The penultimate round of the Pearce Cup and Hazlett Trophy will see a lot on the line for a number of teams as the competition heats up. Eastern Suburbs win last week over Taita has all but assured them top spot in the Pearce Cup. The scrap for second will be on though as Hutt and Taita try and take over Karori who currently occupy this spot. The Hazlett is still up for grabs with the match up between Onslow and Petone this weekend going along way to determine the final outcome.
In the match of the round of the Pearce Cup Eastern Suburbs take on Hutt District. Eastern Suburbs sit comfortably at the top of the table with a 15 point buffer on Karori in second place. Hutt won’t be doing anything but targeting second place at the moment and an outright win against Easts will do that. Easts are obviously no push over though and Hutt will need a complete performance to be put out on the park if they are any chance. You would argue have the quality and will take some confidence from their one-day win vs Karori last weekend. It will be a very interesting match up.
At Trentham Memorial Upper Hutt host Karori. Upper Hutt got their first win of the Pearce Cup last weekend all be it in the One-Day form. They had Firebirds Matt Taylor and Ollie Newton to thank for this as both put in very good performances with the bat to cannon the side to 270 which they managed to defend. They will be looking for a repeat performance this weekend against a good Karori side. The Karori side were outplayed in the one-day format last weekend but are still sitting in second place and will be very keen to make the most of the opportunity to stay their. They will do well not to under estimate Upper Hutt and not also have one eye on their final match against Eastern Suburbs. The final round clash will make it even more important for Karori to grab as many points in this match if they want any chance of getting in the final.
In the final match of the Pearce Cup Taita will host Johnsonville. Taita know they need to start putting the foot down if they are going to get back to the Basin for their second final this season. They will be keen to put the one-day performance against Easts behind them and focus back on two day cricket. They may have been excused last weekend after winning the T/20 final mid-week but there will be no excuses this weekend when they take on a very good Johnsonville side. They have shown they are as good as any team on their day so will be a tough match up for Taita.
In the Hazlett Trophy a match that will go a long way to determining the winner of the trophy will be Onslow vs Petone. Onslow are the front runners in this competition by quite a bit but if Petone can do enough to get a big win against the top of the table side they will be set up a very interesting final round. A win for Onslow will all but sew up the trophy so that will provide them with good motivation heading into this match.
At Naenae Park Naenae take on North City. North City have played far better cricket over the past few weeks and are showing signs of the work that is going on at the club. They were good against University in their ran shortened match and will be keen to put the same sort of batting performance out on the park this weekend. Naenae started off day 2 against Petone in a strong position before a rather large collapse meant the side were chasing the game for the rest of the day. They got away with a draw but wont be too happy about their performance and will be very keen to make up for this.
In the final match of the weekend Wellington Collegians will host University at Anderson Park in what is a traditional rivalry between two very close clubs. Both sides will be out to make a statement this weekend. University still have an outside shot at the Hazlett Trophy and will know if Petone get up over Onslow they are in with a shot in the last round. Wellington Collegians on the other hand will be very keen to get a win on the board after what hasn’t been the best season for the side. After the highs of last season they have had a frustrating season but they still have 2 rounds to make up for the season and end it on a high. The two clubs sit roughly 250 meters apart geographically which always adds a bit more to this match up.
All matches start 11am on both days and can be followed on CricHQ via live scoring.