Darius Skeaping watches the ball as it flies off his bat during Saturday's Car Company Nelson Cricket club cricket competition. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

Stoke/Nayland ‘red hot favourites’ for club cricket final

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Stoke/Nayland are “red hot favourites” for this weekend’s club cricket final — well, at least according to coach of the team they’ll face, Nelson College.

College coach Garry MacDonald says his team will be without three of its top players, who will be on Nelson representative duty.

Meanwhile Stoke/Nayland are largely intact, with most of its side unavailable for representative selection.

Garry says that will leave a “massive hole” in his side.

“We haven’t got a hell of a lot to throw at them. But this is the first time in history we’ve made a final in club cricket. The boys have done pretty well, but Stoke are the best side in town.”

Both sides are coming into the final on the back of losses in the final round robin game of the 110 over competition.

Stoke/Nayland were well-beaten by a fired up Waimea Toi Toi United while Nelson College failed to chase down a modest target set by Wanderers.

Stoke/Nayland captain Brendan Hodgson says he wasn’t too worried about the loss.

“WTTU had their best side out this weekend and, to be fair, we probably copped a backlash from a side that has grossly under-performed this season. We’ve got a great 11 out against Nelson College next weekend. I’m pretty happy with where we’re at.”

Stoke/Nayland has been the dominate team of this year’s competition, its only other loss coming at the hands of its opposition this weekend, Nelson College.

Garry says he’s hopeful of history repeating itself.

“If we played this side 10 times they’d beat us in 8, but let’s see if we can make this one of those times that we can beat them. They are red hot favourites and that comes with its own pressure.”

The final will start this Saturday at 11am at the Marsden Rec in Stoke.