As has been expected for most of the Major Championship campaign Suburbs New Lynn won the Hedley Howarth Trophy for the 2011/12 season.
Suburbs have dominated all before them this season and once they secured victory over Howick Pakuranga at the weekend the title was officially theirs.
Unfortunately for North Shore they were relegated to the Minor Championship and their place will be taken in the top flight next season by Grafton United who secured the Tom Hellaby Trophy with an outright victory over Eden Roskill.
Hedley Howarth Trophy – Me’s Premier Two-Day Major Championship
Round 9 – 24-03-12 & 31-03-12
Suburbs New Lynn v HRV Howick Pakuranga – Ken Maunder Park 1
Suburbs New Lynn wrapped up the Hedley Howarth Trophy with a first innings victory over Howick Pakuranga.
Beginning the day on 204/5 the home side knew first innings points would be enough to see them crowned champions and with Blackcaps Martin Guptill and Michael Bates returning to the line up Suburbs were clear favourites heading into day two.
Howick had their own star inclusions one of those being Aces quick Mitchell McCleneghan who claimed 3-33 as Suburbs reached 279/9 in their allotted overs.
The reply turned into the battle of the Blackcaps as Colin de Grandhomme scored a half century for Howick – but he was outshone by Bates who claimed 3-13 to decimate the visitors top order. Greg Morgan (45) and Wade Johnson (32*) did their best to rebuild but Andy De Boorder`s side eventually fell 141 runs short of their target.
When the last wicket was taken Suburbs could finally start to celebrate winning their second trophy of the season, and after reaching 83/4 in their second innings the festivities really got into gear as stumps were drawn on an incredible season for the side from Ken Maunder Park.
Despite losing Jimmy Neesham in the off-season, and being without several players to Blackcaps and Aces call-ups, Suburbs showed they had the depth to remain a significant force, dominating the two-day grade, winning the T20 competition and reaching the one-day final.
Despite seeing very little of Michael Bates and Jeet Raval, and Daryl Tuffey missing the first half of the season due to injury, new stars emerged in the shape of Victor Davies and Max Montgomery who both scored over 800 runs, while Darren Eckford was arguably premier cricket’s most dangerous bowler claiming nearly 50 wickets in just 18 games.
Suburbs New Lynn 279/9 (V Davies 52, M Barry 38, A Patel 37, M McClenaghan 3-33) & 83/4 (G Morgan 3-28) defeated Howick Pakuranga 158 (C de Grandhomme 50, G Morgan 45, W Johnson 32*, M Bates 3-13) on first innings.
Papatoetoe v Cornwall – Papatoetoe Rec Grd 1
Despite securing first innings points against Cornwall, Papatoetoe finished the season in second place.
While Papatoetoe knew Suburbs New Lynn were unlikely to slip up at the top of the table they threw everything they had at the leaders over the course of the last few weeks in an attempt to keep pace, and despite eventually falling short they can be very proud of a superb two-day campaign.
Chasing 157 for first innings points Papatoetoe were led by their coach Shane Singe who scored 34 as his side passed their target with three wickets to spare.
After reaching the score Cornwall were invited to bat again and fared much better than in their first dig, amassing 179/2 in 34 overs. Brad Chemaly ended a fine season with his sixth half century while Michael Guptill-Bunce’s unbeaten 42 took him to more than 800 runs for the campaign.
With only 16 overs left in the day Papatoetoe had little hope of overtaking the outright target and the main story was the final innings in premier cricket of Shane Singe. Singe ended his career with a top scoring 43, giving him 879 runs for the year and placing him fourth on the premier cricket run scoring charts for the year.
Cornwall 156 (P Thomas 47, T Parima 3-11, A Kumar 3-28, I Sodhi 3-34) & 179/2 dec (B Chemaly 65*, M Guptil-Bunce 42*, M Davies 33, Nair 30) lost to Papatoetoe 159/7 dec (D Murari 36*, S Singe 34) & 89/6 (S Singe 43) on first innings.
ILG East Coast Bays v Parnell – Windsor Park 1
It was a fairly sedate finish to the season for these two sides as their game petered out to a draw.
After last weekend’s rain Bays resumed their innings on day two in the commanding position of 267/5, but Parnell fought back through Lochie Ferguson and James Walsh who finished with identical figures of 3-42. Donovan Deeble (51) could’t add to his overnight score, but Matt Mimmack was able to add the seven runs he needed to bring up his half century.
In reply it was Ferguson who led Parnell as he scored 66 to once again showcase his all-round talents. Alex Cama (41) was also amongst the runs while Donovan Deeble picked up yet another five wicket bag that took him past the 50 wicket mark for the season.
After 100 overs Parnell sat on 211/8 and the game was declared a draw. Bays finish the two-day campaign in fifth position while Parnell, in their first campaign since promotion from the minor championship, end the year sixth.
East Coast Bays 293 (T Manning 68, D Deeble 51, M Mimmack 51, B Schmulian 35, J Walsh 3-42, L Ferguson 3-42) drew with Parnell 211/8 (L Ferguson 66, A Cama 41, D Deeble 5-41) on first innings.
Takapuna v North Shore – Onewa Domain 1
North Shore will play their two-day cricket in the Minor Championship next season after a valiant push for survival fell short against Takapuna.
Only a few weeks ago Shore were well adrift at the bottom of the ladder and relegation looked almost a certainty until some fabulous performances gave them renewed hope. However the final game proved to be a bridge too far against a side who, despite their two-day troubles this season, have plenty of big game experience.
