A few years ago Marist Old Boys were a club about to go into recess. Today they confirmed their willingness to enter the Premier competition of Wairarapa Cricket with a comprehensive win in the Open grade final over a tenacious Greytown side. In doing so, Marist completed the Open grade “double” by following through as top qualifiers for the final after winning the Times Age cup.
Batting first Marist had a disastrous start losing two wickets without a run being scored – this including their star batsman A. Stephen run out for 0. They fought back steadily and it was some determined resistance towards the bottom of the order that swung the game their way. The experienced Tim Bird and Colin Jones offered support to a good knock from Jason Paku (also run out) as Marist were eventually able to recover from 96 – 6 to reach 161.
Greytown stuck to their guns well but an early collapse suggested that they were never really in the chase. Pressure bowling from captain Marcus Howie and Greg Pullman saw Greytown falter to 72 -7 before stout resistance from Kerry Fitzgerald, Ryan Hardman and Henry (the tutor from Rathkeale) turned this into an exciting final. In the end Colin Jones produced an inspired spell of bowling to back up a couple of clever runouts. Greg Pullman bowled exceptionally well to finish with the excellent figures of 4 – 19.
It is a big jump from the open grade to the Premier grade, but Marist have shown sufficient promise and organisation to suggest that they will be welcome in the top competition in the future.
Marist Old Boys – 161 all out, Jason Paku 29, Colin Jones 21, Tim Bird 20.
Greytown – 127 all out, Greg Pullman 6 -0 – 19 – 4, Jason Paku 6 – 0-18-2, Ben Harlow 8-0-24-1, Marcus Howie 8-0-34-1.