The Woodward Cup Interclub competition starts this Sunday teeing off from 11.30am at Waitikiri Golf Club with some great match ups on offer, in particular defending champions Christchurch who play Russley in round one. Russley will again have a strong team which includes imported player Paul Bailey (Ellesmere) and having won the competition six out of the last eight years will be looking to win back the title this year. Last season’s narrow semi-final defeat to Christchurch will also be added motivation for Russley on Sunday. The Christchurch team is likely to be a similar line up to last year but will also include Richard Reed who will strengthen their team.
Interest will also surround the performance of newly promoted Pegasus who are matched up against Bottle Lake which includes import Cameron Grant (Rakaia) in the first round. Clearwater, last year’s runner-up, will also be looking to go one better this year with imports Matt Adam (Kaiapoi) and Jake Hallinan (Weedons) in their top order and they meet Avondale with imports, Jeremy Goodman (Pegasus) and Aaron Pablecheque (Kaikoura) to strengthen their side.
Last year’s semi-finalists Templeton, with have something to prove after narrowly missing out on the final last year, have added import Ryan Bellamy (St Clair) to their squad and will be up against the home team Waitikiri who have imported Daniel Hobbs (Tai Tapu) to the line up.
The final match up of the round sees Harewood, one of last year’s early favourites looking to improve on their mid table finish last season with imports Josh Smith (Rakaia) and Tony Simpson (Hororata) up against Coringa who will also be out to improve on their placing from 2016.
This year’s Woodward Cup promises to be another intriguing event and keenly anticipated match ups with youth and experience across all teams will be watched with interest over the next couple of months, culminating on Finals Day at Waimairi Beach on 1 October.