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Men make the most of Indian summer

Just getting plenty of cricket in was a source of satisfaction for Wairarapa Cricket general manager Simon Roseingrave as he reflects on the 2023–24 season.

After covid-19 impacted seasons and two wet summers, Roseingrave was just pleased to have a normal season.

“The weather was good, and there was a bit of rain before Christmas, but we need that to help maintain grounds, but at the back end of the season, it was just a flow of cricket week in and week out, which was really good for us and for the community as well.

Roseingrave’s highlight on the field was the performance of the Post Office Hotel Wairarapa men’s team, who finished third equal in the Furlong Cup [Hawke Cup zone two elimination series] and runners up in the Chapple Cup one-day tournament.

“There some good vibes around the senior men, and that’s not to be detrimental to anything that’s gone before, but certainly, you always have to put building blocks in place to have some success, and that’s happened over a number of years with a change of culture and the way they approach the game.

“Members of the public have come up to us to say how good it was and what a good brand of cricket they play. I guess that all came to fruition by making the Chapple Cup final, but it’s been built over a number of years but really came to a head this year with some good performances.”

For Wairarapa senior men’s coach Mark Childs, his first season in charge was pleasing after he set some lofty ambitions, with three wins from the five two-dayers and making the Chapple Cup final.

“There were two highlights – making the Chapple Cup final for the first time – we got through a tricky Nelson side, and the draw favoured us where we avoided Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu in the semifinal, but we gave Whanganui a hiding,” Childs said.

“The other game would be Manawatu at home when we bowled them out in a session. That was a huge performance by our side, and at the end of the day, the rain saved them on day two when we had them three down and still behind.”

Another satisfying result was scoring 419-6 in chasing down Horowhenua-Kapiti’s 356 in a Furlong Cup clash.

Childs also praised Robbie Anderson’s captaincy, which he said evolved nicely over the season.

“There was a lot of young talent in there, and the other thing I suppose you could be judged on is we had three [Jake Jonas, Samuel Payne, and Taylor Bettelheim] make the Central Districts [CD] ‘A’ team, which was superb, and especially Jake Jonas coming to the fore at that level with the bat was a huge thrill.

“He’s just so consistent with the bat; he lives and breathes cricket and doesn’t give his wicket away. He’s made for first-class cricket, really. You look at the other parts of his game with his fielding; he’s a gun fielder, and if you needed a few overs from him, he would deliver that as well, but whether he would get that at that level is unlikely.”

While the men stood out, the Southey Sayer Wairarapa Korus struggled in the Shrimpton Trophy, which coach Roseingrave believes was a reflection of the success of the women’s development programme, with 15 players named in CD squads and 26 players used over the campaign.

“I guess that it wasn’t shown out on the field is disappointing, but then talking to some players, there’s just so much cricket for some of them, and there were some real tired bodies on the field, and there needs to be a review of the structure of the female game overall of when they’re playing, what they’re playing and a little bit more of pushing Shrimpton Trophy to the top of what players should be committing and I think if that happens, we’ll see some different performances,” Roseingrave said.

“We have really good depth in our female game, but a lot of that is around school cricket and those who are leaving school; how do we keep them involved and improve their game.”

Georgia Atkinson, Emma McLeod, Ocean Bartlett and Melissa Hansen were contracted Central Hinds, while Hansen, Elizabeth Cohr, Macy Lyford and Olivia Clark made CD ‘A’, and McLeod, Vanessa Taylor and Lucy Jurlina were in the CD under-19s.

Payne and Angus Jaspers made the CD under-19 men’s side.

Other features of the season were Burger King Red Star making the semifinals of the Coastal Challenge before losing to Kapiti Old Boys. Stars did win the prestigious Bidwill Cup premier championship for the third consecutive year, while Inspire Living Greytown took out the Umpires Cup, and Subway Sixers won the popular T20 Franchise Championship.

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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