It's a pity former Manawatu allrounder Jarred Cunningham was not playing for Taranaki against his old province on Saturday.
His talents with the bat and the ball would have been welcomed at New Plymouth's Pukekura Park where Taranaki were dealt to by the visitors in a Hawke Cup qualifying match.
Instead, Cunningham was blasting away for his club side New Plymouth Marist United at Hawera, scoring an unbeaten 105 to help Marist through to 248-8 off their 50 overs batting first.
Cunningham, batting at No 5, took 14 balls to get off the mark but he soon made up ground, belting four sixes and nine fours. He shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 74 with Ryan Watson, who made 18, and a seventh-wicket partnership of 42 with Ryan Bridgeman, who made 15.
The right-arm off-spinner then took four wickets for 26 runs off his 10 overs to help dismiss Hawera for 177 in the Revital Fertilisers Taranaki premier grade match - a win for Marist by 72 runs.
Three of Cunningham's wickets were neatly executed stumpings by wicketkeeper Bridgeman.
The best of the Hawera batsmen was Robert Northcott who missed selection in the Taranaki side for the Manawatu match. He made 61.
Francis Douglas Memorial College sneaked home against New Plymouth Boys' High School in the clash between the two New Plymouth school sides. Batting first, Francis Douglas made 233-8. Three batsmen made solid contributions - Michael Blanks 55, Sam Fastier 49 and GJ Pike an unbeaten 47.
Mason Farrant led the run chase for Boys' High with 55, but the home side came up short - all out for 227 to lose by seven runs. Blanks capped off a good day taking three wickets.
Both sides were guilty of bowling wides - Francis Douglas bowled 38 and Boys' High 34.
Woodleigh scored a comfortable 62-run win over Stratford at New Plymouth's Sutherland Park.
Batting first, Woodleigh made 194 with Phillip Barraclough leading the way with a well-hit 54. Stratford's bowling attack was spearheaded by N McCullough (4-40) and Leith Cowley (3-39).
The total proved more than competitive, with Stratford losing wickets regularly to be dismissed for 132. Best of the Stratford batsmen was Chris McEldowney with 52, while Andrew Mason bagged four wickets for the home side.
In the remaining game, Inglewood beat New Plymouth Old Boys by eight wickets at Inglewood's Karo Park.
The home side restricted Old Boys to 143 batting first, with only opener Riley McGregor (31) and Brad Purcell (26 not out) posting scores of note. Best of the Inglewood bowlers were Martin Keegan with 4-33 and former Taranaki rep Ngatai Walker 3-25.
Inglewood had few problems chasing down the runs, cruising through to 146-2 with Marcel Erasmus scoring 41 and Aaron Zame unbeaten on 50.
Marist United finished the weekend in the top spot for the top-four playoffs with 19 points after their bonus-point win over Hawera.
Inglewood moved to second on 18 points after their bonus-point win over Old Boys, with Woodleigh third on 16 after also picking up a bonus point.
Francis Douglas are fourth on 11 points, followed Old Boys on 13, Hawera on 11, Boys' High on eight and Stratford on two.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Have you lost faith in Taranaki rugby?Related story: Taranaki lose to Waikato
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates