By Terry O’Neill.
Waitaki Boys High School First X1 and Valley will meet in tomorrow afternoon’s Borton Cup final,the major trophy for the North Otago Cricket Association which was formed in 1899. In the first season six teams,Oamaru A, Oamaru B, Tureka, Capulet, Waitaki Boys High School and a Ngapara-Maraewhewnua combined team.In the first season a series of home and away games were played to decide the initial champion. Because of a lack of grounds most games were played at Takaro Park and Tureka was the first champion.It wasn’t until the end of the second season that a trophy was presented to the winner of the senior competition. The North Otago Cricket Association however was in 1919and John Borton an Oamaru club member who donated a trophy. This trophy was referred to as,”The North Otago Cup” or “The Association Cup” but it was generally called the” NOCA Cup.”The advent of prohibition and the lack of adequate grounds saw cricket virtually defunct in 1909 and it was the opening of King George Park and the return of soldiers from World War 1 that saw senior club cricket restart.Waitaki Boys High School was the first winner of the relaunched competition and was presented with the old trophy at the end of the season.Waitaki Boys stored the Cup in the front block at the school but a major fire broke out and the trophy was lost. Frank Milner, the rector of the school presented a new cup to the association as a replacement ,the Borton Cup.
Waitaki Boys has won the senior trophy on four occasions, 1905/06, 1919/20, 1925/26(Colts), and 1967/68.
Mr Borton was a well known and successful farmer during the 1800’s.This Borton Cup was then used until 2011 before it was lost by the holders, Union.A replica of the Borton Cup now in use is engraved with the names of the winners of the senior competition since that very first season in 1899-90.
Waitaki Boys High School first won the trophy in the 1919/1920 season but it had to wait until the 1967/68 season to reclaim the trophy.If successful in the Borton Cup final tomorrow fternoon it will be only the third time that it has held the cup.
The Valley Cricket Club’s origins reach back into the early 1900s with the Waitaki Sub Association based in the Waitaki Valley which saw a population boom during the building of major dams at Waitaki, Benmore and Aviemore with clubs such as Kurow and Hydro(based in Otematata) taking part in a competition with at one stage the Kurow club taking part in Borton Cup competition in the 1930s.Such was the strength of “country” cricket that at one stage more than half of the North Otago Hawke Cup team were country members.
As the dam projects began to wind down cricket clubs began to struggle to find members.Eventually only three teams were left, Kurow, Otematata and Duntroon.These three teams decided to combine and form a new club to take part in the Oamaru competition.The team was called the Upper Waitaki Cricket Club but during the 1970s it changed its name to Country and up until the 1980s had managed to win the Borton Cup on five occasions.In 1991 it joined with the Weston Cricket Club to become part of the Valley Sports Organisation which involves other sports such as rugby and netball.
Since this amalgamation the Valley Club has won the Borton Cup on five occasions,1994/95, 1997/98, 2003/04, 2004/05, and 2006/07.