The two day grades - the final run-in
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Bays are tussling it out with Suburbs for the title in Premier Reserve
As we approach the most exciting two weeks of the season there is plenty to play for up and down the senior two-day grades.
Things literally couldn’t be tighter at the top of the major championship heading into the final round with both Suburbs New Lynn and East Coast bays sitting on 98.98 points.
Bays will be looking for their second trophy of their reserve grade season when they face Howick Pakuranga hoping to add to their one-day triumph earlier in the season. Suburbs will look to replicate their Premier team who look likely to take out their major championship title. Suburbs face Takapuna at Cox's Bay.
At the bottom of the table Waitakere City are almost five points adrift of Grafton United and will need a big victory over Parnell if they are to survive. Grafton face off against North Shore knowing a first innings victory is likely to ensure their survival.
In the minor championship an outright victory by Eden Roskill in the penultimate round has thrown the promotion race wide open. Cornwall and Auckland University, sitting second and third respectively, were playing off last weekend in a game that both thought would almost certainly ensure promotion for the winner. But when that contest ended in a draw Roskill swooped to claim top spot. And with Ellerslie and Papatoetoe not completely out of the equation it is all to play for in the final game.
Despite all of that with leaders Roskill facing second-placed Cornwall in the final round the likely scenario is the winner will be crowned champions. Third-placed University travel to fourth-placed Ellerslie with both sides hoping for a significant victory while the top two sides struggle for points.
Kumeu Sri Lankans hold almost a seven point lead heading into the final round of the season in their bid for the overall championship title to add to their one-day crown.
The Sri Lankans will meet Eden Roskill who are almost 10 points behind them in the overall standings, but are sitting top of the two-day championship. There will be plenty on the line in this game and with Waitakere City in second position in both competitions they will be looking for a big performance against bottom of the table Howick Pakuranga as they attempt to claim one of the titles at the final hurdle.
Auckland University hold an almost unassailable 14 point lead at the top of the overall championship. With promotion and the one-day title all but officially secured the one trophy still to play for is the two-day championship in which Uni hold a 3.62 lead over North Shore.
Uni will look to secure the triple crown when they face Cornwall at Walker Park, while Shore will look to spoil the celebrations by putting in a big performance against Birkenhead City.
City also have plenty to play for as they attempt to stave off relegation - they currently sit just 3.4 points ahead of Suburbs New Lynn who face East Coast Bays in the final game.
It could be an all or nothing final round for Parnell. The overall championship and two-day competition is theirs for the taking and after they secured the one-day title earlier in the season they could finish the year with a triple crown.
Parnell finish the season against Howick Pakuranga while Papatoetoe and Eden Roskill will be waiting in the wings should Parnell stumble.
Auckland University have a 5.4 point margin to make up if they are to avoid relegation with Cornwall the side in their sights.
Suburbs New Lynn face an anxious wait before they can begin celebrating what could be two titles.
Suburbs have a substantial lead in both the overall and two-day championship but with a bye in the final round anything is still possible.
Eden Roskill are Suburbs closest challengers while Waitakere City sit third and could conceivably still walk away with the triple crown after securing the one-day trophy earlier in the season.
Takapuna and North Shore have unfortunately had to pull out of the competition meaning their will be no relegation from this grade.
There is no doubting Eden Roskill’s dominance of the C2 grade. The White side comfortably secured the one-day title earlier in the season, and the final two-day round is merely a formality before they are awarded both the two-day trophy and overall championship to complete a triple crown.
Suburbs New Lynn Black are at the foot of the table, but with no relegation from the C2 grade they can enjoy their final two weekends of the season.