While Celtic notched up their fourth consecutive outright victory in the Tweedy Cup, it was Temuka with a convincing win by eight wickets over Waimate who leapt out of the log jam for second place and appear best placed with one round to play to meet Celtic in the final of the Tweedy Cup as well as meeting them in the final next Sunday for the One Day Trophy.
Another final spot would cap off a great season for the Temuka club who only last season were really battling to put 11 players on the park, but this season in their 125th Jubilee year have made a prominent return and their new Second Grade team is also in the hunt for a final spot having only lost one match all year.
Temuka began the day still needing 53 runs from eight overs to gain first innings points and Richard Opie continued his form from the previous week taking his score from 47 not out through to 79. Temuka managed to obtain first innings points with a ball to spare before the compulsory declaration after 50 overs.
On a high from their batting, Temuka soon had Waimate in deep trouble three down with no runs on the board. Waimate were without their captain, but replacement Hadley Johns, just back from India filled his shoes admirably scoring 61 and helping Waimate add some respectability to the score, eventually succumbing for 159.
Temuka made no race of it as they scored the 156 runs needed for the loss of only two wickets with Johnny Geddis again leading the way for his team with an unbeaten 70 while Ritchie Preston added 43 not out to his 4-38 earlier with the ball.
Timaru made a much better effort on day two in their match against a Celtic side that was still not at full strength as three young players were blooded, but their effort was thwarted by Craig Davies as he continued to add to his already fine season. He scored 64 runs, more than double his next best team mates including a partnership of 82 with Jeremy Liddy, and newcomer Jacob Naylor had a good debut scoring a cultured 26.
Celtic were eventually all out for 224 with Josh Smallridge picking up 4-40 to go with his three wickets in the first innings, but with a target of 271 Timaru were always going to battle.
They began well with openers Robbie Rankin and Gerald Piddock both scoring 37 in an opening stand of 73, but by now Davies was bowling and it didn’t take him long to find his length, and along with good flight and spin soon had all the Timaru batsmen in trouble. Supported by good fielding and three lbw decisions in his favour he bowled unchanged for 16 overs and took 7-76, his best senior performance and the best bowling performance by anyone in senior cricket this season, and although Pete Grady (26), Grant Bishop (32) and Richard Booth (26*) kept Timaru in the hunt for a long time, they were eventually dismissed for 195, 76 runs short with 12 overs play still available.
In the third match Star needed an outright over Geraldine to keep in touch on the points table, while two outrights in the remaining rounds would give Geraldine a real chance of making the final two years running.
The return of Richard Bruce and Matt Barnes helped Geraldine to secure first innings points and they promptly declared, hoping to either dismiss Star cheaply or more realistically to be set a reasonable run chase giving both teams a chance to gain valuable points.
Star batted well in their second innings with Phil McGregor contributing 54 to an 82 run opening partnership with Chris Anders. Paul Arkinstall added a further 29 before Todd Elliotte got in on the act too with 57 and when the declaration came, Geraldine needed to score 219 off 36 overs at just over 6 an over.
Geraldine openers Michael King and Barnes were on target when a brilliant catch by Arkinstall removed Barnes with the total 52 in the eight over. Richard Bruce continued the chase on his way to 58 but it was the “stumped Anders bowled Elliotte” combination which took three wickets in the middle to slow the run chase and eventually Geraldine finished 179-6, still 40 runs short in a difficult chase and the match was drawn.
C Davies 7-76 & 64
R Opie 79
J Geddis 70*
H Johns 61
R Bruce 58
T Elliotte 57
P McGregor 54