TAKAPUNA CRICKET NEWS
Takapuna Wins Auckland One Day Cricket Title
At the beginning of this year’s cricket season, the Takapuna Premier cricket team knew that it would be a year of hard work to get themselves back into the running to win a trophy with the loss some key players.
Young batsman Craig Cachopa saw an opportunity to play cricket in Wellington this year (he has since played One Day and T20 matches with the Wellington Firebirds) while his brother Brad Cachopa has been involved in all three formats of the game with the Auckland Aces, meaning he was only available for the first few rounds of the season.
“We needed our senior guys to take more responsibility this year,” says rookie captain of the side Blake Douglas. “The core of the side have been together for a few years so we know what our roles are within the team.’’
And that is exactly what happened in this year’s one-day competition with Takapuna only dropping one of their round robin games and crucially winning a very tight semi final against Howick-Pakuranga by only four runs to give them the opportunity to play in the grand final.
Ian Smallburn, otherwise known as ‘Smally’, has been at the core of the side’s success. Smally has been the backbone of the Takapuna bowling attack for over a decade and this season has been no different. The knowledge and skills he brings to the team have played a big part.
Stevie Pearson, another senior player with invaluable experience behind the stumps, has been a big part of getting Takapuna through to the title. And ex-Black Cap Paul Hitchcock rounded out the effort of the old hands by playing in both the semi-final and final. Always bowling at death, taking key wickets and also the final catch that secured the win.
The one day final was played on Sunday, February 20th at Colin Maiden Park, the home of the Auckland Aces, against Suburbs New Lynn who had already secured the T20 Auckland title for the season. So they were hot favourites.
Takapuna played the final no differently than they had their entire season. Winning the toss, Takapuna batted first with four players passing 50 - Elliot Heard, Cole Mahoney, Jono Sole and Greg Johnson – to post a competitive total of 260. And in a very close game, it was the seven wickets taken by Paul Hitchcock and Jason Donnelly that sealed the deal with Suburbs all out for 234.
This is the third title for Takapuna and for coach Neil Fletcher in the three years since he started coaching at Takapuna.
The win means that Takapuna will represent Auckland in the National Championship One Day Tournament at Cornwall Park in April where they will come up against the best club teams from the other five major associations.
Well done Takapuna from the team at Channel Magazine. A title every year for the past three years is very impressive.