The first derby victory in the new Coastal Challenge Cup season from among the Whanganui sides goes to Property Brokers United, after they held off a solid tailender fight back by the Collegiate 1st XI for a 19 run win at the school grounds on Saturday.
Getting their first hit out after the local season opener was rained out the weekend before, United were pleased they could start off with the services of their English batsman and former Wanganui captain Greg Smith, who had only stepped off the plane on Friday.
Back on the challenging Collegiate No 1 pitch, Smith negotiated his way to 34 from 77 balls in a patient opening stand of 108 in 26 overs with Wanganui selector Tom Lance, who seemed like he might raise another opening game century.
The pair were granted some extra lives by a couple of dropped catches from the schoolboys.
Smith finally being caught off the bowling of James Craig (2-25) let Collegiate make inroads amongst the rest of the United top order as Trey Bidois was snapped up quickly by Craig getting a caught and bowled, then Chris Sharrock gave up a nick behind off Adam Beard.
From 125-3 in the 34th over, Lance knuckled back down with Zeb Small (28 off 41), who looked to pull the ball across to the longest boundary at the ground, while likewise surviving a missed catch opportunity.
At 141-3 in the 39th over, United had kept wickets in hand for the slog, but didn't look comfortable enough that they would clearly pass the 200 run mark.
Most of the six Collegiate bowlers kept conservative figures, sending down six maiden overs between them.
After Small became wicket keeper William Hocquard's second catch, off the bowling of Adam Lennox, both the United veterans in Brendon Walker and Robbie Power looked to ramp up the run rate.
However pace bowler Joseph Abernethy (2-30) was accurate - hitting both Walker and Lance's stumps – which denied the latter the chance to reach triple figures, after Lance had all-but carried his bat through for a hard-working 96 off 127 balls, including hitting 11 of his team's 13 boundaries.
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Restricting United to 190-6, Collegiate's best hope was to get a similar anchor innings to Lance from their Central Districts Under 17 captain Sam Sheriff.
Although Sheriff (12) and Lennox (18) started confidently, putting on 24 runs by the fourth over with a couple of boundaries and a Lennox six, they fell to catches off Harpreet Binning (2-26) and Lovedeep Singh (4-41) respectively.
That let Singh get amongst the rest of the top order, as Hocquard, skipper Harry Godfrey, Clark and Henry Kilmister all departed in single figures, Collegiate collapsing to 45-6 in the 12th over.
Despite most of his team mates being caught out, Abernethy figured he might as well still show some aggression, stroking 24 off 26 balls including a boundary and a six, before Walker came back at him to hit the stumps.
From 85-7 in the 20th over, Shaun O'Leary (49 off 71) then dug in, initially supported by Craig (11), with O'Leary hitting four boundaries to just keep the thread of hope alive.
Power eventually bowled Craig, and although Daniel Burgess (26 not out off 58) came in as was just as dogged as O'Leary, Lance finally trapped the top run scorer in front for 156-9 in the 40th over.
Yet last man Beard wouldn't give up the fight as he and Burgess squeezed out 15 more runs wherever they could find them over the next four overs, until Power combined with Bidois to take the bails off and catch Beard short of his ground.
Across on a windy No 2 pitch, Tech got their season off to a winning start with a six wicket victory in a short and funny old game with the travelling Kapiti Old Boys.
Having an impressive pace attack with the young Canadian internationals Akash Gill and Akhil Kumar alongside the Kinnerley brothers – Ross and Fraser – Tech swept through a 10-man Kapiti lineup, due to David Schulz retiring without facing a ball, to leave them 44-9 in the 19th over.
However, a player from the Collegiate school had come over to watch, and was invited by Kapiti to be their last batsman, allowing the final pair to put on a 16-run partnership before Kumar (3-7) hit the stumps.
Tech clean bowled seven of the Kapiti batsmen, with Fraser Kinnerley (3-9), Ross Kinnerley (2-16) and Gill (1-5) all sharing the spoils, along with fielder Kashish Nauhria making a direct hit to run out opener Russell Hughes.
Nonetheless, Tech had not had a lot of on field batting practice themselves, and suffered a few minor heart palpitations in the breezy conditions as the returning Trent Hemi and fellow opener Nauhria were dismissed in single figures – Hemi finding few scoring chances from the 27 balls he faced before being bowled by Schulz (2-15), while Nauhria was trapped in front by a fired up Zack Benton (2-19).
Kumar came and went when Benton got his stumps, while Gill looked to open up his shoulders but just spooned up a catch for veteran Lewis Cormac to take going back over his head.
At 22-4 in the 10th over, Tech was making this harder work than it needed to be, so it was up to former White Fern Jessica Watkin (20 not out off 42) to show all the boys how it's done – seeing off the seven overs each from Benton and Schulz, while hitting a boundary and a six.
Ross Kinnerley (18 not out off 24) joined Watkin for another one of his signature recovery-job innings, striking two boundaries, for Tech to pick up the full bonus points with the innings over in 18 overs.
Down at Weraroa Domain, it was not a good start to the championship defence from Wanganui Vet Services Marist, who lost by 45 runs to the home side.
Set 190 to win, Marist lost their last wicket on 144 in the 30th over, with Weraroa CC bowler Jayden Veerbeek cleaning up the tail, allowing his team to get their first win of the season after losing to Paraparaumu CC in the opening round for the Horowhenua-Kapiti clubs on October 12.
Having also won on October 12, Levin Old Boys continued their strong start with an easy six wicket win over Wairarapa's Red Star at Donnelly Park.
United 190-6 (T Lance 96, G Smith 34, Z Small 28; J Craig 2-25, J Abernethy) bt Collegiate 171 (S O'Leary 49, D Burgess 26no; L Singh 4-41, H Binning 2-26) by 19 runs.
Kapiti Old Boys 60 (A Kumar 3-7, F Kinnerley 3-9, R Kinnerley 2-16) lost to Tech 64-4 (J Watkin 20no, R Kinnerley 18no; D Schulz 2-15, Z Benton 2-19) by six wickets.
Red Star 104 (P Gluck 24, C Freeman 23no; D Kennett 6-38, X Sakhalkar 2-24) lost to Levin Old Boys 108-4 (M Good 47, C Law 18no; S Hook 2-25) by six wickets.
Weraroa 189 bt Marist 144 by 45 runs.
Landsdowne vs Paraparaumu unknown.