Action from last year's senior club cricket season including from left; Stoke-Nayland skipper Ryan Edwards appeals for a wicket; Wanderers batsman Adam Leonard hits a ball through the covers; ACOB players celebrate a wicket; a Nelson College batsman connects with a ball; Wakatu's Greg DeFeu prepares to run out a player; Waimea Toi Toi United's Mason Thelin plays a shot. Photos: Evan Barnes/Barry Whitnall/Chris Symes/Marc Palmano/Shuttersport.

Stoke-Nayland favourites for cricket season

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With the new senior cricket season starting this weekend, all eyes will be on who can lift their game and take home the three premier competition trophies this season.

The Twenty20 and 50-over competition has been joined by a new 110-over competition which replaces two-day cricket.

In the first round of 110-over games Stoke-Nayland host Wakatu at Marsden Rec, Waimea Toi Toi welcome Wanderers to Lower Ngawhatu and ACOB travel to the same venue to face Nelson College.

 

Wakatu:

Wakatu coach Richard Percy is keen for his team to show they are capable of winning at least one piece of silverware this season.

Richard arrived at the club midway through last season and observed areas the team needed to improve to go from being a middle-of-the-road team last season to contenders this season.

Veteran Laurie Kirdy has been given the captaincy as the team look to become more consistent across all areas of the game.

“I think we had our moments last year but it’s a case of being more consistent and not giving up in games. “I think the 50-over competition is one that we can target to make a big impact and I believe with the playing group we have an expectation of winning one of the three competitions is a fair one.

Key batsmen Brad Smith, who averaged just over 40 last season, and Matt Macquet, who averaged 44, both return, and Sussex cricketer Abidine Sakande will be the overseas professional.

 

Waimea Toi Toi:

Waimea Toi Toi have lost their two spin options but otherwise have a very settled look about them this season.

Captain Jon Routhan says they are likely to have the same core of guys each week which means they will rely less on second grade players and university students.

The team has lost Dan Wightman and Sam Field but have retained last year’s top batsman Mason Thelin, bowler Amit Dhiman and most improved player Matt Garguilo.

They are unlikely to have the services of Central Districts batsman Greg Hay as he looks to focus his efforts on the Stags campaign.

Jon, who will also play a key allround role, says his team is always there or thereabouts but would like to break their one-day final hoodoo.

“We’ve been in the one day final five out of the last six years, but I don’t think we’ve won one for about four years.

He said he expected the new 110-over competition, which replaces the two-day competition, to level the playing field.

 

Stoke-Nayland:

Stoke Nayland was the benchmark last year, claiming two of the three titles in a season of immense success in all three formats of the game.

Captain Ryan Edwards is back for another year but his wicket-keeping brother Ricky won’t be.

Ryan was named Nelson’s Cricketer of the Year at the end of season awards last season, an event Stoke-Nayland dominated by winning seven team or individual awards.

While they have lost the services of Marty King, Ryan says with Dylan Eginton and Brad Duncan, the seaming stocks are looking good.

 

Athletic College Old Boys:

ACOB player/coach Glen Baumfield says his team is looking for consistency

They will look to have the services of Central Districts player Marty Kain, and one on the verge in Josh Clarkson.

The new ball is likely to be shared between Liam Baird and Sunny Dhaliwal, with new faces Puneet Nanua and Shea Gillison.

Ben Gully, James Graham and Greg Chitty are likely to form a fair bit of their batting depth.

 

Nelson College:

The schoolboys will once again juggle club cricket demands with their national secondary school competition commitments through December.

The first XI is currently in Australia playing other school sides, while a Nelson College emerging team has also been taken over to get valuable experience.

 

Wanderers:

Wanderers were one day champions last season but to repeat the dose they’ll have to do it without two of their best batsmen.

Dan Cooper and Joel Harden have departed while Adam Leonard will be back in Mid-November.

Wanderers veteran Hayden Ingham and securing the services of Matt Cross will bolster the line up, as will seamer Andrew Beatson.

Hayden says the team was keen to continue their prominence in the short forms of the game but also believed the new 110 over competition would suit his team.