Nov 23 report

The Wanderers – Motueka cricket team recorded their first victory since returning to Premier cricket in the Nelson Cricket Association competition, defeating Waimea Toi Toi United on Saturday.

Both Wanderers and Motueka cricket clubs have shown excellent leadership in joining forces to provide Premier opportunities for their players and in obtaining the services of an English import, Max Mannering, who has melded a competitive blend of youth and senior players, who appear to be enjoying each other’s company while at the same time growing as cricketers.

Saturday was a perfect example of that competitiveness and teamwork in action.

Taylors Wanderers-Motueka lost the toss and were put in the field at Jubilee Park on Saturday against the strong WTTU team.

The 1st XI got off to a fairly slow start after the first over went for 16 and the second for 8 however once the Wanderers-Mot opening pair, Zabe Mohammed and Andrew Beatson found their lines they both bowled tight spells, Zabe picking up the key wicket of Cross caught at point after a towering bouncer caught the shoulder of the bat. A frustrating period of play then ensued as the WTTU second wicket put on a valuable 40 run partnership, as balls played uppishly seemed to evade fielders. This was eventually brought to a close with the introduction of James Ranson and Logan Ogilvie, the former picking up the key wicket of O’Connor and providing great control as Ogilvie tore through the WTTU line up from the other end. Ogilvie’s spell of 4-21 in a long ten over spell changed the game as WTTU stumbled from 78-2 to 105-6 and was undoubtedly deserving of the MVP accolade. Again, a period of frustration ensued for Wanderers-Mot as WTTU attempted to wear the bowlers down. However, they stuck to their task admirably as spin came into the attack. 15 year old spinner Mitch Grant taking 2-10 off his 4 overs and Max Mannering taking 2-18 off his 12 overs, going at economies of 2.5 and 1.5 respectively which helped bring the WTTU innings to a conclusion at 129 all out.

The Wanderers-Mot chase started well with Zabe Mohammed and Alex Brogan putting on 48. Mohammed could have been said to have ridden his luck with a run a ball 25 predominantly coming through the third man region. Brogan batted well for his 28, grinding out runs in an attritional battle with the WTTU bowlers. Wanderers-Mot inevitably stumbled in pursuit of their small target as they slumped from 82-2 to 96-5 with Brogan, Bamford and Mannering all being dismissed cheaply by a combination of O’Connor’s great spell of 3-30 from 14 and poor decision making. It was left to experienced heads Andrew Beatson and John Ogilvie to lead Wanderers-Mot, home eventually reaching their target with 4 wickets remaining.

A first win for this young side which contains 5 players under 19 years of age, back in the topflight will no doubt delight both players and locals alike as both clubs continue to bounce back from last year’s exit from Premier status. Exciting times lie ahead as the boys travel to Blenheim again next Saturday to face the Marlborough Falcons.

Meanwhile out at Centennial Park the Wanderers 2nd Grade team was defending the Kirkpatrick Cup at home against Nelson College in simply perfect cricketing conditions.

In an excellent competitive encounter Nelson college showed level-headed batting and an outstanding partnership between Liam 32 and Lucca 84, set the team up for a good score. The partnership was finally ended by the bowling of Nathan Geddes and a 1 handed catch from John Glazier at close cover. Nelson finally settled for score of 205, leaving Wanderers the target of 206 to retain the ‘K’ Cup. Wanderers started with an amazing opening stand between Geddes and Campion of 96. Campion eventually out on 50. Geddes went on to score 101 not out. Wanderers finally reached 206 with 12 overs to spare and John Glazier was very relieved to lift the ‘K’ Cup aloft once more and his comments after the award reflect very well on the group;  “The team has an excellent positive attitude this year, working together and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys. We really appreciate the support also of parents and families who have been present at all our games to date”.

Both teams showed composure and entertained their supporters, but Geddes’ excellent knock simply took the game away from Nelson College.

This year Taylors Wanderers also field a team in 3rd/College grade with a group of boys primarily from Waimea College under the leadership of Matt Anderson. This team played against Nayland College in T25 format and batting first put on an extremely formidable 303 with Ryan Mairs contributing almost 50% of the total with an unbeaten 150. While the batting was impressive, the bowlers backed it up and dismissed Nayland for 49. This young team is producing some very good cricket and there does appear to be some depth at the club this year. Mitchell Grant started in this team at the start of the season, and his success for the Premiers on Saturday proves the “pathway” exists for all players at Wanderers and Motueka this season and for the future. Very healthy cricketing signs, albeit early days.

As an added bonus, Taylors Wanderers also field two teams in the Friday night Presidents ‘Oldies’ limited over competition where the Wanderers Wizards are enjoying some success, being two from two so far. The other team, Wanderers Presidents is also enjoying success and the NCA variations of play across all levels is being supported by players of all ages and standards.