Marist shoot for one-day champs Central Hawke's Bay first up

TONY BIRD
Last updated 10:15 02/02/2013

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The New Plymouth Marist United premier grade team head to Palmerston North today, chasing a spot in the national one-day club cricket championships.

First up today, Nag 'n Noggin Marist United play top Hawke's Bay premier club team Central Hawke's Bay in a knockout round of the Central Districts zone playoffs.

The successful side go on to face the winner of the game between Levin Old Boys (Horowhenua's qualifier) and Waimea Toi Toi (Nelson's top qualifier) tomorrow, while the losers head home.

The winner of the Central Districts' final will travel to Auckland in April for a shot at becoming the country's best premier club team.

Marist United represented the region at the national finals in 2007, and again in 2011, when they finished third behind winners East Christchurch Shirley and Auckland's Howick-Pakuranga.

"The guys are super-excited and pumped up about playing well," Marist United captain Ryan Fleming said yesterday.

There have been several changes to the side that won the inter-district qualifier against Whanganui's top club team.

Matthew Hawkes comes in to replace allrounder Ethan Bolstad, who has shifted to Australia. Regular wicketkeeper Ryan Bridgeman will be back wearing the gloves, replacing Sean Lance, who filled that role when Bridgeman was unavailable for the Whanganui game.

Also back and bringing the side up to full strength is Taranaki fast bowler Josh Barrett, while national under-19 training squad member Ryan Watson is back from a training camp in Christchurch.

The Central Hawke's Bay squad includes seven Hawke's Bay reps, including Central District wicketkeeper Ben Smith.

They are also the club team of Central Districts rep and former Black Cap Kruger Van Wyk who, according to Hawke's Bay Cricket sources, may be available to play for his club side tomorrow.

Fleming admits his team are heading into the unknown, with little knowledge of the opposition. But the lack of opposition information could have advantages, he said.

"I think it that allows us to focus more on our own processes and concentrate on doing our own things right, rather than worrying about the opposition."

Fleming said the form shown by players in recent weeks had given the team confidence.

"Every single batsman has got a good score lately and the bowling attack have been in good nick and been playing well too."

NEW PLYMOUTH MARIST UNITED: Dean Robinson, Jason Meuli, Matt Sim, Ryan Fleming, Leith Johnston, Jarred Cunningham, Matthew Hawkes, Ryan Watson, Ryan Bridgeman, Josh Barrett, Sam Wells, Kurt Leuthart, Sam Barrett.

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CENTRAL HAWKE'S BAY: Scott Schaw (c), Henry Hunter, Sam McConville, James Mackie, Paul Hindmarch, Ben Smith, Angus Schaw, Hamish Lewis, Driaan Lubbe, Digby Phillips, Jake Chambers, Paul Lyttle.

- Taranaki Daily News

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