The massive gulf between the best and rest in South Canterbury senior cricket was clear for all to see at Celtic Sports Grounds on Saturday.
Defending champions Celtic crushed Timaru by 170 runs after they rolled the visitors for just 51 in the opening round of the 45-over competition.
Star versus Temuka at Ashbury Park 3 and Roncalli/Celtic versus Waimate at Anzac Square were both called off midway through the match with the teams sharing three points for the washout.
Celtic amassed 230 for four from 41.5 overs batting first before a brief but intense hailstorm cut their innings short and forced the match to be reduced to 40 overs and Timaru’s target to be adjusted to 222 for 40 overs.
Celtic’s batting effort was led by new captain James Laming with 70, Dan Laming with 58 not out and Sam Carlaw with 38.
In response, Timaru were hopeless, limping to 51 before being bowled out in the 27th over.
Had it not been for Brad Leonard’s 30 and his 22-run eighth-wicket stand with Hayden Leonard, things could have been even more embarrassing.
Celtic’s bowling was typically impressive.
Openers Ben Watson (three for 16) and James Blackstock (three for two) set the platform, with Watson taking a sensational caught-and-bowled to dismiss Tim Mackle, the one Timaru batsman who could feel unfortunate to be walking off.
Carlaw then spun his way to three wickets in a nine-over spell which cost him just 12 runs.
Timaru’s bowling was respectable but no match for James Laming, who was lethal on anything over-pitched or on his pads before he threw away a chance to get a century when he tamely hit a catch to mid-off.
Carlaw was looking to accelerate the run rate when he was bowled by Brad Leonard.
Dan Laming continued to prove he did not need to have a net session.
Having scored a 50 and a century in Celtic’s warmup fixtures, he looked largely untroubled in guiding Celtic to the commanding total.
Roncalli/Celtic had scrambled through to 125 all out against Waimate before the rain came.
English batsman Willie Watt made 29 for the schoolboys and Murray Prattley took four wickets for Waimate before the hailstorm made the bowlers’ run-ups too slippery to continue.
Temuka’s innings against Star was helped by 91 from Rory Lorimer before the match was called off.