Sporting Weekend of the Year Ahead

Waimakariri will be the centre of national attention on Saturday when Mainpower Oval in Rangiora hosts the Ford men’s one-day cricket final.

The game will be shown live on Sky Sport and starts at 11am.

Canterbury won the rights to host the tournament decider last weekend when it beat top qualifier Wellington at Hagley Oval.

The two teams will now meet again after Wellington beat Central Districts yesterday to secure its place in the final.

The addition of the match has set up one of the biggest sporting weekends of the year for the District, with the game to be followed on Sunday by the opening of the Waimakariri Hockey turf, next door to the cricket ground in Coldstream Road.

A big day of activity is planned for the opening of the $2 million facility, with the fully sized water turf, which has been built to the latest international standards, having been completed on schedule after work began last year.

Check out the video of a facility of which the whole District can be proud:

Opening day activity will begin with junior skills, before a Rangiora XI takes on a Hinemoa-Kaiapoi XV in a mixed open grade game.

The two clubs will both play their home matches at the facility, which will also host Canterbury Hockey matches during the winter season.

The all-weather turf is made of the same state-of-the-art material as was used for the hockey turf at last year’s Rio Olympics.

Its’ opening starts at 11am and is free for all.

Its addition, alongside the regular use of Mainpower Oval for representative cricket matches, adds to the growing profile Waimakariri is gaining hosting Canterbury representative sporting events.

The one-day cricket will be the third match Canterbury has hosted in Rangiora this summer, with the game being allocated to the home of Country cricket in the province because Hagley Oval is unavailable due to preparations for next week’s Black Caps international.

Encouragingly, Canterbury is unbeaten from the previous two games, having won a thriller against Central Districts, before a more comfortable success against Auckland,

Both games drew good crowds, although more will be expected for the final, with a fine day forecast, and national interest in the event.

Canterbury has won the national one day title more than any other province, but its 13th and most recent success was 11 years ago, during the summer of 2006.