Old Boys, Marist, Woodleigh start with style
Three teams made the perfect start to the Taranaki premier grade two-day competition on Saturday.
Defending champions New Plymouth Old Boys, New Plymouth Marist United and Woodleigh scored outright victories in round one.
Centuries to Marist United opening batsman Jason Meuli, Old Boys' English professional Wesley Morrick and Hawera United's Trent McGrath were the batting highlights, while amongst all the runs, Old Boys bowler John Dickson nabbed a five-wicket bag.
Meuli (136) rode his luck on the way to scoring his fourth premier grade century, and highest score, as Marist United made 333 all out, having started day two on 43-3.
Meuli, 26, made Inglewood pay after being dropped early on day one and let off the hook again on Saturday.
Meuli attacked the boundary, hitting 17 fours and four sixes, and had solid support from Ethan Bolstad (91), who showed no signs of the injury problems that kept him out of the rep side, and Jared Cunningham (42).
Inglewood's busiest bowler, Aaron Taylor, took 4-111 off a marathon 26 overs, while teenage medium pace bowler Martin Keegan picked up three wickets.
Marist United bundled Inglewood out for 78 in their second innings, with Cunningham taking 4-8 and Bolstad 3-6.
Marist United needed 25 to win, reaching the target in five overs, losing two wickets.
Old Boys were in top form, winning their match against Stratford at Stratford by an innings and 93 runs.
The visitors were 226-6 overnight in their first innings and Morrick (100 not out), with the support of Dean Stewart (95), took to the Stratford attack, batting aggressively for 17 overs before declaring on 429-8.
Stratford made 133 in their second innings, captain Grant Commerford hitting 47. The main destroyer for Old Boys was John Dickson, who took 5-45 from nine overs.
Woodleigh wasted little time securing their outright result against Francis Douglas Memorial College at Sutherland Park in New Plymouth.
The match was all over by 1pm after Woodleigh got three early wickets, leaving them needing 135 to win.
Woodleigh reached the target in the 25th over for the loss of four wickets, with the opening batsmen Brent Bishop (68) and Kenny Roycroft (46) scoring the bulk of the runs.
In the remaining match of the round, Hawera United took first-innings points against New Plymouth Boys' High School at Hawera.
Hawera resumed on 115-6 and declared at 230-7, in reply to Boys' High's first-innings 209.
Hawera opening batsman Trent McGrath was on 46 at the start of the day and batted through to finish unbeaten on 117, including 14 fours and two sixes.
Henry Boon (4-57 off 20 overs) was the leading wicket-taker for the school side.
In their second innings, Boys' High were 167-9 when the match was called off. Top scorer for Boys' High was year 11 student Cameron Black, with a well hit 67.
J Meuli (NPMU) 136
T McGrath (Hawera Utd) 117no
W Morrick (NPOB) 100no
D Stewart (NPOB) 95
E Bolstad (NPMU) 91
B Bishop (Woodleigh) 68
C Black (NPBHS) 67
J Dickson (NPOB) 5-45
Taranaki Daily News