Stoke/Nayland has won the Colin Aitken Twenty20 Trophy after seeing off Wanderers in the final over. They are from left; Mitchell Drummond, Jacob Beleski, Todd Marwick, Ben Homan, Brendan Hodgson, Alex Coles, Angus Riley, Dylan Eginton, Paul Capstick, Josh Sansom and Mitchell Ross. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Stoke/Nayland win T/20 title

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Stoke/Nayland are the new holders of the Colin Aitken Twenty20 Trophy, although stand-in skipper Alex Coles believes a representative fixture in Buller went a long way in deciding the title before the match even started.

Taylor’s Contracting Wanderers were without Daniel Cooper, Connor Neynens and Joe O’Connor.

Car Company Stoke/Nayland were also without bowlers Marty King, Darius Skeaping and Ryan Edwards, but it was one of the replacements, Angus Riley, who played a key part in the result. The Nelson Giants big man showed his versatility as he collected four wickets en route to a ten run victory, decided in the third to last ball of the match. Hayden Ingham was the last man out, run out on 38 runs.

Stoke/Nayland started brightly with the bat as Paul Capstick, Ben Homan, Jacob Beleski, Todd Marwick and Brendan Hodgson all made contributions towards the 161/7 scoreline. But it was the ten runs from tail ender Mitchell Ross that appeared to be the difference. He hit a six and a four in the final two balls.

Alex was confident a score of 161 runs would be enough for victory. “It’s a crazy game, to have a guy hit ten runs off the last two balls and then to win that amount. We lose rep guys but we have guys come in that are just as good at Twenty20,” he says. Alex admits it is difficult playing a final on the same day as a representative fixture but that Wanderers had the worst end of it. “When you’ve got someone like Gus come in, because he’s so big he’s tough to pick and tough to play. It definitely affected them more.”

This was the first time Stoke/Nayland had won the shortened format, losing last year’s final to Athletic College Old Boys. Alex says the trophy is important to the club because Colin Aitken was a patron of Stoke/Nayland. “With his wife coming down to watch it was pretty big for us.”

All of the teams will now take part in the one day competition and the Kelvin Scoble Trophy, with Stoke/Nayland set to host Wanderers at the Marsden Rec this Saturday. In other matches Wakatu host ACOB and Motueka host Waimea Toi Toi United. Alex believes if Stoke/Nayland’s batsmen can start brightly and build partnerships then they should be able to carry their twenty20 form across to the 50 over game.