Magnificent double ton by Cleaver sees off challengers
Dane Cleaver's rapid double century at Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North was far from the first by a Manawatu batsman when defending cricket's Hawke Cup.
In 1994, Dave Fulton scored 209 at Fitzherbert Park when Manawatu amassed 650-9 declared. And by the way, Fulton, the record runs-scorer for Manawatu, is still playing premier one cricket for Freyberg.
In 2010, our New Zealand batsman Jamie How scored 224 of Manawatu's 659 in the pummelling of Bay of Plenty.
Cleaver's 207 came in quick time against Canterbury Country, off just 204 balls as Manawatu romped to a total of 520.
■ Soon after we wrote that Shane Dobbin's career as an ice skater had finished at the Sochi Winter Olympics, along came a story suggesting maybe not.
However, by the next Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang in South Korea, Dobbin will be aged 38. That would be tough competing against skaters 10 years younger and would also mean another four years of hard training.
■ The illustrious Jamie How, Jacob Oram, Adam Milne and Roald Badenhorst were spotted at Manawatu's Hawke Cup cricket defence at Fitzherbert Park on Saturday.
Unfortunately, none of them was wearing the green Manawatu cap, with How and Badenhorst in the employ of Central Districts, Black Caps bowler Milne still getting over his side strain and Oram not playing the longer form of the game for CD or Manawatu.
■ The Manawatu Rugby League's premier division will be beefed up when it kicks off on March 15.
The Feilding Falcons and Ohakea Magpies have entered. Former powerhouses, the Falcons, haven't had a team for two seasons since coach Mike Graham pulled out. Ohakea withdrew last year when player numbers dropped.
■ New Linton Military Camp commander Colonel Nick Gillard has Manawatu sporting heritage.
A football midfielder, he was in Manawatu AFC's Central League team from 1993 to 1997, and had a few games for the national league team, as well as the NZ Army side. He played national age-group football in Northland before going to Nelson College.
■ We hear former RACE chief executive David Jewell has been appointed to a similar role with the Wyong Racing Club in New South Wales. He had left Manawatu for three years as a general manager at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing in Wellington.
Onetime jumps jockey and Bulls trainer Neil Treweek was course manager at Wyong in the late 1990s and is now course manager at the Waikato Racing Club.