Stephen Pagan returned to a Geraldine team deep trouble at 55-7 overnight and batting at number 10 compiled a fine 77 not out as Geraldine gained a first innings lead and eventually outright victory over Star, while a moving tribute by the Timaru and Celtic players for former Timaru player Rowdy McLachlan who lost his life in a tragic accident last week set up an intriguing match played in his honour that he would have been proud to be part of.
In the third senior match in the first round of the Tweedy Cup despite the efforts of Matt Devlin with a half century there was no fairytale finish for Waimate who were beaten outright by Temuka with Kevin Teahen picking up his first 10 wicket bag of his career.
Celtic resumed the chase for first innings points on 121-4 but soon found that Hitesh Angrish’s off-spin was proving difficult to score from as he picked up 4-26. A 40 run partnership between Matt Mealings and Luke Taylor (39) looked likely but the loss of quick wickets left Celtic still needing 40 runs with the last pair at the crease. Ants DeJoux showing form that hasn’t been seen for some seasons struck the ball powerfully as he tried to get Celtic over the line for the 6 points on offer, but was left not out 33 when the No 11 was bowled with Celtic 4 runs short.
Batting a second time Timaru regularly lost wickets and looked like undoing all their good work, but Hayden Butler with 40 and a good partnership between of 73 between Zane Sanders (48) and Kane Whiteley (28) took up time as well as steadying the innings.
Eventually Timaru were all out for 157 with the standout performance for Celtic coming from their captain Dan Laming with 7-52 well supported by Sam Carlaw with the other 3 wickets to fall giving him his first senior 10 wicket bag for a match.
Needing 162 runs from only 14 overs to win outright Celtic entered into the spirit of the match and set about the task, but as wickets fell all round him Dan Laming was again left to shoulder most of the burden, and with the other batsmen unable to feed him the strike his task grew out of reach as the run rate required spiralled upward and Celtic finished 89-6 with Laming unbeaten on 53 to give him a fine double for the day, while for Timaru, Angrish picked up 4 more wickets to give him 8 for the day. This meant that Timaru take the honours and a first innings win from the match.
Geraldine’s trump card Pagan could not have changed the match outcome without the solid support of Tom McKnight at the other end as the pair put on 89 for the 9th wicket and saw them pass the Star first innings score of 129.
Batting a second time Star could only manage 160 runs from 49 overs as Hamish Drennan and young English spinner Chris Esh picked up 4 wickets each. Only Hamish Dickson (31) and Mark Evans (26 no) of the Star batsmen went on after making a start.
This left Geraldine the unlikely task of scoring 141 runs from 21 overs against a medium pace attack including 3 current or former rep players.
Someone forgot to tell Geraldine and Pagan and Ben Millar set about the task steadily if not spectacularly putting on 43 for the first wicket. Geraldine all ran well between the wickets and as the pressure went onto the fielders the target became more and more realistic. A third wicket partnership of 63 between Millar until he was out for 59 and Guy Metcalf who finished 37 not out got Geraldine to within 16 runs of their target and then although they lost another wicket managed to gain an outright victory with all the time in the world to spare (2 balls actually) and proving that anything can happen in a game of cricket.
Waimate would have felt better about their first innings effort after converting 45-8 overnight into 102, but would have wanted a far superior second innings after Temuka asked them to follow on. Early breakthroughs by Kevin Teahen and Dillon Lees soon put paid to that idea as they fell to 10 for 4 before the middle order put up some resistance with Alan Reid, Matt and Sam Devlin and Jason SewHoy all spending time in the middle.
However Temuka weren’t going to be denied as Teahen picked up 4-22 to give him 10-46 off 38 overs for the match and lead his team to outright victory by an innings and 21 runs.