Playing with the confidence befitting the Williams Cup defending champions, Eves Realty Greerton blitzed Mount Maunganui in the first round of the Baywide trophy on Saturday afternoon.
Batting first at Pemberton Park, the home team made slow progress until Elliott Timoti and Brett Hampton came together to blast a 109-run partnership. With the dismissal of Timoti for 52, Hampton continued his assault on the Mount bowlers in a partnership with Cameron Neal (62) that produced 114 runs. Suhkdeep Sidhu made another good contribution with a crisp 31.
Hampton smashed the ball to all corners of Pemberton Park before he was dismissed late in the Greerton innings for a superb 125. In only his third season at the club, Hampton's name is already beginning to appear as often on the club's honours board as some of the best players from the past.
Greerton's innings ended at 321/5 off their 50 overs, with Brian Jurisich the best of the Mount Maunganui bowlers taking 2/59.
With such a big score on the board, and quality pace bowling to face from Bay of Plenty team mates Hampton and Campbell Thomas, Mount Maunganui had a massive task in front of them and they never got going. They struggled from the start and their top score of 18 by a lower order batsman told the story of the Greerton bowlers sustained attack. Led by 4/24 from young seamer Thomas and two wickets each to Hampton, Sidhu and the evergreen Murray Jarvis, Mount Maunganui crumbled to be all out for a paltry 88.
The winning margin must be a record for Greerton against Mount Maunganui.
Down the road at Nicholson Field, an outstanding innings by Element IMF Cadets batsman Ben Christensen was the difference in his side's comfortable win against Tauranga Boys' College.
Christensen returned to his best batting form to blast 107 runs as his side were dismissed for 221. Just when the visitors were looking to post a massive total, Tauranga Boys' bowler Henry Conway ripped through the Cadets tail, as they lost their last four wickets for just five runs.
Mention must be made too of the outstanding bowling figures from young leg spinner James Boyd, who showed promise in the difficult spinning art to take 1/25 off 10 overs at a crucial stage when Cadets were firing.
While Tauranga Boys' batsmen Alex Oakley (43), Tom MacRury (34) and Gareth Wallace (21) got starts, they could not turn them in to the big scores needed as the Cadets bowlers gained the ascendancy to bowl out the students for 138. New Zealand Under-19 bowler Sean Davey returned from injury to take three wickets without conceding a run in a remarkable spell.
Te Puke won a low scoring battle of attrition with East Bay United at the Te Puke Domain. The Eastern Bay side batted first and were bowled out for 110, with Mitch McCann, Josh Dwight and Luke Erikson claiming two wickets each. Te Puke were made to work hard for the victory, losing seven wickets before they passed the total needed, thanks mostly to McCann (23) and Charles Williams (20).
As expected Central won the Rotorua derby against BOP Indians at Smallbone Park, after scoring a competitive total of 229 all out, with Peter Wood and Cameron Payne both posting half centuries. Bay batsman Bharat Popli again showed the gulf in class between himself and the other batsmen in his team as he was left 70 not out in the Bay Indians total of 177.