Three from three for Pukekohe-Metro
Defending champions Pukekohe-Metro have won Counties Manukau club cricket's two-day championship for the third year in a row.
Their timing was perfect. The win coincides with the 25th anniversary of the merger between the Pukekohe Cricket Club and the Metro Cricket Club.
It is also historic because it's their first three-peat since the two clubs merged in 1988.
The victory cements Pukekohe-Metro's standing as the most successful club in the Counties Manukau competition.
It was the 13th time that they've won the W H Taylor Shield. No other club has come near to winning as many two-day titles.
President David Davies says the win was massive and will inspire the club's juniors.
"Obviously to have three in a row is a massive achievement," he says.
"It's our jubilee year as well. So it's something really special for us.
"The guys have worked hard towards winning the W H Taylor Shield and although they didn't finish quite as we anticipated, the result speaks for itself.
"This means a huge amount for the club and a continuation of the success that we've had. Our juniors can look up to this team, see what they've achieved and hopefully they can set goals for themselves."
Pukekohe-Metro are also on track to win premier club cricket's Twenty20 and one-day championships. They play Manukau in the final of the Twenty20 competition on a date that's still to be announced and are well placed in the one-day championship, the final round of which starts on February 23.
The Twenty20 final was to have been played this Saturday but with so many Pukekohe-Metro and Manukau players involved in the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl representative match against Northland at the Weymouth Oval that day, it was decided to play the final at a later date.
Pukekohe-Metro have won every two-day match they've played this season, save for their final game against Weymouth at the Weymouth Oval last Saturday.
They resumed day two on 107-5, still 90 runs shy of Weymouth's first innings. They were bowled out for 162 with Sam Whimp taking 3-37, Tamati Clarke 2-5 and Simon Andrews 2-8.
The game ground to a tame ending with Weymouth reaching 157-8 at stumps.
Clarke continued his great form with the bat with a well-compiled 68 in the second innings. The first-innings loss wasn't enough to deny Pukekohe-Metro the championship.
Karaka finished second despite losing on the first innings to Papakura who finished fourth. Manukau scored an outright over Waiuku to slip into third place ahead of Papakura.
Our website has more photos of the action at the cricket. Go to papakuracourier.co.nz.