Massive week ahead for Weedons

Weedons players celebrate a wicket against Darfield earlier in the season. PHOTO: WEEDONS CRICKET...
Weedons players celebrate a wicket against Darfield earlier in the season. PHOTO: WEEDONS CRICKET CLUB
Weedons have their sights set on two must-win games either side of a final in the Canterbury Country premier competition.

They beat Sefton by 27 runs on Friday to qualify for the T20 final – which will be against the same opposition at Sefton Domain on Sunday.

But before then, they have their penultimate one-day match to navigate against Leeston-Southbridge at home on Saturday, followed by Ohoka on Saturday week.

Weedons sit fifth in the one-day standings, just one point behind fourth-placed Darfield.

Weedons player-coach Jeremy Benton said it’s an exciting time for the team.

“We’ll just take it one game at a time, but I guess an exciting opportunity for the next couple of weeks for us to really get stuck in and hopefully win some silverware.”

Leeston are bottom in the one-day table, but beat Weedons in a T20 match two weeks ago. Benton said he expects them to be extremely competitive.

“When they turn up, they’re bloody hard to beat. Especially if the Chamberlains play, Sam Chamberlain’s probably one of the most, if not the most consistent club bowler and, Harry (Chamberlain) is probably the best batter in New Zealand not on contract.

“They’re two of the best club players you’ll come up against and whenever they play us they step up and they get 100 per cent out of their ability.”

Benton said the T20 final would be a much more challenging match than the round-robin fixture against Sefton, because Sefton knew they would be in the final. 

“They’ll definitely be up another couple gears and they know how to win titles. We’ll have to be at our very best to beat them. But if we play anything like we did on Friday, I think it’ll be a cracker of a game,” he said.

Sefton were without their Canterbury Country representatives for the round-robin game, but they’ll be back this week.

“Obviously George Gunn and Mackenzie Smith (Sefton’s Country representatives) are bloody good players,” said Benton.

“They’ll be obviously even stronger than they were last week, but I think it’s good that the best players are playing, especially for the finals, that’s what you want for the competition.

“I think both teams will be pretty fizzed for it.”

He said the team were hoping to give a good farewell to English all-rounder George Hill, who heads back to his native country next week ahead of pre-season commitments with county side Yorkshire.

In addition to the Weedons v Leeston clash, Darfield take on second-placed Peninsula-Harbour at home while Lincoln have the bye.

The final round of games next Saturday sees Lincoln host Oxbrook, while Weedons visit Ohoka and Darfield travel to play Cheviot, and Leeston-Southbridge enjoy a weekend off with a bye.

One-day points table: Sefton 38; Peninsula-Harbour 30; Ohoka 29; Darfield 23; Weedons 22; Oxford-Southbrook 17; Lincoln 12; Cheviot 12; Leeston-Southbridge 9.
T20 final: Sefton v Weedons, Sefton Domain, March 3.