NZMG cult favourite cricketers Fossil Hunters had thrown down the gauntlet to the Marton Rebels for their innings of the 35+ tournament final at Victoria Park yesterday evening.

Unlike some other team sports who have struggled for numbers this year, the T20 cricket tournament is already small but remains closely held by its eager participants, with eight teams taking part again to give the park a good atmosphere with all four pitches being used at once.

Co-ordinator Cliff Tootell said there has been discussions about introducing a biennial 35+ tournament to be played in the off-years when the NZMG is down in Dunedin.

He was pleased Kaierau Rugby Club had taken an interest with two teams.


Fossil Hunters from Taranaki made it a tradition to come to Whanganui for matches while drinking the Kai Iwi hotel dry.

Yesterday in the final, they scored 166 in the first turn at bat.

The Marton Rebels are an eclectic mix from the Saracens club, consisting of players like Premier 1 regulars Scott Oliver and Chris Rayner, as well a handful of Premier 2 squad members and loyal clubmen like Justin Lock.

Also part of the team was Allan Pond, just back from representing Central Districts in the 2nd National Provincial Over 60's tournament in Lower Hutt.

With two wins and two losses, Central Districts finished fourth of the six associations, behind undefeated Canterbury and then Otago and Northern Districts, also with two wins.

While there had been no hat tricks or multiple sixers in an over, Tootell said there was still some serious business where "a few players got obscure injuries".

One player somehow pulled a muscle and injured their eye socket at the same time, while another ended up with a suspected broken jaw after a top edge off his bat.

"Hence the emphasis on helmets," Tootell said.