Timaru proved losing is a habit, while Celtic and Temuka appear to be hitting their straps, as the third round of South Canterbury two-day cricket came to an end.
Both Timaru and Waimate looked like the winner of their match at Ashbury Park, on Saturday, but in the end, they both tried to throw it away with some sloppy top-order batting.
Waimate’s opening bowlers, Matthew Sew Hoy and Alan Reid took nine for 80, as Timaru were bowled out two runs short of victory, as they capitulated, despite a low-order rearguard effort, to gift Waimate a one-run win.
Earlier, 69 from Srinivas KS and 45 from Logan Taylor had given the home team a 25-run first innings lead.
Reid and Sew Hoy took three wickets each, in the first innings, on a pitch which had variable bounce and little moisture.
Waimate’s top-order continued the match’s theme of faltering top-order batting, as Jordan Morrow took the first three wickets to fall, on his way to a five-wicket bag.
Glen Drake had to retire hurt but he returned to make a gritty 27, while wicketkeeper Scott Willoughby wasted no time in making 28.
A last wicket stand between Matt Devlin, 31, and Matthew Sew Hoy, 12, pushed the target beyond triple figures, with Timaru left 106 from 36 overs to win.
The run-rate was slow but the tumbling of wickets was not.
Timaru were waving the white flag at 46 for 7, until a 49-run, eighth wicket partnership between Zane Sanders, 27, and Gerald Piddock, 23, but when they were both dismissed, it was left up to Grant Brookland and Morrow to score the six runs needed.
They could manage only four, as Morrow was trapped leg-before-wicket for 0, to give Sew Hoy his fifth wicket of the innings.
Timaru captain Hayden Butler said poor batting was becoming a common theme for the season.
“Yet again no-one got runs, someone from our top five has to get a [big] score.”
Waimate captain Jason Sew Hoy said Reid, and his brother, Matthew Sew Hoy, were exceptional.
Celtic had done most of their hard work on day one, gaining the first innings points without the loss of a wicket, leaving Roncalli to bat most of the second day.
Roncalli did put up some resistance, through Ryan de Joux, who thwarted his former team-mates for the early part of the innings, on his way to 70.
Once he fell, Harry Millar added 28, but on a dusty track, they were unable to stop Celtic spinner Sam Carlaw, who backed-up his five wicket bag in the first innings, with five for 20, in the second, to end with match statistics of 10 for 51.
Celtic chased 88 to win, and did it easily, by seven wickets.
Matt Mealings struck an unbeaten 38, during the chase, to keep himself in the hunt for South Canterbury selection for this week’s Hawke Cup game against Southland.
Davies said Celtic were able to use their experience and force a much-needed outright win.
He said the pace bowlers toiled hard, on a pitch which offered them little assistance.
Temuka drove home their first day advantage to topple Star by four wickets, at Mountainview High School.
Star started their second innings 80 runs behind and quickly had two of their batsmen back in the sheds, with just 28 on the board, thanks to Kevin Teahen.
A 78-run third wicket partnership between George Harper and Paul Arkinstall gave Star hope of setting a defendable total, but Temuka captain Richie Preston took three wickets in the space of 12 runs, removing Harper for 52, and Arkinstall, 33, in the process.
Mark East contributed a handy 34, down the order, but Teahen’s four for 64 and Preston’s three for 12 were enough to restrict Star to 195 all out.
Temuka’s pursuit for 116 started in wobbly fashion, as they stuttered to 62 for five, but then a sixth wicket stand of 54 between Dylan Lees and Teahen saw them home.
Jeremy Lane bowled well for Timaru, taking three early wickets, while the ever-reliable Craig Hinton nabbed two, but it was not enough.
Preston said his team had played well as a unit and deserved to be in the hunt for the final.
“Everyone stepped up and did a job. Usually it is [Teahen] who is holding the reins and getting us through, but everyone did their bit.”
He said Lees’ innings, to guide them home, was the difference.
Hinton said his side was much-improved on their first day outing, but could not get enough runs on the board. “We were a bit stuck, between trying to get enough runs for them to have a bit of a go at, or whether we just batted time.”