Story by Brayden Lindsay – Fairfax

Jacob Naylor smashed a superb 98 to help secure Celtic top spot in the South Canterbury club cricket one-day competition ahead of next weekend’s final round.

The 24-year-old fell an agonising two runs short of what would have been the first century of the club season.

He backed up his unbeaten 33 from the week before with the superb knock to set up Celtic’s win in their clash at Celtic Sports Ground.

They defeated Temuka by five runs.

He stroked 11 fours in his innings, with a number of them coming through the cover region.

Naylor’s score, helped by 25 extras and 15 each to Jeremy Liddy, Andrew Buckingham and Ben Watson, saw the green machine score a respectable 183 batting first.

The right-handed Naylor strode to the crease with the score at just 2, after opener Andy Scott was dismissed for a duck.

He batted right through the innings and was out on the last ball off the bowling of Josh Rooney.

Off spinner Josh Rooney and medium pacer Hayden Broker bowled superbly to restrict Celtic to under 200.

Rooney claimed 4-30 from nine overs, while Broker chipped in with 3-15.

In reply, Nathan Sew Hoy (33) gave Temuka a rollicking start.

He and fellow opener Willie Stone added 37 for the opening wicket with all the runs coming off Sew Hoy’s blade and in extras.

Sew Hoy, Warren Morgan (4) and Stone (0) all fell in quick succession and at 64-6 it looked as though Temuka were going to fall well short.

Dillon Lees (35) and Robbie Barry (30) produced a superb 66-run partnership, before Temuka again lost quick wickets.

At 133-9 the visitors looked dead and buried before Rooney (21) and Brian Martin (21) put on 45 for the final wicket to give Temuka a chance.

Rooney was run out going for two in the last over to deny Temuka a thrilling win.

Star kept their slim semifinal hopes alive with a two-wicket win over Timaru at Ashbury Park.

Timaru were put into bat and made 157 batting first, thanks to 58 on debut from new Sri Lankan import Dinesh de Silva.

The home team were missing key players Prabodha Arthavidu and Sam Porter, giving the visitors confidence.

Ryan Hanifin smashed 27 to help Timaru set a defendable score.

Blair Gunn picked up four wickets for Star, while veteran leg spinner Dale Warwood bagged two.

Star’s chase took 39.5 overs with contributions from Paul Arkinstall (27), Daniel Campbell (24), Garry Paine (20) and Phil McGregor (19) seeing the blue-and-golds home, while Timaru leaked 40 extras.

Supeshala Jayathilake was their best bowler, spinning his way to three wickets.

Next weekend’s final round will be an intriguing one with Star, Pleasant Point and Timaru all still a chance of making the semifinals.

Star’s destiny will be in the hands of others as they have the bye with Celtic facing Pleasant Point and Temuka hosting Timaru.

Short scorecards

Celtic 183 (J Naylor 98, A Buckingham 15, J Liddy 15; J Rooney 8-0-4-30, H Broker 9-3-3-15) beat Temuka 178 (D Lees 35, N Sew Hoy 33, R Barry 30, J Rooney 21, B Martin 21; G Matthews 9-1-4-30, B Watson 9-0-3-45) by five runs.

Timaru 157 (D de Silva 58, R Hanifin 27; B Gunn 9-0-4-23, D Warwood 9-2-2-32) lost to Star 158/8 (P Arkinstall 27, D Campbell 24, G Paine 20; S Jayathilake 9-2-3-25) by two wickets.

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