Whangateau Rams enjoyed a late season flourish to clinch the Rodney Men’s Championship One Day Competition ahead of Pakiri Cricket Club, with one win separating the two sides after 12 matches played.
Whangateau Rams team manager Ben Curtin says beating Pakiri away from home towards the end of the season was undoubtedly their most important victory.
“The boys played well in the big games and someone always stepped up if the more experienced players were struggling,” he says.
The team did experience some mid season troubles after a dominant start in the competition, losing to the then bottom of the table Kaukapakapa Cricket Club.
“We lost to a couple of teams we probably shouldn’t have, but we pulled it back with some big game wins.”
Rodney Cricket chair Kevin Forde says it is great to see the Whangateau Rams win the One Day competition in their first season.
“They always had the potential with ex-premier players to win, the test will be whether they can repeat this success and not go out as one hit wonders.”
Ben says everyone who played this season for the Rams is keen to return and defend the title.
Warkworth Cricket Club had a difficult One Day season finishing sixth, but downed Whangateau and Pakiri consecutively to win the Waitemata Cup T20 competition.
Team captain Joel Hodgson says confidence built up from a good record in the format helped push them over the line.
In the final against Pakiri, they finished their innings with 105 runs but bowled the opposition out for 97.
“It’s not the score we wanted to put on the board, but we felt we could defend it and everyone pitched in for the final.”
Joel gave credit to his side’s bowling, but says batting for a whole innings will be a focus next season.
He says winning the T20 title has kept club members interested and has confirmed the same team will return next season, with hopefully a second team in the making.
“We struggled a bit this season in the One Day Competition because we rotated our squad rather than putting out the best side each week. This is something we could avoid with a second squad.”
Kevin says a higher standard of cricket in Rodney has the competition on the right track and he hopes to see the addition of a Mangawhai team next season and continued youth development.
Meanwhile, in Northland cricket, the Kaipara Flats Premiers failed to clinch a title after high aspirations at the start of the season.
“There were some pleasing performances, but consistency was an issue and I don’t think we deserved to win,” captain Kevin Forde says.
Kevin says batting was an issue all season and one still not resolved, with just one century scored by the team this year and a lack of runs from the top order batsmen.
He says one positive was that with the departure of a number of experienced players, a group of young players got an opportunity to play.
“We’re not the force we used to be, but I think it’s a new era for the team. We can still beat any team on our day, but the other Northland teams are a lot better than they used to be, too.”