Win over Marlborough highlight

Mark Ahlfeld
Mark Ahlfeld
A comeback win against Marlborough was a major highlight for Otago teams in Christchurch at the weekend. arguably the most impressive record.

They ended their weekend with two wins and two losses, having been pipped in the Jefferies Cup semifinal.

A 7-6 win over Marlborough was the standout performance.

The win thrilled coach Mark Ahlfeld, who said it was Otago's first win against Marlborough in several years.

After Canterbury, Marlborough has been the second-best team in the South Island in recent years.

Otago trailed 6-1, struggling to get runners on base as its hitters continually picked out fielders.

However, in its second-last inning it got runners on base and began stringing hits together.

That culminated when Matt Watts hit a double to bring in two runners - Jake Burtenshaw was second to cross home plate and take the lead.

The side then kept Malborough scoreless in its final inning to claim the win.

Ahlfeld said it been a well-rounded team effort and struggled to pick a standout individual performance.

That followed a 2-0 win over Southland - reversing an 8-0 loss from three weeks ago - and a big loss to front-runner Canterbury.

It left Otago as the second qualifier for the semifinals, which resulted in a rematch against Marlborough on Sunday morning.

That ended in a 2-0 loss, as the Otago batters contended with former Black Sox pitcher Kurt Schollum.

Ahlfeld said the match had been a pitchers' duel and neither side made errors.

Otago got a runner to second base at one point, although its three hits compared to Marlborough's five proved the difference.

A new-look Otago women's team had a tough time.

After going down to Southland 7-2 in its opener, it was trounced by a very strong Canterbury side 21-2, the only runs Canterbury conceded all weekend.

Two more hefty losses followed on Saturday, while Canterbury also trounced Southland twice to claim the Jubilee Cup.

The Otago under-15 boys side finished in a tie for fourth with Southland, a side it beat 15-14.

It came close to replicating the men's success against Marlborough, being edged 14-12.

The under-15 girls had a tough weekend, being beaten by both Canterbury and Southland in a three-team competition.

Six under-15 players were named to the tournament teams.

Arana Kelly, Josh Forrester and Phoenix Wardell-Mao all made the boys team.

Charli Elliot made the girls, as did ex-Otago player Madi Dysart - who played as a pick-up player - as well as pick-up player Sharayah Jenkins-Wickens.

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