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Red Star targeting a strong finish

Burger King Red Star captain Jeremy Anderson is determined to finish a disappointing Coastal Challenge on a high with a win in their final game against unbeaten leaders Whanganui United tomorrow.

Wairarapa’s sole team in the combined club competition, which also involves teams from Whanganui and Horowhenua-Kapiti, have endured a frustrating campaign, with their two previous scheduled home games washed out, and two narrow losses, ending any chance of qualifying for the semifinals.

One of the losses was last Saturday when a makeshift side went down by two wickets in a rain-affected game to Kapiti Old Boys. On that occasion, up to eight first-choice players were unavailable, and to get to the brink of victory was an admirable performance.

A near full-strength side will take to the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval tomorrow with the return of the Anderson brothers Jeremy and Robbie, Mark Steventon to boost the batting order. However, they will still be without Jake Jonas and Gus Borren, who have returned to university.

Medium pacers Paddy Wootton and Gurdev Singh are also back and add depth to the bowling attack.

Jeremy Anderson said it was disappointing for Red Star’s semifinal prospects to disappear last weekend, but there’s a steely determination within the team to finish the season on a high and show that they are better than their last place in the seven-team league.

“They’re unbeaten, so they’ve set the standard, and it won’t be an easy game, but you never know,” he said.

“We’ve been pretty close to some reasonable sides this year but haven’t scored one or two extra runs, which helps, but in saying that, you have to make your own luck as well, but it’s just been one of those seasons really.”

United have already secured home advantage for the semifinals and can lock in the top spot and home advantage for the final. Their lineup is unknown but is likely to include a good sprinkling of Whanganui representatives, including prolific top-order batter Greg Smith, Carter Hobbs, Chris Sharrock, Simon Badger, Brendon Walker, and Tom Lance.

Regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s match Jeremy Anderson said the Coastal Challenge is a crucial competition for the development of local players because of the weak standard of the local competitions.

Play is to start at noon on the Oval.

The Wairarapa senior club season will also conclude tomorrow with top qualifiers Inspire Living Greytown to play McDonald’s Lansdowne in the Chairman’s Cup final starting at 1pm at Greytown.

Red Star team: Jeremy Anderson [captain], Robbie Anderson, Mark Steventon, Nathan Elliott, Trey Bidois, Ethan Childs, Paddy Wootton, Gurdev Singh, Alex Mason, Pete Sigvertsen, and one to be confirmed.

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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