Celtic had all the motivation they needed to claim their third title of the South Canterbury cricket season.
The perennial champions were rocked by the passing of team-mate Jeremy Liddy’s dad, using that as motivation to win another title.
It forced Celtic to make a late change to their squad, something they were happy to do.
“We definitely used it as an incentive; winning the title for Lids, so it’s nice we managed to,” Celtic captain Sam Carlaw said.
“You never like it when a player pulls out but under the circumstances we knew he had to and we wanted to do well for him.”
Both sides were under-strength for the final but Carlaw didn’t let that ruin the occasion.
“We’re really happy that we secured our third title.
“Grant [Watt] bowled really well and cleaned up the tail, then Jake (Naylor) and Dan (Laming) batted really well.”
Carlaw was full of praise for Timaru’s Supeshala Jayathilake.
“It was a very good innings.”
He acknowledged three titles was a great achievement but it wasn’t their most dominant season.
“We didn’t play that well for most of. We weren’t as consistent as in the past.”
Timaru made 159, thanks to Jayathilake, who made 85, ending the season with more than 650 runs. Prabodha Arthavidu looked in good knick before being run out for 16, while Brad Leonard added 18.
The elegant left-hander hit a flurry of cracking shots all round the ground and was particularly punishing on anything full.
Carlaw dismissed him as Timaru were looking for quick runs.
Veteran seamer Grant Watt was the star for Celtic, grabbing four wickets with some superb bowling. He secured Leonard, Sam Porter and Sam Robinson in quick succession.
Celtic’s reply was led by Naylor’s 55, Laming’s 52 and Andy Scott’s rollicking 45 as they cruised to the total two down and 12 overs to spare, with Laming and Naylor guiding Celtic home.
Timaru’s chances weren’t helped with experienced seam bowler Dinesh De Silva missing after suffering a hamstring injury after knocking over Temuka in a thrilling semifinal.
Temuka were well poised to make a strong total at 80-3, before a flurry of wickets saw them restricted to 152 all out.
Dillon Lees top scored with a hard hit 30, while Glen Drake (28), Warren Morgan (28) and Willie Stone (25) all made starts.
De Silva nabbed four wickets for Timaru.
Timaru were saved by Leonard with 51 and De Silva, who scored 35.
A six with an over to go by Sam Robinson, sealed the deal for Timaru, who won by four wickets with three balls to spare.
Vaughan Tarrant and Drake claimed two wickets apiece for Temuka.
Scoreboards at a glance
(full cards to follow)
Temuka 152 (D Lees 30, G Drake 28, W Morgan 28, W Stone 25; D De Silva 4-42, P Arthavidu 2-32, B Leonard 2-26) lost to Timaru 156-6 (B Leonard 51, D De Silva 35, S Jayathilake 26; V Tarrant 2-27, G Drake 2-44) by four wickets.
Timaru 159 (S Jayathilake85, B Leonard 18, P Arthavidu 16; G Watt 4-33, S Carlaw 2-47) lost to Celtic 160-2 (J Naylor 55, D Laming 52, A Scott 45) by eight wickets.