The Otago Volts and Wellington Firebirds arrived in the town yesterday for their four-day Plunket Shield match which today.
It is always great to have the first-class teams at Queens Park and I hope that the Southland cricket community come out to support the match.
As I write the sun is starting to come out and the covers are being pulled back. With luck the weather will hold off and allow four days of uninterrupted cricket.
Having Plunket Shield cricket back at Queens Park is fantastic and it allows the traditionalists and our young cricketers the opportunity to come along and watch these quality players in action.
Our young rep cricketers had last Sunday off due to inclement weather.
This week will see the Southland under-15 Gold and Maroon teams clash at the Marist grounds tomorrow.
This is a pre-tournament match leading into the Otago Districts' tournament at Alexandra next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
This tournament is an important measuring stick for our players to see how they compete with the best from across the province.
With the right attitude and focus I expect both our under-15 teams to perform well in Alexandra in the T20 format and the longer one-day matches.
Sunday also sees Southland Country year 7-8 play Otago Country in Alexandra.
This is both districts' South Island primary school teams, so it will be a last chance for match play leading into the tournament to be hosted by Southland Country from January 6-10.
Umpires are still required for this tournament, so if anyone is keen to assist please contact Southland Cricket.
Our young female rep cricketers are off to Gore this weekend to represent Southland in the Otago Districts under-15 tournament.
Teams from Southland, North Otago, Otago Country and Dunedin will be playing T20 matches on Saturday and Sunday at Gore High School and St Peter's College.
An Otago under-15 team will be selected from the tournament, so it is important weekend for those girls who wish to go on to play at representative level.
Congratulations to our Hawke Cup team who came back from Oamaru last weekend with an outright victory over North Otago.
Coach Steve Jackson has spoken about senior players stepping up and the bowlers especially completing the sorts of spells that come with experience.
This current side is working its way up in the experience stakes and should get better each season with the current players involved.
It it pleasing to see the team perform well right from the outset and I look forward to our next match on January 25/26 in Ashburton.
Thanks also to all players, coaches, families and teachers that attended the finals evening of the primary schools cricket in Gore last Friday night.
This has now become a tradition where all year 3/4, 5/6 and 7/8 teams come to Hamilton Park to play their finals matches.
With good weather, a barbecue and lots of players and families the evening was a real success. Well done to all the children taking part and I look forward to seeing them all out their at the start of next year.
● Ian Mockford is Southland Cricket Association's general manager.
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