Premier teams all have semis chance

TONY BIRD
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2013

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New Plymouth Boys' High School are the big movers from the latest round of the Taranaki two-day premier grade cricket competition.

Heading into the sixth and penultimate round of qualifying today, Boys' High have jumped from seventh to fourth, picking up 14 points in their outright win over Stratford last weekend.

New Plymouth Marist United continue to make the running and lead the competition with 60 points. They are 14 points clear of New Plymouth Old Boys (46) with Hawera United just two points adrift (44).

The remaining four teams are still in with a chance of making the semifinals. Boys' High are on 38 points. Woodleigh dropped out of the top four in the last round and are fifth on 37 points, one ahead of Inglewood (36), with Francis Douglas Memorial College (35) and Stratford (32) still in touch.

Today Boys' High face a big challenge to continue their good recent form when hosting Marist United, who will be hurting after their loss to Francis Douglas in the Twenty20 semifinal early this week.

Woodleigh host Old Boys at Sutherland Park. Old Boys will be fighting to hold on to their top two spot and home advantage for the semifinals.

Stratford are home to Inglewood and, in the remaining match, Francis Douglas Memorial College meet Hawera United, another of the form teams in the competition.

Meanwhile, Woodleigh and Francis Douglas can look forward to a full weekend of club cricket.

The two New Plymouth city teams meet in the final of the Taranaki Twenty20 competition, at Pukekura Park tomorrow.

Both finalists knocked over two big guns in their semifinals.

Francis Douglas surprised when beating defending Twenty20 champions Marist United by 10 runs, while Woodleigh beat Old Boys by 36 runs.

Woodleigh gets a second shot at winning a title this season, having lost the 50-over decider to Marist United late last year.

The final starts at 2.30pm tomorrow.

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