© Stu Piddington
THE Celtic one-day cricket juggernaut kept on a roll, comfortably beating Geraldine to sit on top of the competition alongside Star.
Timaru recorded their first win in cruising past Temuka while Star got home in a nail-biter over Waimate.
On their home track Celtic won the toss and compiled a tidy 222 off their 45 overs before rolling Geraldine for 127.
Celtic batted first and got to 76 before the first wicket fell and their top order ensured a decent score would be posted, with openers Craig Davies making 58 and Andy Scott 35. Dan Laming also went past 50 for the second time in two games with 55 to go with his opening day 95.
Only the bowling of Guy Metcalf, who grabbed four middle order wickets for 32, prevented a bigger score. Off-spinner Ben Millar also chipped in for the country side after his first over cost him 14 runs while Phil Chapman grabbed the first two wickets to fall. Millar backed himself and grabbed three wickets for 20 runs off his next six overs.
While Celtic were happy with the competitive total, it was not out of reach for Geraldine. The Celtic innings made interesting reading as nine of the 10 dismissals were catches, including two very good one-handed takes in the outfield.
Celtic’s opening bowlers ensured Geraldine got away to a rocky start.
Both Stephen Pagan and Metcalf had made their only scoring shots a boundary each before they were back in the pavilion and Geraldine were teetering at 13 for two. Geraldine then battled back to 106 but again lost two quick wickets.
Young English import Matthew Barnes was the shining light with a well-compiled 53, including one big six, however once his wicket fell Geraldine capitulated losing their next five wickets for 21 runs.
For Celtic, Laming’s medium pace cleaned out the middle order taking four for 27 off eight. Schoolboy Sam Carlaw was again in the action with his left-arm offspin, taking two wickets including the prized scalp of Barnes.
At the Temuka Oval, Timaru won the toss and elected to bat. They regularly lost wickets but maintained a steady momentum to make 231.
The standout was number five Grant Brookland who scored 73 while several others made handy contributions, including a good 33 from number eight Zane Saunders that featured a six.
Dillon Lees took the top off the order for Temuka and finished with three wickets while Robbie Histen also got three.
For Temuka the chase was very ordinary with only Kevin Teahen (37) and Richard Opie (34) showing any real resistance. Only one other batsman made double figures.
Kane Whitley did the most damage with the ball, claiming four for 36 off his nine overs while Saunders was miserly, giving away only eight runs off his five and and also grabbing the wicket of Teahen.
At Knottingley Park, Waimate won the toss and sent Star in to bat. The decision seemed a good one as opening bowler Sam Devlin grabbed the first three wickets and Star were 18 for two early.
Several batsmen made starts but only a gutsy 53 from number seven Tom Bouch gave the score any respectability.
Waimate must have thought they were in with a shout eventually rolling the visitors for 187 in the 43rd over.
However, they made a cautious start losing their first four wickets for 69. Hayden Matthews held the innings together with a solid 56 before Bouch had him stumped. He was the eighth wicket to fall, with the score on 129, and the game looked over.
Nathan Sewhoy, who was batting down the order because of a bad back, sparked a rearguard action and almost stole the match. Sewhoy, along Jared Matthews, put on 32 for the ninth wicket with Matthews making a cameo 15, including a six. Sewhoy was the last man to go, run out returning for a second in the 43rd over just eight shy of winning.