Sun turns up the heat on busy weekend of club action

It will be a busy time for four Taranaki premier grade cricket teams this weekend.

Today, all eight premier teams turn out for the opening round of the Revital Fertilisers two-day competition.

And tomorrow, the one- day semifinalists will be backing up to decide who plays in the Revital Fertilisers one-day final at Pukekura Park next Sunday.

After numerous rain- affected games in what has been a soggy spring, the weather gods finally appear to be back on side of the summer sporting codes and this week's fine weather is forecast to continue through the weekend.

The top two two qualifiers, New Plymouth Marist United and Inglewood, have hosting rights for the one- day playoffs.

Defending champions Marist go up against fourth placed Francis Douglas Memorial College at Lynmouth Park, while Inglewood meet third qualifier Woodleigh at Karo Park.

Marist United has been the form team through the one-dayers and will be favourite to go all the way once again this season.

The Marist v Francis Douglas round robin clash was rained out so comparisons can't be made on which team may have an edge.

The school side have, however, shown they are more than capable of upsetting the competition heavyweights, a fact illustrated by their defeat of New Plymouth Old Boys in the elimination series match early this month.

The Inglewood match is a tough one to pick, although the home side have an edge if only because they are the more consistent of the two sides so far this season.

Normally a slow starter, Inglewood have started the season strongly, perhaps showing the benefit of players being committed to pre-season training regime that was put in place.

All two-day matches will be played on grass wickets.

Round one: Hawera United v New Plymouth Boys' High School, TSB Hub grounds; Stratford v New Plymouth Old Boys, Victoria Park; Woodleigh v Francis Douglas Memorial College, Sutherland Park; Inglewood v Marist United, Inglewood.

Taranaki Daily News