Last week it was Craig Hinton who cleaned Celtic up, but this week it was a triumphant return from injury for Todd Elliotte as he mesmerized the Celtic batsmen and made the most of a deteriorating ‘home’ pitch. Elliotte took 4-16 off his 15 overs including 12 maidens, and in tandem with Hamish Dickson who took 3-32 they led the team to an outright victory by more than an innings over Celtic, a rare feat in the Tweedy Cup.When play started Celtic set about batting for most of the day, or at least getting primed for Sunday’s one day final against the same opposition and Ryan De Joux soon had the ball departing regularly to the boundary but unfortunately there was little support from the other end. When De Joux was third out for 55 the total was only 71.

This brought the Laming brothers Dan and James to the crease and they settled in and looked like making it a long day for Star in the field, especially after a couple of reasonable chances were spilled, but the paucity of runs as Elliotte and Dickson tied both ends up placed all the pressure back on to the batsmen. Elliotte got Dan to play on for 32, and then James was out not long after tea for 30 and there was no fight left as Celtic went from 128-4 to be all out for 161.

The other Star bowlers all bowled well too with less reward, but as this was the only outright result of the round, it has allowed Star to jump up to the top of the table, and they will be pleased Waimate took the honours from their match with Timaru who had been leading the competition.

A 10 wicket match bag for Alan Reid almost took Waimate from the bottom of the table to join Star at the top after Timaru had started the day in a strong position at 135-3 with not out batsmen Jordy Morrow on 80 and Hitesh Angrish 38, and while Morrow couldn’t add any further runs, Angrish went on to make 73. Reid took 6-57 and aided by some good fielding and bad running Timaru were dismissed 68 runs short of Waimate’s first innings 285.

Batting a second time Waimate’s captain Nathan Sew Hoy again got into the thirties as did Craig Booth but it was Hayden Matthews who top scored with an unbeaten 59 that allowed the declaration to come at 166-3. Needing 235 runs from only 26 overs was always going to be an uphill battle and wickets fell regularly as the chase went on. When the game started petering out to a draw, wickets to the part timers kept Waimate in the hunt as they came disappointingly close with Timaru 129-9.

In Geraldine it wasn’t the main match that entertained onlookers, but the game within a game played out by young English professional Chris Esh and the multi talented SC five-eight Ritchie Preston.

After waiting all season, Esh finally had things going his way after bowling well without luck since Christmas as he routed the Temuka batsmen to take 8-53 from 33 overs (6 for 30 this week). However, at the other end his battle was different as Preston struck 17 boundaries during the four and a half hours he spent at the crease on his way to making 118. The significance of Preston’s innings shown when you consider that the next highest individual score was 20, and that was scored on the first day.

Temuka was eventually out 40 runs short of first innings points and Geraldine then settled in to bat for the rest of the day and pick up as many bonus batting points as possible in an effort to keep themselves in contention near the top of the table. The friendly bowling helped too with only Adrian Cunningham not rolling his arm over for Temuka and when play ended Geraldine were 202-7.

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