Taka won the Hedley Howarth Trophy in 2010 and 2011, and secured the one-day title earlier this season, and it was they who were in the driving seat after day one of this must win encounter after posting 176. Shore began the second day on 31/2 but could add only another 61 to that as Ian Smallburn and Greg Johnson combined to take six wickets.
The first innings defeat sealed Shore’s fate whilst Taka were spared the indignity of being champions one season and relegated the next. Before a line could be totally drawn under the season Taka reached 100/7 in their second innings.
Takapuna 176 (B Cachopa 78, M Stevenson 5-26) & 100/7 (E Herd 30, E Atkinson 3-23) defeated North Shore 92 (I Smallburn 3-21, G Johnson 3-44) on first innings.
Tom Hellaby Trophy – Me’s Premier Two-Day Minor Championship
Round 9 – 24-03-12 & 31-03-12
Eden Roskill v Grafton United – Keith Hay Park 1
An outright victory confirmed what had become increasingly certain throughout the Minor Championship campaign – Grafton United are promoted as champions.
After wrapping up first innings points last weekend Grafton were made to work harder on day two, but with Jono Roberts picking up 6-40 – giving him 11 wickets for the match – Roskill were once again dismissed for an under par total of 166 despite 46 from Sanjay Patel and 39 from Saahil Castelino.
Grafton had plenty of time to chase down the 152 runs needed for the outright and Englishman Alan Burton was there for most of the innings, leading his side home with an undefeated 60.
The outright confirmed Grafton United as Tom Hellaby Trophy winners for 2011/12 and they will take North Shore’s place in the Major Championship next season.
There can be little doubt about Grafto’s dominance of the Minor Championship and the near 10 point winning margin confirms that fact. The side has a tremendous mix of experience and youth with veterans such as Guy Coleman (730 runs & 28 wickets) and Grant Thorpe (30 wickets) leading exciting prospects such as Kurt Law (31 wickets) and Andy Lane (560 runs) who should have little trouble adjusting to life in the top tier next season.
Eden Roskill 32 (J Roberts 5-14, G Coleman 4-17) & 166 (S Patel 46, S Castileno 39, J Roberts 6-40) lost to Grafton United 51/3 dec & 152/3 (A Burton 60*, M Horne 48) outright by seven wickets.
Auckland University v Ellerslie – Colin Maiden Park E
Auckland University wrapped up first innings points against Ellerslie at Colin Maiden Park, but the bigger story was Barrington Rowland not only breaking a club record for most runs scored in a season but also becoming the only player in Auckland to score over 1000 runs this season.
Rowland had scored 171 in Uni’s first innings last week as his side amassed 276/5, a total that proved way too many for Ellerslie who could only muster 121 in reply as Vedant Zaveri picked up four wickets. But rather than enforce the follow on Uni decided to let Rowland have a shot at creating history.
Rowland took to the crease for the final time this season on 995 runs – two shy of a 30 year old University record for runs in a single season. In no time Rowland had not only passed that mark but also the 1000 run barrier before he was eventually dismissed for 64.
Tom McLaughlin was also in fine form, but his unbeaten 74 was overshadowed by Rowland’s achievements before Uni once again declared with their score on 157/4. This left Ellerslie 29 overs to bat, in which time they reached 83/1 thanks to an unbeaten 47 from Stephen Venville.
Auckland University 276/5 dec (B Rowland 171, V Jeet 71*) & 157/4 dec (T McLaughlin 74*, B Rowland 64) defeated Ellerslie 121 (V Zaveri 4-19) & 83/1 (S Venville 47*) on first innings.
Waitakere City v HRV Birkenhead City – Te Atatu Park 1
Once again Dusan Hakaraia stole the show with a scintillating batting display which denied Birkenhead City any chance of overtaking Grafton United at the top of the table on the final day of the season.
Needing nothing less than an outright victory to stand any chance of gaining promotion Birkenhead comfortably achieved the first part of their task, dismissing the home side for just 88 in reply to their first innings total of 149.
Phil Treanor and Rob McConnochie then struck half centuries in Birkenhead’s second innings as they raced to 175/2 in just 19 overs to set Waitakere a target of 240 in less than 50 overs.
Hoping to dismiss their hosts once again and stay in the promotion race the visitors had little idea what was about to unfold. Coming in at number four Dusan Hakaraia was in no mood to go into survival mode and was his usual destructive self as he pounded the Birkenhead attack to all parts of Te Atatu Park.
Hakaraia hit 4 sixes and no fewer than 15 fours in a 113 ball 155 not out – his third century of the season – as Waitakere claimed victory by six wickets. The innings took Hakaraia to 950 runs for the campaign making him the second highest run scorer in premier cricket and enabling him to finish with an average of exactly 50.
While they were always outsiders the defeat for Birkenhead ensured it would be Grafton United who were promoted to the Major Championship with Birkenhead finishing as runners up.
Birkenhead City 149 (T Satti 48, D Crook 31, T Tailauli 6-41) & 175/2 dec (P Treanor 66*, R McConnochie 59, N Collins 35*) lost to Waitakere City 88 (D Crook 5-32, T Satti 3-10) & 241/4 (D Hakaraia 155*) outright by six wickets.
Points table after round 9:
Hedley Howarth Trophy – Me’s Premier Two–Day Major Championship
Suburbs New Lynn 114.35
Howick Pakuranga 74.13
East Coast Bays 83.45
North Shore 58.98
Tom Hellaby Trophy – Me’s Premier Two-Day Minor Championship
Grafton United 99.51
Birkenhead City 89.97
Auckland University 84.56
Waitakere City 81.62
Eden Roskill 57.12