Siblings square off in cricket final

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The Edwards brothers are now a key cog in the Nelson middle order. Having been reunited in the same team just twice since they were school boys, Ryan and younger brother Ricky have been enjoying their time at the crease together.

However, this weekend the two brothers will come face to face again as Ricky’s Waimea Toi Toi United take on Ryan’s Stoke/Nayland in the Car Company two-day cricket final at Saxton Oval.

Ryan lays claim to the sibling dominance at the moment, with the Car Company Stoke/Nayland widely perceived as the dominant force in the past five years. However, Ricky has had the upper-hand of late with Harrington’s Beer Cafe Waimea Toi Toi United collecting the most silverware last season and being the current two-day title holders. “We might have lost one of the six finals we’ve played against him,” say Ryan. “We came up against each other in one final last year which we won, but they obviously won the two-day final and the Kevin Scoble.”

Before teaming up in the Nelson representative side, the last time the pair were on the same team was at Stoke/Nayland when Ricky was just 15 years old, around than 12 years ago. Ricky says teaming up with his older brother was one thing he hoped would continue despite playing at a different club. “Stoke was too strong at the time. I couldn’t make the senior side so I had to leave the club. A few of the guys out there contacted me and I tried to make a go of it,” he says. “Obviously when he went overseas it was never going to happen but now that he’s back it’s been really good playing alongside each other.”

Ryan says the sibling rivalry is well and truly alive with some friendly banter shared via text message before each final. But he admits the loser doesn’t usually reply for a couple of weeks. “We take it pretty seriously when we play but afterwards if one of us happens to stumble there’s always a bit of banter. But we’re the first person to shake each other’s hand if the other one gets a 100. Me and Ricky have had an ongoing bet to see who would claim the Vonda Edwards trophy [for the batsman with the most runs at the end of the season], which is obviously my grandparent’s trophy, so a text message will always come through to say ‘I’m catching you.’”

The Edwards family continue to support both of their star boys, but it remains as a mystery as to which team they back come finals time. “I think they go into hiding. Dad usually gets asked a lot of questions but he generally doesn’t say a lot. He just says good luck to both of us.”

WTTU will go into the weekend’s final as top qualifier, meaning Stoke/Nayland must win the match to lift the trophy afterwards. Having been battered by six wickets the last time these two teams met, Ryan admits his side are underdogs. “In saying that, we’ve played a lot of finals cricket over the past five or six years and the bulk of our side have been together for a long time. In terms of winning finals cricket we probably have an edge.”