Guy Metcalf continued his fine start to the season with an impressive 87 not out with the bat alongside his two catches and two wickets in the field to help Geraldine pick up their first win of the season. His batting was full of powerful drives and pulls interspersed with deft late cuts to keep the score ticking over as they chased down the 219 set by Timaru. All the bowlers were dispatched equally if they strayed and his partnership of 134 with Ben Millar (58) batting at No 6 took the match away from Timaru.
Timaru won the toss and decided to bat first on a low slow pitch. The spinners found there was quite a bit of turn available, but the slow nature of the wicket meant batsmen were well advised to get onto the front foot, and the bowlers soon found that anything short generally sat up waiting to be hit (and was).
Gerald Piddock and fellow opener Chris “out of retirement” Leonard added 38 runs quickly to get the innings under way, before a double breakthrough by Andrew Coombes and Timaru slumped to 41-3. Grant Brookland set about consolidating the innings before again falling short of his half century when caught for 47. He was helped by new Aorangi Oval groundsman Greg Hull (18) and a very slow 19 from Zane Sanders. Tim Mackle missed a full ball to be out lbw and Timaru was again teetering in the 140s before Hayden Leonard and Avon Proctor helped Timaru through to 218 with Proctor scoring a cultured 41 and Leonard 29.
For Geraldine all the bowlers had success with Ben Millar feeling the most aggrieved as he had a hat-trick of catches put down at ‘cow corner’ alone when the long handle came out. He was not the only bowler to rue mistakes as the fielding display by both senior teams left a lot to be desired.
Young Geraldine openers Matthew Walker and Garry Muff added 25 in reasonable time with Muff making 18, while Phil Lill struggled to get the ball off the square in a slow 10. Captain Matt Barnes came and went quickly and later reminded us that when he doesn’t make runs, Geraldine wins. At 53-4 Geraldine still had a lot to do when Millar joined Metcalf and the pair set about building what turned out to be the match winning partnership.
Both batsmen had lives, and the dropped chance off Millar at mid wicket early in his innings may have been crucial to the outcome as he took a long time to find his timing and placement, while Metcalf had already scored a half century when he gave a chance.
Eventually with victory in sight Millar was out which allowed his younger brother the chance to redeem himself for earlier mistakes which he did as he raced to 22.
At Knottingley Park a depleted Waimate team batted first against Star, but with only Sam Devlin (34), Murray Prattley (20) and Extras (12) making double figures the score of 101 was always going to be difficult to defend. Medium pacers Mark Evans (3-16) and Hamish Dickson (2-24) were the most successful of the Star bowlers, although wicketkeeper Matt Moodie may argue he has the best strike rate with one wicket from one over.
In reply Waimate started well with both Star openers out lbw quickly but then Todd Elliotte with 32 supported by Chris Anders (10) saw Star consolidate, and Tim Butler (14 not out) and Hamish Dickson with 28 not out saw Star home with 9 overs to spare and 6 wickets in hand.
The third senior match saw Celtic win by 165 runs in Temuka after scoring a massive 320-9 from their 45 overs led by Jeremy Liddy who will be annoyed to be dismissed 2 runs short of his century on 98. In reply Temuka captain Ritchie Preston scored another half century, but Temuka were never really in the hunt.