Seeking two-day progress
Weymouth have named a near full-strength side for their Counties Manukau club cricket two-day match against Papakura at Mountfort Park, Manurewa tomorrow.
That's a great start for captain Shaun Simpson as his side prepares to take on the leaders of the one-day competition.
Simpson has inherited a team racked by departure and retirement. That situation has been compounded by players being unavailable because of obligations to work, school or family.
Despite their struggles, Simpson says, the team are still keen.
"But we do need to win a match soon. I believe we have the skill and ability. It's just a matter of us getting a good side together."
That's the reason Simpson is upbeat about taking on Papakura on the familiar Mountfort Park pitch.
The fact that he will have his strongest team possible on the field will make them that much more competitive.
The return of schoolboys Hamiora Clarke, Liam Hunia and Sam Whimp will shore up the team's bowling stocks.
But Simpson says it's in the batting department that Weymouth is most vulnerable.
"We're a team where everyone bowls but no-one's batting," he says.
Simpson says the two-day format offers his batsmen the opportunity to get their eye in.
Weymouth have no form to talk about heading into the contest. Three defeats and two rain-induced draws is their record.
They were shredded for 82 in their four-wicket loss to Karaka last Saturday.
Papakura are bubbling by comparison. They burst the bubble of previously unbeaten Manukau with a two-wicket win at War Memorial Park in Manurewa last Saturday.
Pukekohe-Metro scored a easy nine-wicket win over Waiuku at Massey Park, Waiuku, in the other premier.
Manukau 197 (Ash Herwels 50, Ant Niterl 42. Brendon Strydom 4-24, Harley Jenkins 3-44) lost to Papakura 198-8 (Shane Gadsdon 94, Marty Perry 23 no. Tom Urry 3-48, Jared Halliday 3-37) by two wickets.
Waiuku 107 (Bharat Dogra 34, John Morley 18. Mat Singh 6-25, Mitchell Sweetman 2-16) lost to Pukekohe-Metro 108-1 (Ash Vodnala 75 n/o. Adam Flegg 1-36) by nine wickets.
Weymouth 82 (Brook Simpson 17, Matt Hawkins 14. Hayden Wark 3-3, Sam Huriwai 3-40, Stu Kett 2-20) lost to Karaka 85-6 (David Pearce 26, Sam Huriwai 14 n/o. Brook Simpson 3-28, Rhupinder Gill 2-12) by four wickets.
Points: Papakura 7, Manukau 6, Pukekohe-Metro 6, Karaka 5, Waiuku 4, Weymouth 2.
Tomorrow's draw (two-day matches): Weymouth v Papakura, Mountfort Park. Pukekohe-Metro v Manukau, Bledislow Park. Waiuku v Karaka, Massey Park. Start: 11am.