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UNION BORTON CUP CHAMPIONS!!!

Thursday, 23 March 2000

Union won the Borton Cup for a record 27th time on Saturday against Albion at Centennial Park. (The following is taken from the article by Matt Rilkoff in the Oamaru Mail dated March 27, 2000).

Continuing their dominance of the club cricket competition to the end of the season with a comprehensive defeat of Albion in the final at Centennial Park on Saturday.

Contesting their fifth final in row, Union showed why they deserved to win with a fine batting performance.

Put into bat on a hot sunny day, Union started slowly, making just 10 runs of the first 10 over's. However, the tactic helped in the next forty over's, and stood them well for some cracking play for the rest of the innings.

Needing at least 170 to be competitive, Union played the game with calm and poise, keeping the score ticking over. Gavin Strachan top-scored with 39, 28 of those runs coming from boundaries before he was caught by Matt Tait of the bowling of Andrew Mills. No 8 batsman Steven Ridley was the next best, making 36. He nudged his shots more than boundary hitter Strachan.

A notable non-performance in the batting line-up was Mark Wilson, out for a duck after 19 minutes at the crease. Again it was Mills, brought on late in the game, who made the breakthrough, bowling Wilson.

Mills was the star bowler for Albion, taking five wickets, and giving teeth to a solid attack that has been unable to break through. Coming in as the fifth bowler, Mills claimed his first scalp in his third over, the wicket of Strachan, before following that up with Wilson two over's later.

As usual, Matt Tait was in the wickets for Albion, with an economical 20 over's from which he was unlucky to only get three wickets. But the wickets he did get were valuable with the first, danger-man Duncan Drew, trapped lbw for 18. Next were Ali Fanene (35) and Steven Ridley (36).

By the time Albion came into bat, thick cloud cover had stolen the sun and given many of the players reason to wear a jersey.

In the absence of Robbie Rankin, Matt Tait opened the batting with Chris Cunningham. Albion copied the tactics of Union and batted out the first 10 over's for few runs. However, after half an hour at the crease Cunningham gave Mark Wilson his first wicket for just 11 runs.

Tait last only another 10 minutes but scored 11 more runs than his opening partner after lobbing a catch of the bowling of Steven Ridley. Neville Donaldson took the next wicket, that of Kyle Adamson for 10, before Wilson stepped into high gear and took the next three.

The first of the three was Michael Pitches, who looked in fine form with two sixes and two fours in his 29 runs. The subsequent six batsmen to follow faltered and fell for just 32 runs, which made Albion's final score 120.

The fading light may have had something to do with the failure of the batsmen, who plodded along at two runs an over for the final 15, but they looked out of their depth even before that.

Wilson and Ridley were the only Union bowlers to be given more than four over's, with Wilson bowling 20, taking six wickets at the cost of 37 runs. Ridley bowled 16 over's for two wickets, giving away 45 runs, with the other wicket coming off Neville Donaldson, who was replaced by Jeremy Edmondston in the 25th over due to injury.

Union's victory makes it three from five, in five consecutive Borton Cup finals.

Union 207 (Gavin Strachan 39, Steven Ridley 36, Ali Fanene 35, Glynn Cameron 31) Albion 120 (Mark Wilson 6-37, Steven Ridley 3-45). Win to Union by 87 runs.