Rob Sheary wrote himself into Palmerston folklore by smashing the club's highest ever score as they dominated the opening day of their clash with Old Boys on Saturday.
Palmerston captain Sheary belted 209 not out, including 20 fours and 17 sixes, as the red caps blitzed their way to 426 for 6 declared from 60 overs in the two-day competition at Manawaroa Park.
It topped Sheary's previous high score of 166 for Manawatu against Nelson in a Hawke Cup game in 2008 and beat the previous best score for Palmerston of 188 not out by Pieter Verhoek, who played for Central Districts from 1978 to 1981.
Hamish Pryde had scored 199 for Palmerston but that was in a premier two game.
Sheary was on 160 after 55 overs and when asked if he should declare, said it was not very often you got a chance to get 200, so he went on and smashed 28 off the last over to bring up the double ton.
Mike Smith scored 84 at the top of the order for Palmerston and then Benn Dixon came out and joined Sheary for a partnership of 130 as Dixon scored 89.
Old Boys medium pacer Bryce Grant took four wickets but his figures took a hammering as he had four for 168, doing the bulk of the work into the wind.
Old Boys were facing a long way to get out of the hole at 74 for 2 when bad light stopped play, still 352 runs behind, with Vili Tosi and Josh Jaques at the wicket, while Russell Swindells and Dom Carroll had taken a wicket each.
Old Boys were not at full strength for the game and will have their rep players back next week.
United have Marist under the pump after day one, thanks to a century from captain Robbie James.
James scored his fifth century for United as they scored 349 for 5 declared from 87 overs, with James' opening partner, Jason McGregor, scoring 76 in their partnership of 171. Jason Morris and newcomer Josh Thomson, out of Dannevirke High School, added runs in the middle order with 39 and 27 respectively. The best bowler for Marist was Ben Mably with 2 for 72 from 22 overs and stand-in captain Sam Hartley had similar figures with 2-78 with his left-armers.
Marist were then quickly battling, losing a few wickets in the 18 overs they faced at the end of the day and were 47-4 at stumps, with United leading by 302 runs.
Cam Harris took 2-19 and was on a hat-trick but Tom Giesen negotiated the hat-trick ball and was still in at the end with Chris Hyde.
Palmerston North Boys' High School continued their solid form in the two-dayers, edging Freyberg for honours in their game.
Boys' High batted first and the whole top order chipped in as they scored 243-8 declared.
James Fitch scored 62, Mason Hughes 53, Alex Wells 43 and Luke McConaghty 32, while Freyberg seamer Andy Grubb took 2 for 18 after 60 overs.
Freyberg were 137 runs behind at stumps on 106 for 6 and Boys' High had taken the big wicket of Dave Fulton at the end of the day when he skied one.
Roscoe Price-Moor top-scored with 35 and Cameron McNaught 34, while schoolboys captain Hayden Spencer took 2 for 8 from four overs.
Last week, Boys' High lost their interschool match to Wellington College by six wickets in Wellington, but beat Paraparaumu College in their Gillette Cup qualifier by 114 runs in Palmerston North during the week.
They play Rathkeale College in the next qualifying round, probably on Thursday, at Boys' High.
Palmerston 426-6 decl (Rob Sheary 209*, Benn Dixon 89, Mike Smith 84; Bryce Grant 4-168) met Old Boys 74-2. United 349-5 decl (Robbie James 138, Jason McGregor 76, Jason Morris 39) met Marist 47-4 (Cam Harris 2-19). PNBHS 243-8 decl (James Fitch 62, Mason Hughes 53, Alex Wells 43, Luke McConaghty 32; Andy Grubb 2-18, Myles Price-Moor 2-39, Dave Fulton 2-44) met Freyberg 106-6 (Roscoe Price-Moor 35, Cameron McNaught 34; Hayden Spencer 2-8). --------------------
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