Property Brokers United brought their form back with them from the National Club Competition as they were the only Whanganui side to pick up a victory in the fourth round of the Coastal Challenge Cup on Saturday.
United comfortably disposed of an undermanned Kapiti Old Boys by 147 runs on Tasman Tanning No1 pitch to stay at the top of the table, while across on No2, St Johns Tech could not keep it together for their chase in a 63 run defeat to Paraparaumu.
Down at the Weraroa Domain, an undermanned Marist capitulated badly for 68 in a nine wicket defeat to the home side, while Matt Burke Engineering Marton Saracens' erratic form continued in a four wicket loss to Levin Old Boys at Centennial Park.
United got good service from their top order to set the tone as the in-form Matthew Boswell (50) and Greg Smith (59) put on 97 runs for the second wicket, while veterans Robbie Power (17) and Stephen Holloway (18) looked to score quickly but were dismissed before they could truly cement themselves.
Brendon Walker (51 from 30 balls) then had a typical blast but lacked for support from the lower order, as from the launching pad of 168-4 with 20 overs remaining, United lifted the foot off the throat slightly to be all out for 259.
Kapiti's leading bowlers Carter Andrews (3-56) and Connor Beleski (2-54) copped a little stick but also got their team back into it by removing the dangermen, while allrounder Martin Harrison (3-44) helped clean up the tail on what would be a good day personally.
Harrison then gave Kapiti some impetus to get ahead of the run rate by attacking Ryan Slight and racing to a quick 30 odd, yet wickets tumbled at the other end.
The deciding blow was struck in the 12th over when spinner Power, finally bowling on a flat No1 track as the green of New Year dried away and Victoria Park just hosted the Masters Games, bowled Harrison for 53 from 46 balls.
At 65-3, United's veterans then worked their way systematically through the rest of the Kapiti order, which consisted of 10 men, as Power took 3-23 from his eight overs and Ben Toyne came out of retirement to secure 3-21 to have Kapiti gone in the 26th over for 112.
Skipper Gerard Hobbs was pleased the team kept momentum going despite the absence of key men like Tom Lance, Simon Badger and Dylan Martin.
However, player departures at this time of year as university resumes are inevitable, as Slight had played his last match, Boswell will leave soon and Chris Sharrock has gone.
"We batted quite well up front, probably the first time all season," said Hobbs.
"It was a disappointing end, we were on track for 300.
"Greg, Matthew and Brendon batted really well.
"[Hamilton] was very lucky, he was missing the ones off the stumps and hitting the others."
In Weraroa, Marist never got out of the blocks, with their top score of 26 coming from Fraser Kinnerley, who extraordinarily managed to play innings for two teams on the same day, as he left his old club in Levin to link up with Tech for the commitment he made to his brother Ross's squad.
Only John McIlraith (18) in the middle order showed any other kind of fight, as the ten man team was all out in the 24th over.
Huka Kahu (3-10), Nav Singh (3-8) and Adam Simonsen (3-39) ripped through the visitors.
Weraroa were then off to enjoy their afternoon in the sun in short order, as they smashed the required runs in less than seven overs through Matthew Good (40) and Simonsen (14 not out), while Marist somehow still managed to leak 17 extras in that time - as the gifting of free runs has blighted their summer.
In Marton, the home side overcame a tough start to work their way to 138-4 in the 29th over, with Hamish Harding (20), Dominic Rayner (48) and Craig Clare (73) all contributing.
However, similar to United, only Dan Ford (42) was able to prosper in the lower order, as the last six wickets went for 101 with four overs of batting still available.
Liam Pinfold (4-32) got Clare and then worked his way through the tail.
It seems Marton had the match under control at 38-3 and then 57-4, but in a reversal of the first innings, it was Levin's tail who had all the fight.
After Sunnie Chan (26) and Jarrod Bowick (21) were the only specialist batsmen to make a contribution, wicketkeeper Bailey Te Tomo (59 not out) shored up an end, and then Keegan MacLachlan (64 from 48) went blasting.
Levin rocketed from 71-5 to 168-6, and then Nick O'Brien (49 not out) joined Te Tomo to work the ball around smartly and reach 243-6 by the 46th over.
Rayner (2-28 and a run out) got the early breakthroughs, while spinner Bryant Galpin (2-24) was conservative through the middle stages, but Marton needed a couple of good overs from their lesser lights who instead were hammered.
At Victoria, Paraparaumu set down a challenging 253-9 for Tech, led by a quickfire 72 on top from Andre Halbert.
With Sam Roebuck and the travelling Fraser Kinnerley gone quickly as openers, then looked to Akash Gill (21) and Dominic Lock (30) to settle the innings from 43-2.
However, they fell to spin of Nigel Harvey (3-38) as Lock was bowled trying to sweep and Gill pushed at a delivery to be caught behind, while Nick Harding (47 from 45) looked to play the anchor innings until he too fell to a catch in the deep.
At 156-6, Ross Kinnerley would reach 44 as he looked to get on the attack with a couple of fours and a well struck sixer to have his side in with a chance with 94 needed off 74 balls.
Victory still seemed possible at 190-7 with 54 balls remaining, but Paraparaumu brought their speedster Ramesh Subasinghe back and the last three wickets fell with not addition to the score through a clean bowled, bad miscommunication run out, and a caught behind.
United 259 (G Smith 59, B Walker 51, M Boswell 50, M Harrison 3-44) beat Kapiti OB 112 (M Harrison 53, B Toyne 3-21, R Power 3-23) by 147 runs.
Marton 239 (C Clare 73, D Rayner 48, D Ford 42, L Pinfold 4-32) lost to Levin OB 243-6 (K MacLachlan 64, B Te Tomo 59no, N O'Brien 49no, B Galpin 2-24, D Rayner 2-28) by four wickets.
Marist 68 (F Kinnerley 26, N Singh 3-8, H Kahu 3-10, A Simonsen 3-39) lost to Weraroa 71-1 (M Good 40) by nine wickets.
Paraparaumu 253-9 (A Halbert 72, B Gill 37, R Lorimer 32, N Harvey 32, J Watkin 2-30, F Kinnerley 2-50) beat Tech 190 (N Harding 47, R Kinnerley 44, D Lock 30, N Harvey 3-38, R Subasinghe 2-25) by 63 runs.