Rowe said.
He said Love-Parata's bowling spell was "fantastic".
"Exceptional work in the field from everyone involved as well. I don't think we had a single misfield or dropped catch.
"[Western Bay of Plenty] showed fight, they batted really aggressively all the way down the order. I actually thought their tail-enders applied themselves really well, their last partnership was about 20 runs which was frustrating to bowl to. Bowling-wise they were a bit unlucky, but I think it was a good experience and they'll learn a lot from it.
"Where I'm from, in England, there's a lot of these sorts of fixtures, so it was nice to be part of one here. Hopefully it will become a common thing," he said.
"I hope this sort of game does develop into a more regular thing."