The final round of Senior One Day cricket started with five teams contesting the remaining three positions in the semi finals and after the first innings in each match, the outcomes had changed little. However in each match it soon became clear who would progress as Geraldine and Celtic had nine and eight wicket victories respectively, while Star won by 97 runs.

There are still plenty of calculations to be made as Star and Temuka are now tied for third and as their round-robin match was abandoned, final placings will be determined by run rate over all their one day matches. The loser in this mini battle will face unbeaten Celtic in one semi while the other team will play Geraldine for a final place.

Johnny Geddis continued his fine season scoring the majority of Temuka’s runs on the way to his unbeaten century (104) which included 16 fours and a six and helped his side score 162, but he would be disappointed that his fellow batsmen couldn’t hang around with six overs still available when the last man was out. For Geraldine the bowling attack was led by Tom McKnight with 3-33 and well supported by Phil Lill, Ben Millar and Richard Bruce with a couple of wickets each.

One of the Temuka batsmen was dismissed in a rare manner for handling the ball, and unfortunately this led to a poor attitude by some players for the rest of the match toward the officiating umpire, and this is certainly a worrying factor for cricket if a similar attitude is allowed to continue by other senior players.

One may not always agree with an umpiring decision, nor with the application of the laws, but without umpires taking the time out to officiate at matches, especially in cold conditions like on Saturday, it will not be long before it is player-umpires only, and the level of sportsmanship in some games I have seen this season without umpires certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

However, Geraldine’s reply was certainly not deterred by on field events as George Harper stroked the ball to all parts on his way to an unbeaten century (104 – 15 fours 3 sixes) and with Matt Barnes alongside him not out on 31, Geraldine chased down the 163 required in 30 overs with the loss of only one wicket, thus convincingly cementing second spot.

In the local derby at Ashbury Park a win to Timaru could create a three-way tie for fourth position, while a win to Star would guarantee them a semi. Star batted first and Captain Phil McGregor played a solid hand opening and was the fifth wicket to fall with his personal score 53 and the team’s total 152. Alexander McKenzie in his first match of the season after returning from injury made 30 before being one of three run outs in a generally improved fielding performance by Timaru. Hitesh Angrish with 3-30 was the pick of the bowlers but with Timaru conceding more than 40 extras, this helped Star set a target of 200.

Timaru’s reply faltered as they lost two quick wickets, but Jordy Morrow enjoyed his opener’s spot in his first match this season too and added 24 before becoming one of Craig Hinton’s four victims. Hinton took the first four wickets to fall as he bowled with good pace and rhythm, but the surprise package this week was Jeremy Lane who put last week’s wayward effort and a ‘dropped dolly’ behind him to bowl with accuracy and penetration. He ended up with 4-24, but could have had even better figures if more of the chances offered to the keeper and slip cordon had been taken.

Angrish benefitted from a few of those chances but was eventually out for 20. Tim Mackle was just getting going when he was out lbw for 16 and Chris Leonard, demoted from opener this week will be having words with his skipper after being stranded not out on 11. Star was far too strong this time and Timaru were dismissed for 102.

Aorangi Oval was the venue for the Celtic v Waimate match where Waimate batted first and got off to a quick start as they scored at 6 an over. Nathan Sew Hoy got going and enjoyed the opportunity of batting on a good strip, before he got it into his head that he could score off the good balls too and was caught off a leading edge for 47. After this wickets began to fall regularly except for Murray Prattley who batted patiently on his way to 35, but eventually Waimate were all out for 153 which was always going to be hard to defend against the Celtic batting lineup on the Oval.

The Celtic bowlers all contributed with skipper Dan Laming leading the way, bowling aggressively to take 2 wickets and only concede 14 runs from his nine overs while brother James was getting prodigious swing from the other end and regularly beat the outside edge to take two wickets as did Sam Carlaw and Glenn Matthews.

Celtic were untroubled in their chase with Ryan De Joux (49) again quickly out of the blocks (figuratively speaking only) and Andy Scott enjoyed being back at opener as he scored an unbeaten 66 and carried Celtic to victory in the 27th over.

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