Freyberg eye repeat success
Marist gun for their first one-day title in yearsGEORGE HEAGNEY
Who do you think will win the one-day club cricket final between Freyberg and Marist on Saturday?
Freyberg will be looking to win back-to-back titles when they play Marist in the one-day club final at Fitzherbert Park tomorrow.
Top qualifiers Freyberg went straight through to the final, while Marist beat United in the semifinal last weekend.
It is as close as you can get to a rep trial as the two heavyweights of Manawatu club cricket go head to head.
Both teams have a good number of Manawatu rep players and have been the best teams this season.
Only United have kept up with them, while the rest have been way off the pace.
Freyberg captain Luke Murray will have close to a full-strength team for the clash, but Marist and Central Districts all-rounder Roald Badenhorst is away with the first-class side.
"That's a bit of a bonus for us really," Murray said. "They've still got a good side and all their guys are good players.
"It's going to be tough."
Freyberg stalwart Dave Fulton is unavailable, away coaching the Manawatu under-17s, but they will still have Manawatu captain Murray, batsmen Dane Cleaver and Avinash Sharma, as well as pace bowler Bevan Small, who bats well at this level.
After crushing Palmerston in last year's final, Freyberg will be gunning for their second title in a row.
"We haven't really talked about it," Murray said. "But we're pretty confident we can, there's no reason why not.
"We've played pretty well all year.
"Marist are a good side, but if we can bat well, and I think fielding is going to be crucial, we should be all right."
Freyberg won the round-three clash between the two sides by 65 runs, but Murray pointed out that Marist were missing players through university exams that day.
Old Boys were the only team to tip Freyberg up this year - in round five by 34 runs - but swept everyone else aside with seven wins.
Marist captain Dave Meiring will have nearly the same team that comfortably beat United by 93 runs in the semifinal, except for Badenhorst.
"We're looking forward to it," Meiring said. "We haven't won the one-day title for a while but we've made the final a few times.
"Hopefully we'll get it across the line."
Marist haven't won the one-day competition since 2001-02.
They have their own rep players in batsmen Meiring and Mitch Renwick, as well as pace bowler Navin Patel.
Off-spinner Nic Carter is away and swing bowler Michael Cummings replaces him.
Marist have had six wins and only lost to Freyberg and Palmerston this season.
The game starts at noon.
Marist: Dave Meiring (captain), Sam Hartley, Connor Morriss, Mitch Renwick, James Holland, Tom Giesen, Michael Cummings, Navin Patel, Chris Hyde, Zane Burn, Matt Wells.
Freyberg: Luke Murray (captain), Adrian West, Avinash Sharma, Dane Cleaver, Bevan Small, Scott Mitchell, Cam McNaught, Thomas Kuggeleijn, Grayson Harwood, Andy Grubb, Ali Akhtar.
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