Melville plot course to contain top bat
Melville have commissioned some committee meetings to discuss how to stop Star University opening batsman Rhys McCarthy from putting them to the sword for a second successive weekend in tomorrow's Hamilton club cricket Hec Holland Plate one-day final at Galloway Park.
While both teams were assured of a place in the decider ahead of their match-up in last Saturday's round-robin fixture, The Quadrant Star University posted a 122-run victory, thanks to an amazing knock from McCarthy, who smote 105 off 48 balls.
Melville captain Hayden Cargo said there were some thoughts on how to make sure that didn't happen again.
"Clintin Price played with him over in [Waikato] Valley so there's a few ideas," he said. "But we've come together and had a few talks about what we can do for some of their players.
"It really showed up how much Star have improved over the past few years," Cargo said of last weekend's game.
"In the past they were really the whipping boys. But they're a very good all-round team and Rhys can hit a ball, he was very very scary."
All-rounder Price is back after missing last weekend's game with work commitments, while Melville have three other key men back, with Michael Dodunski, Keir Bettley and Bradley Scott back in the fold after featuring for the Hamilton rep side last weekend.
After going down in the final of the Twenty20 competition earlier in the season, Melville will be hoping to get their hands on some silverware this time.
"We'd be pretty disappointed if we don't win one of the finals this year," Cargo said, in reference to how strong the team is looking this season.
Star have regular skipper and allrounder Steven Rae back after he debuted for Hamilton last weekend, though key batsman and wicketkeeper Brett Sorrenson is unavailable.
Rae said his players were looking forward to taking on Melville again, having also dismissed them for an embarrassing 21 in a one-day match last season.
"Everyone's excited for the opportunity and we just want to keep playing good cricket," Rae said, adding that Melville's experienced lineup will just add an extra challenge.
"The guys are enjoying their time together and playing well as a team. I think we've just got stronger as a group, and this [winning the final] would be a cool way to recognise that. We're confident and we are looking to keep on building what we've started."
■ Meanwhile, getting under way today is the Eddy Marr Bowl competition, which sees each of the six sides play one another in a one and two-dayer, over 15 weekends, culminating in the Howden Cup final on April 5-7.
Star University take on Ricoh Old Boys at Galloway 1, Fraser-Tech face Lonestar Hamilton Boys' High School at Galloway 3 and Melville are up against Rodeo Rodeo Suburbs at Jansen Park 1.