In the Media
Beyond the Bay Oval Lights - Looking back to first domestic games
The first NZ Cricket matches at the Bay Oval followed a NZC Warrant of Fitness audit of the new ground in the spring of 2007. Following a successful audit, Northern Districts Cricket showed their confidence in the new ground by designating the Bay Oval as the Northern Spirit home venue for the 2007/08 season.
NZC Domestic cricket made its Bay Oval debut, with a State League T20 match between the Northern Spirit and the Canterbury Magicians on the 7th December 2007. The visitors batted first and reached 117/4, in their allotted overs, with Krista Neilson and Haidee Tiffen top scoring with 40 runs. Northern Districts didn't make an auspicious start at their new home base being bowled out for 84. Facilities at the new grounds first serious cricket match, were spartan, with marquee’s being erected for team headquarters.
The results didn't improve for the Northern Spirit, in back-to-back State League encounters, on the 8th and 9th December 2007. ND batted first in the initial 50 overs per side contest, with Nicola Browne and Mandie Godliman both producing half centuries, as the Spirit were restricted to 185 for the loss of five wickets. Canterbury cruised to an eight wicket victory courtesy of a 169 run partnership between Amy Satterwaite (95no) and Haidee Tiffen (46no).
While Canterbury posted a solid 187 in the second State League match, inclement weather had the final say, with rain denying the home side the chance of reply.
Early in January 2008, the Otago Sparks arrived at the Bay Oval for T20 and two one-day matches against the Northern Districts Women's side. The opening T20 resulted in the Spirits first home win, when they restricted the Otago side to 100/9 and then got home with five wickets to spare, with Kate Fulford leading the way with her team’s top score of 41 runs.
Two competitive one-day contests, resulted in the Sparks returning home with a brace of hard fought wins in their scorebook. Game one saw the Spirit bowled out for 168, with the visitors reaching the required target for the loss of five wickets. The Sparks then backed up with a four wicket win after removing the hosts for 146.
During February 2008, the Bay of Plenty senior representative team played Counties Manukau and Northland. While both games were lost on first innings points, the two encounters produced an avalanche of runs, which testified to a superb batting track.
Counties Manukau blasted their way to a big first innings points advantage, when they posted 398 for the loss of five wickets. Black Cap Ian Butler produced a sterling innings when he reached 185 before being removed, with Vaughan Blanchard who would later play for Bay of Plenty, scoring his sides second century with 104 runs to his name.
The run-fest continued in the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl matchup with Northland, with team from the Far North bowled out for 324. Bay of Plenty bowler Mitchell Sweetman showed that the wicket had plenty to offer bowlers in taking a five wicket bag. The home team just failed to chase down Northlands big score, when they were removed nine runs short of grabbing first innings points. Ben Williams top scored with a gritty 120 while Jono Boult posted a hard fought half-century.