Hamilton have shot at rebound after big loss

After taking a pummelling in losing the Hawke Cup last weekend, Hamilton haven't had time to wallow as they take the park tomorrow with an outside shot at bagging another piece of silverware.

In this weekend's final round of the Brian Dunning Cup one-day competition, Hamilton host top-of-the-table Northland at Galloway Park as they look to put behind them the disappointment of last weekend when Bay of Plenty posted 701 to win the Hawke Cup.

Hamilton need to beat Northland to be able to take the one-day title.

They will be hoping bottom-of-the-table Poverty Bay will upset Bay of Plenty in Mt Maunganui. However, if BOP win without a bonus point, Hamilton can still take the honours with a bonus-point win over Northland.

That would leave Hamilton and BOP tied on points, giving Hamilton the title because they beat BOP in their Brian Dunning Cup clash earlier in the season.

Hamilton captain Keir Bettley is looking at the Hawke Cup loss as a positive because he feels "you learn a lot more when you lose than when you win".

"They can think about how much that hurt and what we did wrong in the game," he said.

There are several changes to the Hamilton side for tomorrow's game, more through unavailability than anything else.

"It's a really young team but a lot of those guys have performed pretty well this year," Bettley said. While eager to claim a bonus point to help their cause, Bettley said the win was the most important thing first and foremost.

"It's been a pretty strong competition these last couple of years and we know Northland will be a big challenge, so we just want to get the win really."

Bettley said his batsmen would have no trouble adjusting to one-day mode because they were strokemakers.

But he wants them to be more hungry for runs.

"It's more focus on actually doing something for the team. If you get yourself in, kick on. That's been our huge problem; a lot of people keep getting 20s and 30s, and aren't really getting greedy and taking the team to a good total.

"So that's my biggest focus; I'll be telling the guys I want people to get in.

"Our bowlers have been doing well; the Hawke Cup [loss] wasn't really because of our bowling, it was more our batting that cost us the game."

Meanwhile, Waikato Valley have named three debutants and five players under 20 in their side to face Counties-Manukau in Manurewa tomorrow.

Doug Bradley, Eddie Walker and Jason Martin will take the field for the first time, with the latter a former Counties player and the other two having finished at St Peter's School last year.

Waikato Times