An emphatic outright victory capped off a dominant season for Parnell as they topped the Hedley Howarth Trophy standings by more than 20 points.
The Tom Hellaby Trophy race was much tighter with Cornwall edging out North Shore on the final day of the season. Cornwall will replace Howick Pakuranga in the Major Championship who were relegated after losing to Papatoetoe.
While North Shore were unable to celebrate team success seam bowler Carl Brungar could at least take some consolation in winning the MVP award for the premier grade, as well as finishing as the competition`s leading wicket taker with a staggering 80 wickets to his credit, 17 more than his closest rival.
In the batting department Parnell`s Tim McIntosh was also a stand alone winner, being the only batsman to score over 900 runs during the season.
Hedley Howarth Trophy – Major Championship
Parnell v Auckland University – Orakei Domain
Parnell were officially crowned 2014/15 Hedley Howarth Trophy champions on Saturday evening when they completed a mammoth outright victory over Auckland University by an innings and 168 runs at Orakei Domain.
Parnell have been the dominant side in the two-day competition and after bowling Varsity out for 114 on day one, and then racing to 344/3 by the close of play, they knew they were all but mathematically guaranteed to become champions before day two got underway.
Despite already having one hand on the trophy Parnell were determined to finish the season in a style befitting champions, and they did just that on Saturday afternoon.
Ben Horne and Tim McIntosh led the batting onslaught on day one, and the pair continued their assault on the second morning before Horne was eventually dismissed with the partnership just 13 runs shy of 300.
Horne struck 6 sixes and no fewer than 23 fours before he departed for 184 from just 111 balls, while McIntosh racked up a slightly more sedate 168 from 204 deliveries before he was dismissed.
The century was McIntosh`s second of the season and saw him finish with 978 runs, 132 more than any other batsman in Auckland, at an average of over 40.
With McIntosh and Horne gone the home team declared their innings and whilst the visitors made a better fist of their second dig it took just 44 overs for Parnell to seal the victory.
After taking three first innings wickets James Walsh was again on song in the second, claiming 4/58 to run through the Varsity middle order before skipper Dave Goddard bagged the final two wickets and the celebrations were officially allowed to begin.
Auckland University 114 (B Dench 48, M Ravlic 4/43, J Walsh 3/43) & 171 (B Dench 39, R Umasuthan 33, J Walsh 4/58) lost to Parnell 453/5 (B Horne 184, T McIntosh 168) outright by an innings & 168 runs.
Takapuna v Birkenhead City – Onewa Domain
Birkenhead City ended the season with a first innings victory over Takapuna at Onewa Domain.
Taka began the game less than seven points behind Hedley Howarth Trophy leaders Parnell but when the leaders defeated Auckland University on first innings last Saturday Taka`s odds lengthened appreciably.
To make things even tougher for Taka they were struggling against City, slipping to 131/7 by the close of play after the visitors had scored 216 batting first. And the challengers were only able to add nine more runs to their overnight tally before they were bowled out as Englishman James Glynn finished with the outstanding figures of 3/16 from his nine overs.
With the first innings defeat Taka were officially eliminated from the title race, and when City reached 73/5 in their second innings play was abandoned for the day.
While Taka were unable to catch the leaders they did finish the season as runners-up, while Birkenhead ended their campaign in third.
Birkenhead City 216 (A Jeavons 44, U Boshoff 40, R Scivier 4/45) & 73/5 defeated Takapuna 140 (J Glynn 3/16, A Jeavons 3/38) on first innings.
Howick Pakuranga v Papatoetoe – Lloyd Elsmore Park
Howick Pakuranga will be playing in the Minor Championship next season after Papatoetoe defeated them on first innings at Lloyd Elsmore Park.
Howick began the game more than 10 points behind Papatoetoe and when the visitors amassed 399 on day one the home team’s chances of survival were negligible.
Luke Istead was the star of the show on the opening day, smashing 132 from just 109 balls, and the Auckland U19 all-rounder followed up his batting performance by taking a five wicket haul as Howick fell to 290 all out.
