Central/West were crowned Prichard Cup champions on Saturday after a hard fought final with Cornwall at Te Atatu Park.
Central West skipper Paula Gruber elected to bat first after winning the toss and got the innings started well with 39 at the top of the order combining with Sam Curtis to add 52 for the second wicket. Curtis’ magical form this season continued and her 40 on Saturday gave her 217 runs for the Prichard Cup at an average of 54.25.
The game was evenly balanced heading into the last ten overs but a fantastic unbroken fifth wicket partnership between Tori Higgs and Ruth Templer eased Central West over the 200 mark.
Higgs played an anchor role scoring 41 from 80 balls while Templer lashed out striking five boundaries in her 33 from 36 balls which left the skipper satisfied with her teams total of 211/4: “We had to work hard for our runs but our top order batted very well before Ruth and Tori finished the innings off nicely. Shivani Siva was the pick of the Cornwall bowlers and her figures of 1-31 off 10 doesn’t fairly reflect her consistent line and length”.
Cornwall quickly fell to 19-3 in reply but this only brought Maddy Green and Georgia Guy together: “They had an impressive partnership that nearly took the game away from us” said Gruber “but patience from our bowlers, pressure and the climbing run rate eventually broke them”.
Guy was dismissed for 23, having shared a spectacular 111 run partnership with Green to keep their side in the game. Green, who had reached 50 when the team total was just 65, then carried on the momentum in an almost faultless knock.
She passed her century at exactly a run a ball and was threatening to almost single-handedly overcome the Central West total. But with the score on 149 and Green on 103 she was dismissed which proved to be the game’s turning point.
Cornwall just could not recover and despite a valiant effort they eventually fell an agonising 11 runs short of the target. Natalee Scripps did the main damage claiming 4-30 off her 10 overs before Sam Curtis ran out Siva in the final over to seal the victory.
“I’m thrilled we have come away with the first trophy of the season”, said Gruber “It has been a rather stressful start to the season due to player numbers, but I think it’s fair to say experience played it’s part on the day. On a positive note for Cornwall, I think we have helped Maddy get in form for the Hearts season and I’m sure the confidence she showed in the middle on Saturday will continue. I also must pay credit to Cornwall coach Kyle Tocher who has turned a young, inexperienced side into a very competitive one through his guidance”.
Central/West 211/4 (P Gruber 39, S Curtis 40, T Higgs 41*, R Templer 33*) defeated Cornwall 200 (M Green 103, G Guy 23, N Scripps 4-38) by 11 runs to win the Prichard Cup.
South East comfortably defeated North East in the third place playoff thanks to a tremendous all round effort from Megan Tremaine. Tremaine top scored with 69 when SE batted first helping them rack up 202/9 before taking 5-11 in NE’s reply, reducing them to 90/9 to secure an emphatic victory.
3rd Place Playoff: South East 202/9 (M Tremaine 69, H Huddlestone 43, S Bullen 3-40, L Watts 2-16) defeated North East 90/9 (R McNeil 18, M Tremaine 5-11, H Huddlestone 2-19, A Eastwood 2-40) by 112 runs.