The cricket season is drawing to a close with Kaipara Flats Cricket Club Seniors (KFCC) claiming the 40-over Rodney Championship from the Whangateau Rams on Saturday, March 2.
Though Kaipara lost the toss and were relegated to the field, it ended up in their favour when they got some early wickets, including Rams’ star batter Ray Beamish.
Thanks to some tight bowling and effective fielding, Kaipara was able to restrict the Rams to 120 runs, bowling them out in the 37th over.
Kaipara then chased the Rams down in 30 overs, defeating them on
their home turf.
KFCC captain Aaron Sattler says the team is ecstatic to win the championship, as it has been nine years since Kaipara has had any silverware.
“We had a good squad this season, especially with younger guys coming through who have benefited from training with the Premier side and Brendon Bracewell,” Sattler says.
Meanwhile, Pakiri Cricket Club claimed the T20 Waitemata Cup after a showdown with Wellsford on Friday, March 1 in a close game that came down to the last over.
Despite the loss for Wellsford, Rodney Cricket Association chair Kevin Forde says it was really positive to see them make a final for the first time in a decade.
“Wellsford have shown they have come back and can win games, qualifying for a final in a cup that saw four teams fighting for it all the way through,” he says.
Forde says Rodney cricket is in good shape with a stable senior grade and strong numbers of juniors coming through.
Almost, but not quite – Aaron Sattler dives for a catch in the Rodney cricket final.
“It’s great we have six main teams and see Hibiscus come in and out, although we would love to see Otamatea come back in,” he says.
The association is mindful of the need to evolve the game and is making efforts where possible to have convenient start times and more locally played games.
“There is a misconception that cricket takes all day, but it’s no different from football or rugby, which can take five to six hours with travel time.
“What we are doing this year is focusing on the junior space so we can bring in that next group of players, and as the community grows it becomes easier for people to join and play locally.”