The Phillips brothers, Dale and Glenn, were not prepared to let their side go down without a fight and were at their counterattacking best when they were at the crease. Glenn struck 74 from just 54 balls, but younger brother Dale went even better scoring 82 from just 66 deliveries.
The Phillips` battling efforts proved to be in vain though as Papatoetoe were able to secure a 109-run first innings win which secured them a final placing of sixth on the Major Championship ladder.
Papatoetoe 399/9 (L Istead 132, STE Money 49, N Aujla 39no, J Hayes 38, T Jolly 3/58) defeated Howick Pakuranga 290 (D Phillips 82, G Phillips 74, W Walsh 33, L Istead 5/69) on first innings.
The Fox Suburbs New Lynn v ILG East Coast Bays – Ken Maunder Park
No play was possible on day two of the match between The Fox Suburbs New Lynn and ILG East Coast Bays at Ken Maunder Park.
Suburbs had amassed 306 the previous week, to which Bays had responded with 76/2 before the close. Suburbs batsman Luke Dudman was the star performer on the opening day as he struck his third century of the season, a score which helped him finish the season with the highest batting average (65.08) of any player in the premier grade, and also as the competition`s second leading run scorer with 846 to his credit.
The result means that Bays end the season in fifth position while Suburbs are placed seventh.
The Fox Suburbs New Lynn 306 (L Dudman 149, D Watson 76, V Raj 4/18) drew with ILG East Coast Bays 76/2 (S Langridge 37no) – match abandoned due to rain
Tom Hellaby Trophy
New Balance Waitakere City v North Shore – Te Atatu Park
A one-wicket defeat at the hands of New Balance Waitakere City consigned North Shore to another season in the Minor Championship after a thrilling game at Te Atatu Park.
Shore began the game with a slender 1.20 point lead over Cornwall in the race for promotion, but then slipped up on day one as they surrendered first innings points to City before crumbling to 58/7 in their second innings.
Day two didn’t start too much better for the visitors as they lost a wicket on the eighth ball of the day, but some excellent lower order resistance from Tony Duncraft (22), Ben Wall (17no) and Sheahan Huri (11) helped them inch their way up to a total of 117 before they were bowled out.
After taking six wickets in the first innings, City seamer Ben Lister picked up his second six-wicket haul of the match to finish with game figures of 12/92, while Ethan Hunt added three more wickets to his four first innings scalps to finish with figures of 7/92 in the match.
This left City a target of 118 for victory, and despite losing two early wickets they appeared to be cruising when big hitters Jarred Challis and Dusan Hakaraia were at the crease.
Hakaraia struck 3 sixes in a typically quick fire innings of 36 from 27 balls, while Challis hit two maximums in his knock of 21 from just 16 deliveries. Even with these two dismissed City looked well in control at 96/4 with just 22 more needed for the outright, but five quick wickets, including three from Shore skipper Josh Tasman-Jones, ensured City`s final pair of Travis Ngatai & Hunt were left needing six runs for victory.
With Shore suddenly and dramatically back in the title hunt the pressure was intense on both sides, but it was Ngatai who held his nerve to smash the winning runs and effectively end Shore`s promotion dreams.
While Shore were unable to finish the season with the Tom Hellaby Trophy, their players did feature heavily in the individual rankings. Seamer Carl Brungar, who claimed nine wickets in the final game, ended the campaign as the competition’s MVP and leading wicket taker with a staggering 80 victims. Shore skipper Josh Tasman-Jones finished second on the MVP list after scoring 666 runs and taking 44 wickets, while South African Graeme Beghin was the grade`s eighth leading run scorer.
North Shore 142 (J Tasman-Jones 80, R Thomson 37, B Lister 6/38, E Hunt 4/30) & 117 (M Olsen 31, B Lister 6/54, E Hunt 3/62) lost to New Balance Waitakere City 143/8 dec (M Bing 63, S Ansell 37, C Brungar 5/58) & 118/9 (D Hakaraia 36, C Brungar 4/55, J Tasman-Jones 3/17) outright by one wicket.
