The next two weekend rounds of the Baywide Twenty 20 competition will dust of the holiday cobwebs, before the seven Baywide representatives embark on the chase for the season's big prize of the Williams Cup.
With just three rounds of qualifying before the top two sides fight out the T20 championship final, the title race is wide open with New World Te Puke, Eves Realty Greerton, Carrus Mount Maunganui and Element IMF Cadets tied together, with a record of three wins apiece after the opening four rounds.
Theoretically, Mount Maunganui are in the box seat being the only side of the top four contenders, to have sat out the bye so far. This Saturday Te Puke and Greerton will sit out a game apiece with Cadets drawing the bye in round seven next weekend.
Taking centre stage at Fergusson Park in the early afternoon action will be the clash between Greerton and Mount Maunganui, on Fergusson One. Both contenders have Baywide club cricket experience in spades. Mount skipper Dale Swan wears with pride his baggy cap that recognises over two hundred premier games for his club. Bay of Plenty representative batsman Tom MacRury likes nothing better than to take aim on the boundary ropes and has the T20 competition's highest score of 91 to his name.
In other round five encounters, Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys College will meet Bayleys Central Indians with GM Painters Lake Taupo CC squaring off with Cadets.
Mount Maunganui and Cadets should produce a barn-burner in round six. There is no one in the Baywide T20 title race more experienced in the twenty-overs per side game than Cadets captain Jono Boult. Forty-seven Northern Districts T20 appearances, taking 43 wickets with best figures of 4/23, tells the story of the Cadets leaders understanding of the short form game.
Te Puke will make their appearance in the late afternoon round of matches against Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys College. Te Puke master blaster Stephen Crossan, leads the competition batting stakes with 177 runs that has produced an outstanding strike rate of 212 (per one hundred balls).
Pride and bragging rights will be on the line, when Central Indians and Lake Taupo CC meet in round six with the winner grabbing their first win of the title race.
BOPCA Baywide Twenty/20
Eves Realty Greerton v Carrus Mount Maunganui, Fegusson1; Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys College v Bayleys Central Indians, Fergusson2; Element IMF Cadets v GM Painters Lake Taupo CC, Fegusson3; New World Te Puke the bye.
Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys College v New World Te Puke, Fergusson2; Element IMF Cadets v Carrus Mount Maunganui, Fergusson3; GM Painters Lake Taupo CC v Bayleys Central Indians, Fergusson1; Eves Realty Greerton the bye.
New World Te Puke 13, Eves Realty Greerton 13, Carrus Mount Maunganui 13, Element IMF Cadets 13; GM Painters Lake Taupo CC 4, Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys College 4, Bayleys Central Indians 4.