After a few weeks off over the Christmas and New Year period, Whanganui cricket sides returned to the field for the ninth round of the Coastal Challenge Cup.
Property Brokers Wanganui United travelled to the picturesque Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton to play Wairarapa's United CC on Saturday.
The home side batted first and struggled throughout on a sticky, slow wicket.
All the Whanganui United bowlers performed well and were backed up by some excellent catching.
John Beale took 2-18 and Tom Lance 2-24 with his off-spinners. However, the best of the bowlers was undoubtedly Robbie Power, who has played little cricket this season.
His leg-spin bamboozled the home batsmen and his figures of 4-29 off 10 overs could have been even better.
Wairarapa United were all out for 116 in the 36th over with their top batsman being Quinn Childs with a patient 42 off 92 balls.
Whanganui United were immediately in trouble at 25/4 chasing the small total. That soon became 73/6 and, at that stage, the game was on a knife-edge.
Rep keeper Chris Sharrock, who had survived an early dropped chance made the opposition pay dearly with an excellent innings that ultimately proved the difference between the sides.
He scored a match-winning 62 off 55 balls by playing aggressively and was only dismissed when one further run was required.
United chased down the 116-run total in just over 30 overs, winning by two wickets in a thriller to take them into the top four in the Coastal competition.
Wanganui Vet Services Marist were the only side to play on their home Tasman Tanning pitch when they played Burger King Red Star. Red Star batted first and were quickly in trouble at 2/2.
A 144-run partnership between Nathan Elliot (84 off 85 balls) and Jake Jonas 61 (123) then saw them take control and a large score beckoned. However, the Marist bowlers then took regular wickets to bowl the Red Star side out for 216 in the 49th over.
Rep opener Connor O'Leary took his second five-wicket bag in a row with 5-36 off 9.3 overs.
Again, Fraser Kinnerley was economical with 3-33 off his 10 overs. Former rep player Nick Harding returned to the side and was also economical with 1-18 off 7 overs.
The Marist chase started aggressively but wickets tumbled regularly and, at 142/6, the Marist side would have been nervous despite their superior run rate.
Valuable contributions from Hadleigh O'Leary (40 not out off 93 balls) and more aggressive innings from Nick Harding (37 off 31) and Fraser Kinnerley (42 off 49) combined to see Marist through to victory in the 43rd over.
The Whanganui Collegiate side travelled away to play Medical Care Paraparaumu. The students struggled to gain any momentum in their innings and despite batting through their 50 overs, only managed 118/7.
Daniel Burgess, Carter Hobbs and young Tim O'Leary all scored 20s. The wickets were shared among the Paraparaumu bowlers.
The home side were rarely troubled in reaching the modest target in the 19th over with three wickets down.
Former Whanganui player Byron Gill anchored his side's chase with an aggressive 58 not out from 48 balls. Oscar Mabin was the pick of the Whanganui Collegiate bowlers with 2-23 off his 6 overs.
Both the Whanganui United and Marist sides now move into the top four and will be keen to consolidate spots in the semifinals when the competition resumes in two weeks.
This weekend, the Riverview Motel Whanganui rep side play at home vs HighMark Homes Wairarapa in a resumption of the Central Districts Furlong Cup.