Stoke-Nayland bowler Marty King in action during Saturday’s draw with Waimea Toi Toi United. Photo: Phillip Rollo.

Stoke-Nayland hold on for draw

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With just first innings points up for grabs and the unavailability of rep players, it was a fairly disruptive start to the two-day cricket season.

The headlining fixture of the first round of games was the clash between last year’s finalists Stoke-Nayland and Waimea Toi Toi United at the Marsden Rec. However, honours had to be shared as WTTU, who won the competition last year, declared at 235-4 with Stoke-Nayland ending the day at 167-8 in reply.

WTTU middle order batsman Mason Thelin was the star of the show on 123 not out off just 116 balls, which included 14 boundaries. It was Mason’s first century for the club after making his senior debut in 2005. And while leg spinner Sam Field claimed a five wicked haul on debut, Stoke-Nayland’s tail held out just long enough for the draw.

When asked if he could take much out of the result, captain Ryan Edwards, who was away playing for Nelson, says the fact his team wasn’t beaten was a positive. “In situations when you’re trying to make a final, getting every point and preventing the opposition from getting points is key,” he says. “It has been disruptive with the weather, but to blow out the cobwebs was good and hopefully going forward it puts us in good stead.”

With representative players away, senior clubs had to rely on their depth, and Ryan was pleased to hear that last year’s division two captain Mo Taylor scored a half century and young bowler Josh Sansom bagged three wickets. “It tests your depth of talent that’s for sure and I think that’s why teams end up in the finals, because they’ve got the depth.”

In the two other matches, Wanderers claimed a first innings victory over ACOB and Motueka grabbed a first innings win over Wakatu.