Cornwall v Eden Roskill – Cornwall Park
Cornwall have been promoted to the Major Championship as Tom Hellaby Trophy winners after a nerve shredding final day.
Cornwall missed out on promotion last season in the final session of the campaign, but they were on the right side of the outcome in 2014/15 as they defeated Eden Roskill on first innings at Cornwall Park.
The home team had scored 157 batting first on day one, but the game appeared to be in the balance heading into day two with Roskill on 92/5. With then leaders North Shore losing out on first innings to Waitakere Cornwall knew that a first innings victory would go a long way towards sealing promotion, but while they were able to pick up regular wickets Roskill also continued to chip away at the target.
Sam Anderson picked up the sixth wicket early on day two but Cornwall had to wait 13 more overs for their next breakthrough before Teja Nidamanuru struck. That made it 119/7 but a 20-run stand for the eighth wicket kept the game on a knife edge.
At 139/8 the game was still up for grabs, but it was Cornwall who seized the opportunity as they claimed the final two wickets for just two runs to secure first innings points, Nidamanuru finishing with the outstanding figures of 3/31 from 21 overs.
At this stage Cornwall were then delighted to find out that North Shore had lost outright meaning that they were officially crowned Tom Hellaby Trophy champions and had secured promotion to the Major Championship for the 2014/15 season.
While the trophy was Cornwall`s second of the season after they also won the Jeff Crowe Cup, their successful campaign isn’t over just yet as they now get set to compete in the 2015 National Championships in April which they will be hosting at Cornwall Park.
Cornwall 157 (B Chemaly 55, S Anderson 50, R Sandhu 5/15, B Randell 3/22) & 119/4 (R Sandhu 3/47) defeated Eden Roskill 141 (S Sharma 36no, T Nidamanuru 3/31) on first innings.
New World Victoria Park Grafton United v Ellerslie – Victoria Park
New World Victoria Park Grafton United finished the 2014/15 season with a closely fought 16-run first innings victory over Ellerslie at Victoria Park.
The hosts had posted a first innings total of 195 on day one and, despite a half century from Neil Bisman, Grafton were able to secure the victory thanks to a six-wicket haul from Englishman Sam Rippington.
In an attempt to set up a second innings run chase Grafton moved quickly to 58/7 in their second innings in just 13 overs, but the game ended shortly after Ellerslie began their second dig with the score on 6/0.
Despite the result Grafton finished the season at the foot of the Minor Championship ladder while Ellerslie ended their campaign in fourth.
New World Victoria Park Grafton United 195 (D Peris 40, M Newman 3/34, M Coxon 3/56) & 58/7 (M Newman 3/20, B Jackett 3/25) defeated Ellerslie 179 (N Bisman 52, S Lambert 48, S Rippington 6/68) & 6/0 on first innings.
Hedley Howarth Trophy – Major Championship
Birkenhead City 101.61
Auckland University 78.29
ILG East Coast Bays 88.85
The Fox Suburbs New Lynn 80.72
Howick Pakuranga 65.02
Tom Hellaby Trophy – Minor Championship
North Shore 108.65
New Balance Waitakere City 104.98
Eden Roskill 85.19
New World Grafton United 69.77
Carl Brungar North Shore 446.01
Josh Tasman-Jones North Shore 365.82
Azhar Abbas Eden Roskill 363.15
Alan Burton Grafton United 345.30
Dusan Hakaraia Waitakere City 338.38
Leading Run Scorers
Tim McIntosh Parnell 978
Luke Dudman Suburbs New Lynn 846
Alan Burton Grafton United 828
Barrington Rowland Auckland University 786
Michael Guptill-Bunce Cornwall 749
Leading Wicket Takers
Carl Brungar North Shore 80
Azhar Abbas Eden Roskill 63
Michael Ravlic Parnell 52
Matt Coxon Ellerslie 48
Matt Newman Ellerslie 45