Key win for resurgent Suburbs
Suburbs New Lynn are beginning to rediscover their mojo.
With Parnell out of the way they will now return to Ken Maunder Park to take on Takapuna in the next Hedley Howarth Trophy finals fixture.
Suburbs took a confident step towards defending their title with a slim 9-run first innings victory against Parnell at Shore Road Park on Saturday.
Suburbs reached 272 all out on February 23 with Parnell resuming play on 1/73.
Parnell started well and were looking good at 3/135.
But the visitors claimed the vital wicket of captain William Brittain who fell for 54 after a superb catch from keeper Tom Cullen.
The West Aucklanders took the game by the scruff of the neck with some smart bowling from Sean Doel, Victor Davies and Sean Solia.
Parnell's Cameron Rope and James Nicol offered some hope at the end but were cleaned up with the home side all out on 263 in the 92nd over.
Suburbs batted on to 2/107 in the second innings for bonus points.
Max Montgomery redeemed his first innings duck with an unbeaten 50 off 84 balls.
It was a bitter-sweet win for Suburbs player-coach Darren Eckford who's out of the campaign because of a side strain.
"It's pretty gutting. I want to help the boys out as much as I can but the injury's getting worse.
"The match was a lot tighter than it should've been and we dropped a few catches," Eckford says.
"It was good to see Max Montgomery reach his 50. He's been short of runs lately and it's nice to see him spend some time out in the middle."
At Onewa Domain, Takapuna were annihilated by East Coast Bays, never recovering after being bowled out for 61 on day one of their clash.
Bays posted 7/318 declared in response.
In the second innings on Saturday the home side restored some pride with 8/310.
Eckford says his side won't be taking Takapuna lightly.
"They are a hot-and-cold side."
"We've had the wood over them recently but they can be very dangerous and can never be underestimated."
RESULTS Hedley Howarth Trophy: Suburbs New Lynn 272 and 2/107 (M Montgomery 50 not out, B Guptill 43 not out; J Walsh 1/8) def. Parnell 263 (W Brittain 54, B Rae 30; V Davies 3/57, S Solia 3/58).
Tom Hellaby Trophy: Waitakere 9/332 (B Fraser 143 not out, A Jeavons 89; C Brungar 5/51) def. by North Shore 6/336 (M Tulloch 122, M Selby 45; P Hira 3/90).