North Shore Times : January 16th 2014
www.northshoretimes.co.nz SPORT NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 16, 2014 23 Race for play-offs is gathering pace The first premier cricket action of 2014 saw teams resume the battle for the one-day title. With five rounds of Jeff Crowe Cup matches now complete, the race for the eight play-off places is gathering pace. Andy Cowell starred first with bat then ball as Takapuna had a 56-run victory over Parnell at Onewa Domain to move into a tie for first place in the Blue Section. Batting first Takapuna were in trouble at 103-8 inside 38 overs until No 10 batsman Cowell combined with Ryan Scivier (41 not out) in an unbroken 79-run ninth-wicket partnership to see their side through to a total of 182-8. CLUBCRICKET Cowell finishing unbeaten with 49 from 46 balls, a blitz that included three sixes. Cowell was then on song with the ball, claiming the key wickets of Parnell captain William Brittain and Auckland A batsmen Ben Horne and Kirk Bunting as the Parnell top order were dismissed cheaply. Unlike the home side the visitors weren’t able to recover and when Cowell returned to the attack to pick up two further wickets and complete a five-wicket haul his man of the match performance was complete. East Coast Bays’ first defeat of the one-day season came in the form of a 48-run loss to Suburbs New Lynn. Suburbs were looking to score big when they batted first – their line-up boasted a top five containing players with Black Caps, Aces and Auckland A experience – however it took 60 from No 6 Luke Dudman to get them to a respectable total of 169 as the Bays bowlers hit their straps. Rowan Bezuidenhout was the pick of the Bays attack, claiming 3-26, while Blair Smith and captain Brad Schmulian grabbed two wickets each as the home side went into the interval much the happier of the two teams. Bays stumbled in the early stages of the reply, but when they reached 80-4 with English professional Tom Cullen looking well set the tabletoppers looked to be in control of their own destiny. However, the introduction of part-time bowler Jeet Raval proved to be the difference between the sides. Raval, best known as one of domestic cricket’s leading opening batsmen, claimed the key wicket of Cullen and then Richard Lane with the very next delivery. He then ran through the lower order to finish with figures of 6-17 as Suburbs sealed the win. The loss wasn’t enough to dislodge Bays from the top of the Blue Section ladder, although they now share that spot with Takapuna, while Suburbs are tied for first place in the White Section with Grafton United. The battle for the final two play-off spots from the Blue Section intensified as North Shore defeated Birkenhead City at Devonport Domain to move into a four-way tie for third and fourth positions. Shore new ball bowler Tim Duncraft got things rolling for his side by claiming three early wickets, and he went on to close with figures of 4-25 from 8.1 overs. Terry Crabb (45) and Rutvik Botadra (40) battled hard for Birkenhead but three Matt Selby wickets helped dismiss them for 170 in the 47th over. The hosts took an aggressive approach to the reply with skipper Josh Tasman-Jones striking two sixes and six fours before being dismissed for 55. Mike Olsen was another player to reach a half century, cracking four sixes along the way as Shore coasted home with seven wickets in hand. While Shore are now very much in the finals hunt Birkenhead will need to win both remaining matches and have other results go in their favour to advance. On Saturday the sixth round of the Jeff Crowe Cup pits Grafton United against East Coast Bays at Victoria Park, North Shore against Ellerslie at Devonport Domain, Birkenhead City against Cornwall at War Memorial Park and Waitakere City versus Takapuna at Te Atatu Park. Title chance: Above, Julia Tilley and partner Shauna Polley want to claim the North Harbour Open title they missed out on last year. Tough contest: Left, Thomas Hartles spikes againstSamO’Dea’s block at the national championships. These two will come face to face again this weekend. Beach volleyballers grace Shore sands for start of tour New pairings are among the favourites to take the title at the opening event of the 2014 Volleyball New Zealand International Beach Tour. The North Harbour Open this weekend at Mairangi Bay Beach Volleyball Centre will see New Zealand’s best beach volleyball athletes compete for prizemoney and ranking points. At the end of the tour, which heads to Lake Karapiro on January 24 to 26 and then Mt Maunganui on January 31 to February 2, the top two Kiwi teams will win the chance compete on the Asian Beach Tour. This weekend on both sides of the competition local athletes have paired up with proven winners to contest the title. Danielle Quigley won her first national title when she and new partner Melissa Ruru dominated the final of the New Zealand National Beach Volleyball Championship at Mairangi Bay last weekend. Newpairing: Ben O’Dea links up with North Harbour’s Thomas Hartles for this year’s opening event of the Volleyball NZ International Beach Tour. Quigley and Ruru are favourites to continue their form this weekend, but will come up against Shauna Polley and Julia Tilley who are looking to go one better than last year. In 2013, Tilley and Polley were defeated in the North Harbour Open final by the strong German team of Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur. International athletes will again make an appearance in the women’s competition at the Open with an American team set to provide a challenge for the Kiwi teams. In the men’s competition the O’Dea brothers from the National champs: Melissa Ruru and Danielle Quigley have formed a successful new partnership on the sand. Bay of Plenty have had a run of success at the North Shore event. Last summer Sam and Ben O’Dea paired up to win the final against the American team of Mark Burik and Jeremy Casebeer In 2012 the brothers were on the opposite side of the net for the Open final with Ben O’Dea and Kirk Pitman beating Sam O’Dea and Jason Lochhead. This year the brothers will again go head to head when Ben partners with New Zealand age-group representative and former Westlake Boys High School sportsman of the year Thomas Hartles, and Sam teams up with Mike Watson who was his partner last weekend to take out the New Zealand Beach Championships. ❚ Spectator entry for the North Harbour Open is $10 per person per day. Matches run from 9am on Saturday and Sunday with finals from noon Sunday.
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