While Jacob Naylor’s 75 with the bat helped Roncalli to a good total it was teacher Bruce Carlaw’s hatrick to finish the match that shone as he picked up a five wicket bag against Timaru on Roncalli’s new home ground at Ashbury Park. Celtic’s batting was too strong for Waimate as they posted 253-6 from their 45 overs while in Temuka it was a battle of attrition in a low scoring affair with the home team eventually coming out on top.

Timaru won the toss and asked the school team to bat first. The Roncalli openers got their team off to a solid start but it was Naylor’s innings which included 8 fours and a six that was the standout performance. While most of his team mates got to double figures, it was generally in a support role as they ran well between the wickets and always looked for any extra runs on offer.

Naylor looked comfortable most of the time at the crease, making good decisions and showing a maturity beyond his years and only lost his wicket when trying to push the score along near the end of the innings. Combined with one of the most erratic bowling performances in seasons from Timaru who contributed 49 wides to the extras, Roncalli eventually posted a very competitive 221-8 total.

In reply Timaru were soon in trouble with both openers back in the pavilion and only 4 on the scoreboard, but Grant Brookland (31) and Captain Hayden Butler (45) rectified the situation with a good partnership of 74. Another 30 runs was added for the fourth wicket but after that was broken wickets fell steadily.

Bruce Carlaw was brought into the attack as fifth bowler and despite being disappointed with his batting earlier and his bowling taking some stick to begin with, he had the last laugh as he cleaned out the last 5 Timaru batsmen and finished his spell and the match with a hatrick and the figures of 5-30 as Timaru succumbed for 156.

In Temuka it was another ‘veteran’ who led the way to victory for the home side with Dave Fisher taking 3-20 after top scoring as well with 29. A low scoring affair saw only four Temuka batsmen make double figures and they were all out for 127. Craig Hinton was the outstanding bowler with 4-12 from 8 overs as he started his new season on fire, and was well backed up by Gareth Sutton with 3-18.

In reply Star began steadily with captain Phil McGregor anchoring the innings with 42 and at 96-5 Star would have been feeling confident before Fisher put Temuka back on top. Tight spells from Rory Lorimer and Kevin Teahen kept the pressure on and eventually Star were dismissed eight runs short for 119 despite Todd Elliotte returning to the crease after initially retiring hurt but he was unable to get them across the line ending up 10 not out with no partners.

In the third match Celtic continued their dominance from last season, this time easily accounting for Waimate who had been convincing winners in round one. Waimate won the toss and asked Celtic to bat first and would have been reasonably happy at restricting them to about 3 runs an over early on at Rockdale Rd. A good catch down the leg side removed Craig Davies who was starting to look good for 20 and an aggressive approach from Andy Scott ended with a catch in the deep for 32, but it was Dan Laming who continues to erase memories of last season as he scored his second sixty in as many outings.

The Celtic score continued to mount and while 220 looked likely, a devastating innings of clean power hitting by Glenn Matthews of 67 not out including 5 sixes and 6 fours allowed Celtic to score 253-6. He also destroyed some bowling figures as Alan Reid conceded 20 runs from his final over.

With Matthews now warmed up and bowling quickly as well, Waimate were batting more in survival mode than scoring mode and before long it became clear that they were probably not going to worry the Celtic total. With one end of the pitch producing very inconsistent bounce, runs became more difficult, but despite this Jason Sew Hoy batted a long time for his 43 runs and a couple of the other batsmen had long stays at the crease before eventually being all out for 118.

Matthews ended with an impressive 3-16 and Dan Laming picked up 2-26 and now the Celtic side will be looking forward to their top of the table clash at Ashbury Park next weekend against Roncalli, while the other two matches will also be keenly contested.

Honours Board:

Bruce Carlaw 5-30 (incl. hatrick)
Jacob Naylor 75
Glenn Matthews 67*
Dan Laming 61

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