Sun, Nov 19, 2023 8:25 PM
The Marlborough men’s rep cricket side found themselves on the back foot for most of the Garry MacDonald Trophy match played at Horton Park on Saturday and Sunday.
After deciding to bat first against traditional rivals Nelson, Marlborough were only able to muster 177 runs, a total that the visitors cruised past before going on to declare their innings closed at 337-9 and claim a first innings victory.
Marlborough had a second turn at the crease, scoring 75-1 before the match was called off late on Sunday afternoon.
After the presentation on Saturday morning of an impressive trophy to be contested in the annual two-day fixture, the home side were quickly in defensive mode.
The loss of early wickets against a lively Nelson pace attack saw Marlborough struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The arrival of number five batsman Corey Bovey at 4-43 allowed Marlborough to reclaim some momentum, the Renwick player holding the middle order together in a revival of sorts as he complied 58 from 83 balls. However, when Bovey was the seventh wicket to fall, with just 115 on the board, the odds on his side reaching 150+ looked slim.
Fortunately for the home side, rep debutant Max Armstrong had other ideas, a battling 39 from 81 balls helping the tail wag and Marlborough reach 177 in 75.5 overs.
Outstanding with the ball for the visitors was paceman Ronan Restieaux who troubled all the Marlborough batsmen and picked up the outstanding figures of 3-19 from nine overs. Fellow opener Alex Brogan took 2-34 from 13, while Tim O’Connor, Matthew O’Sullivan, Ollie Jones-Allen and Jared Silvester all bowled tightly to apply continual pressure to the Marlborough line-up.
Nelson’s reply was measured and emphatic. An opening partnership of 80 between Jack Aldridge (57) and Jonty Raxworthy (40) set the scene. Then Finn Raxworthy, who scored 80 from 137 balls, and Restieaux, who showed his all-round skills with the top score of 81 from 115 balls, compiled a 140-run fifth wicket partnership to ensure Nelson were well ahead of the game before declaring after some late-order hitting from coach Sean Neal (44 from 38).
Although the Marlborough attack battled for penetration and consistency at times, they battled on, with medium pacer Sukh Aulakh reaping some late rewards with a well-deserved five-wicket bag. Fellow paceman Jaden Adams also tasted success, bagging 3-88 from 20 overs, while spinner Matthew Stretch bowled economically to pick-up the other wicket to fall.
With the result decided it allowed Marlborough to get in some much-needed time at the batting crease, makeshift opener Hunter Ruffell seizing the opportunity to score an unbeaten 60 from 49 balls before stumps were drawn.
The sides meet again at Saxton Oval on December 9-10 in the first Hawke Cup qualifying match.
Round five of the SBS Bank senior one-day competition took place on Saturday, with Wairau Valley and Celtic picking up wins.
On Horton Park three, Valley dismissed Renwick for 142, then reached their target with two wickets in hand.
Keiran Gaudin’s 64 from 74 balls was the basis of Renwick’s innings, although 33 extras helped their cause as they were bowled out in the 32nd over of the 50-over match.
Lachlan McNeill, who claimed 3-29, was the top wicket-taker, while Greg Stretch and Luke Pannell both bagged a brace.
In reply Valley were seemingly cruising to victory at 114-3 before a mini-collapse saw them lose four quick wickets. However, their lower order held their nerve to guide them to victory in the 44th over.
Pannell, with 36 from 57 balls was top scorer, while guest player and former Black Cap Richard Petrie chipped in with 26 from 41 and Eddie Swan contributed 22 from 48. Eden Pettigrew picked up 3-11 from seven overs, while Cory Golding claimed 2-28.
At Oliver Park, Wairau’s tough start to the season continued when they were beaten comprehensively by Celtic.
Wairau batted first and reached 96, Sam Young’s 39 from 58 balls far and away the top score. Aiden Conroy, with 5-21 from seven, was the chief destroyer.
Celtic raced to their target for the loss of four wickets, reaching 100-4 in the 15th over. Liam Young scored 30 from 12 while Luke Holdaway top-scored with an unbeaten 41 from 33. Young (1-15 from four) and Luke Petrie (1-14 from three) were the pick of the Wairau attack.