Nelson clubs down on strength

CLAY WILSON
Last updated 07:04 01/02/2013

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The absence of Nelson's senior rep players presents Marlborough's four club teams with a good opportunity of a first-up win over one of their Nelson counterparts in round two of the Kelvin Scoble Trophy combined one-day competition tomorrow.

Nelson host Canterbury Country in a two-day fixture at Saxton Oval this weekend to decide who gets the Hawke Cup challenge from zone three, which also includes Marlborough. That means 12 players who would normally turn out for their Nelson club sides will be playing representative cricket, weakening the four Nelson clubs in action on either side of the Whangamoas. The first lot of Marlborough v Nelson matches in the KST competition see three matches in Blenheim and one in Nelson.

In Blenheim, Grove Tavern Wairau take on Athletic College Old Boys on Horton 1, Criterion Wairau Valley are up against Wanderers on Horton 3 and Biddy Kates Celtic host Motueka on Oliver Park No 2. Guthrie Bowron Renwick are the lone Marlborough side travelling, playing at the Marsden Recreation ground against Stoke Nayland. Wakatu and defending champs WTTU are the teams with the bye.

Following their demolition of fellow pool one side Renwick in round one, Wairau already have five competition points. They will be without two experienced campaigners for their match against ACOB, batsman Mike Hood and spinner Greg Logan both unavailable. Coming in to fill the voids are the talented young pair of medium-pacer Harrison Boyce and batsman/spinner Ma'ara Ave.

Valley, who lost to Celtic in round one of pool two, are without several regular faces. Skipper Tim Abrahams and opening bowler Mark Gear are at a wedding, with Blake Parata, Rohan Prasad and Duncan Grigg also unavailable.

Former Marlborough batsman Hamish Moran, all-rounder Simon Muir, Michael Dillon and Ethan Gleeson join the fold, while the addition of Steve Boyce means Valley will have two father-son combinations in action.

Boyce joins son and seam bowler Sam, with Greg and Matthew Stretch also playing.

Celtic got off to the perfect start with their bonus point victory over Valley and will be looking to maintain that momentum against Motueka. Celtic have just one change to their T20 side from last night, wicketkeeper/batsman Mitchell Croft replacing Greg Hegglun.

Renwick also have just the one change from their T20 team. Spinner/batsman Ed Gilhooly is out, replaced by a new overseas player. Captain Mike Bown was unable to confirm the name of the overseas player yesterday, but said he was a Pakistani who had come from England.

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All KST matches start at 11am.

- The Marlborough Express

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