Davies 134 helped Celtic into position to win outright early into the second day next week, and only the weather or a remarkable batting effort by the Temuka tail order will stop them.
Temuka won the toss and elected to bat, but Dan Laming with 5-41 quickly knocked over the top order. After at one stage being 32-7, Michael Geddis with 30 and Kevin Teahen (17) helped Temuka to some respectability at 82 all out. Glenn Matthews and Sam Carlaw joined in on the act to finish with 2 wickets each as well.
It took a while for Davies to find a solid partner as Celtic passed the Temuka total four wickets down, but then James Laming came in and quickly got the recent hoodoo’s off his back (ducks) as he and Davies added 134 runs for the fifth wicket before Davies was out. Celtic batted on until their 44th over before declaring at 255-7 after Laming was out for a fine 65 and a welcome return to form.
Temuka opening bowler Dillon Lees will have a bittersweet taste in his mouth after his best senior performance with the ball taking 6-73, especially good figures against a powerful Celtic batting line-up, but his team’s batting performance may temper any celebrations.
Temuka had 18 overs left to face in the day’s play and began wanting to erase the memory of their first innings but it was not to be as this time left arm quick Glenn Matthews tore through the top order with 4-22 and when stumps was called Temuka were again in deep trouble at 39-5.
Star, playing at Mountain View High School, the site of their new home grounds next season, lost the toss to Waimate and were asked to bat first on what appeared to be a good wicket with some seam movement early on and a lightning outfield.
They began well adding 42 for the first wicket when young opener Simon Ward was out for 10, but fellow opener and captain Phil McGregor relished the opportunity to bat in his proper position and on his home ground where he works and plays adding 55 with Alexander McKenzie for the fourth wicket before uncharacteristically holing out to long on for a comparatively quick 65.
McKenzie was just getting into his stride when a calling mix up led to the inevitable run out four short of his half century. The Star batsmen continued to push for more runs before the compulsory declaration and were eventually dismissed in the fiftieth over for 184. Waimate’s fielding kept them in the game with two run outs and eight catches and Matt Devlin came away with the best bowling figures taking 4-39.
Unfortunately for Waimate the chase for first innings points did not begin well as Jeremy Lane celebrated his 21st birthday milestone by quickly removing three of the top four batsmen and no doubt will be looking for more wickets next week to add to his 3-29.
Waimate eventually recovered from 6-3 after captain Jason Sew Hoy with 48 (and cramp) got them back into the match. At stumps Waimate were 110-7 with Craig Booth not out 19 and they will probably go on full attack for the remaining ten overs of their innings next week. If successful they may earn 1st innings points, but it is more likely to be Star and they will then need to work out a suitable declaration in order to look for an outright result to keep them near the top of the table.
In Geraldine the match is evenly poised after Timaru won the toss and were dismissed for 143 with captain Grant Brookland continuing his good season with 47, although he probably feels aggrieved that the outfield had not been mown and that some shots did not earn their full worth, else he (and Ben Millar for Geraldine) may have had fifty to his name. Phil Lill’s off-spin with 4-38 and Guy Metcalf with 3-26 were the chief destroyers with the ball.
Geraldine tried a new opening pair with the Millar brothers, but it didn’t work for Harry who didn’t score, but Ben went on to make 43, easily the top score in this match so far for his team. Guy Metcalf capped off a good all round performance with 27, but with 5 overs to play in their first innings, Geraldine need 15 more runs and Timaru 3 more wickets to gain first innings points. Geraldine has two former openers at the wicket with Gary Muff 21 not out and Tom McKnight 3 not out and with a week to mow the grass anything could happen in this evenly poised encounter.
C Davies 134
D Lees 6-73
J Laming 65
P McGregor 65
D Laming 5-41