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Speers steers Wairarapa to unlikely draw

A gutsy ninth-wicket stand by Robbie Speers and George Deans saved Post Office Hotel Wairarapa from a heavy outright loss to Horowhenua-Kapiti in their Furlong Cup match at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval at the weekend.

The pair put on 68 runs in almost two hours as Wairarapa were staring down the barrel of an embarrassing innings defeat. Speers finished 56 not out, and Deans was the ninth wicket to fall for 31, but by then they had steered their side to safety with a 33-run lead and time almost up. Angus Jaspers then survived a couple of fiery overs before stumps were drawn.

Coach Neil Perry was pleased with the fightback, saying that the rearguard action by Speers and Deans justified their selection.

“They showed the faith that was placed in them was well-placed, and I’m really pleased for them both and proud of them as well,” said Perry, who added that Speers’s effort highlighted his maturity as a cricketer.

“He defended well, he attacked the bad ball, and what we talk about doing all the time just be patient and wait for the ball in your area, and he did that, he swept the spinners, he played the short wide one off the back foot, that’s
his game, and he stuck to it.”

Perry was, however, scathing of a poor second session on the first day, which handed Horowhenua-Kapiti a massive advantage. Wairarapa went to lunch at 107-4 but lost their last six wickets falling for 33 runs as they were bowled out for 140 on the docile pitch.

If it couldn’t get any worse it was about to when visiting captain Andrew Simpson was dropped third ball and Bailey Te Tomo was put down before the score reached 20. The pair made Wairarapa pay, putting on an opening stand of 170, with Te Tomo making 93 and Simpson 75.

“In the second session, we were poor in all facets of the game. We talked at length about being switched on and not letting one disappointment affect us, but I think it probably did.

“We didn’t bowl the ball in good enough areas, and if we had we would’ve caused them trouble, but we missed our opportunities, and we should have had them 20-2 and it would have been a different game really.”

Horowhenua-Kapiti declared at 351-7, with a lead of 211, and leaving Wairarapa 87 overs to bat to save the game, which they achieved thanks to the lower-order heroics.

Perry conceded that Horowhenua-Kapiti deserved the first innings win.

“They were better than us, but we showed good fight, and we could take a lot out of it at the end, but there are certainly some lessons we need to learn and to work on and get better at being consistent.

In women’s cricket, the Southey Sayer Wairarapa Korus doubleheader weekend in Nelson didn’t get off the ground, after their Saturday morning flight from Wellington was cancelled because of low cloud in Nelson.

The games were subsequently postponed, and the two associations are looking for dates to play the games later in the season.

BRIEF SCORES

Post Office Hotel Wairarapa 140 [Mark Steventon 24, Robbie Anderson 22; Jaedyn Dawson 5-40, Zack Benton 3-43] and 253-9 [Jake Jonas 51, Steventon 40, Robbie Speers 56no; Thomas Harris 4-58] lost on the first innings to Horowhenua-Kapiti [Bailey Te Tomo 93, Andrew Simpson 75, Prabodha Liyanage 83, Daniel Browne 44, Carter Andrews 28no; Speers 3-46].

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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