Hawke's Bay locks it away | HBCA

Hawke's Bay locks the Hawke Cup away

After having uplifted the Hawke Cup from Rangiora in the postponed 2022/23 Zone 2 Challenge at the start of this summer - then seeing off Manawatū (Zone 2), Counties Manukau (Zone 1) and Canterbury Country (Zone 3), just one more obstacle remained for Hawke's Bay before they could celebrate a perfect season.

  • See the results and scorecards for all the matches this season here
  • Learn more about the Hawke Cup's history here

South Canterbury won the right to challenge on behalf of Zone 4 after a strong summer, and were relishing the opportunity to challenge for the first time in 11 years.

They had the bad luck to lose their captain to injury at the 11th hour, but held their heads high in a match that went into the last afternoon.

2023/24 Zone 4 Challenge

8-10 March 2024

Nelson Park, Napier

Holder HAWKE'S BAY defeated Challenger SOUTH CANTERBURY by 8 wickets

Hawke's Bay retains the Hawke Cup


South Canterbury made a good fist of their innings despite the disappointment and disruption of having lost captain Glen Drake to injury, just ahead of the match.

Jacob Naylor took over the captain's armband for the big game but lost the toss, the visitors from one of the smaller District Associations sent in by Hawke's Bay captain Angus Schaw at Napier's Nelson Park.

South Canterbury fought back from the early loss of two wickets with a 61-run stand between stand-in captain Naylor (32) and Tom Ettridge who top-scored with 80, his Hawke Cup best and maiden half ton for South Canterbury.

But experienced Hawke's Bay paceman Ben Stoyanoff (4/51) and left-arm spinner, Central Stag Jayden Lennox (4/50) soon had Hawke's Bay back on top, after Stoyanoff broke the stand and triggered a middle order collapse in the middle session.

There was still plenty of fight in the South Canterbury line-up, however. 

Lower order duo Sam Carlaw (41) and Shaun Rooney (32 not out) put together a 70-run stand for the ninth wicket, helping the challengers recover from 175/8 to a respectable 253, before Stoyanoff denied Lennox a bag with the final wicket in the 91st over.

So South Canterbury found themselves dismissed for 253 on the opening day, and able to have a crack at their hosts before stumps. Hawke's Bay navigated the last few overs of the day without too much trouble, and would resume at 39 without loss - young allrounder Toby Findlay having smashed 30 of those runs.


South Canterbury set out again on the second day looking to stop current holder Hawke's Bay from gleaning a further 215 runs for the first innings lead.

By lunch, Hawke's Bay was 160/2 with Sam Carlaw having stopped Findlay just after he's reached a half century, and Ettridge (3/59) bowling Baylee Foote before the youngster could really dig in.

But wickets weren't falling fast enough for the visitors with Hawke's Bay by now chasing double figures only for the lead, with eight in hand.

Opener Jono Whitley had progressed to his half century by lunch and with him was captain Schaw, fresh off his maiden first-class ton for the Stags, and now with a start of 33* before the break.

Schaw would go on to reach his second important century in the space of a week, striking his hundred off 114 balls to raise the bat in the following session, with 16 boundaries and a six.

Jed McKerrow (3/69) finally had his wicket on 101 almost as soon the new ball was taken, but the damage had been done, and Bayley Wiggins trucked on to a quick half ton, too.

South Canterbury succeeded in dismissing their hosts in the last session, for 358: a 105-run first innings lead for Hawke's Bay.

By stumps, South Canterbury was 48/2 in the second innings, Stoyanoff with two more for the match.


South Canterbury had a tough last morning against the fierce Hawke's Bay attack, losing a further six wickets in the morning session.

Jayden Lennox (6/63) and leg-spinner Brett Johnson (2/40) had put South Canterbury in a spin, with Lennox well on his way to taking 10 for the match, as well as a bag, in the middle session.

But again South Canterbury showed that they weren't going anywhere without a fight. Number four batter Jacob Naylor had grafted out a tough 66 as wickets fell all around him. Then Rooney stood up in the lower order for the second time in the game, this time with an unbeaten 47*. He helped put on 28 and 40 for the last two wickets.

Having dismissed South Canterbury for 218, Hawke's Bay now needed 114 in a session and a bit to lock away the Cup.

They got a positive start again from openers Whitley and Findlay who put on 44 at the top before Rooney broke through at 44/1.

Whitley went on to the cusp of a fifty before one last hurrah for Ettridge.

But Hawke's Bay was closing in, and the corks were ready to pop on the champagne. Chasing down their target in 28.1 overs, Hawke's Bay had signed off a fine season in style - with an eight-wicket outright.

The Hawke Cup was staying in Napier.







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