Collegians prove worth with victory over Karori

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2014

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Beating Karori was a nice way for Wellington Collegians to show the other Pearce Cup clubs they're not here to make up the numbers.

But it wasn't as important as proving it to themselves.

Collegians had only scraped into the top six for the two-day portion of the competition, and celebrated their return by losing to Hutt District by an innings.

Next up was Karori, a team Collegians had never beaten in a two-day match during the Pearce Cup and Hazlett Trophy era.

Two Saturdays, and a handsome seven-wicket victory later, Collegians can cross "must beat Karori" off the to-do list.

"After that Hutt game, we knew we'd played badly," Collegians captain James Widerstrom said.

"We changed a few things at training, but the biggest thing for us was that we didn't go on about it too much. We knew we'd played some good cricket to get to the Pearce Cup, we knew it was still there and that we'd just had a bad day [against Hutt]."

Making 311 and bowling out Karori for 81 on day one put Collegians back on the front foot. Karori fought back with 286 in their second innings, but that still left Collegians needing only a very manageable 58 to win.

"We had a couple of young players who probably came into the Pearce Cup a bit daunted. You know, they read about this guy or that guy in the paper and they've done this, they've done that," said Widerstrom.

"But once you play them you realise they're not superhuman. They're just really good players who you haven't played before.

"To be fair to Karori, they did have a couple of players out. But they're still a really good team who'll win games."

It was a round of outrights in the Pearce Cup, with Hutt continuing their fine form by beating Taita by 55 runs and Eastern Suburbs handing Upper Hutt a 10-wicket hiding.

Johnsonville and Petone-Eastbourne were the two winners in the Hazlett Trophy. Johnsonville snuck home by a wicket against Petone-Eastbourne's B team, while the latter's A team enjoyed a nine-wicket win over Wainuiomata.

Onslow and North City drew, as did University and Naenae.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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