Temuka snuck home, Celtic got their groove back and Timaru’s season went from bad to worse in the latest round of South Canterbury senior one day cricket.
Temuka survived a middle-order collapse to beat Roncalli College by one wicket at Ashbury Park, Celtic welcomed back most of their representative players and celebrated with a six-wicket win over the previously high-flying Star, and the batting woes continued for Timaru as they were skittled for 92 in a nine-wicket loss to Waimate at Knottingly Park.
Defending champions Celtic were coming off two straight losses without their representative players, but with most of them back and firing, they halted Star’s five-week unbeaten run.
Star decided to bat on a Rockdale Rd pitch slower and taking more turn than usual.
Celtic captain Craig Davies’ move to take the pace off the ball and open with Ants de Joux worked well as he tied down the usually workman-like Star top order.
The top three batsmen were dismissed with just 28 on the board.
De Joux bowled nine overs on the trot, finishing with figures of two for 16.
Eventually, the flow of wickets stopped, but the pedestrian run rate continued, with the visitors on 60 for three after 20 overs.
Some middle-order spirit got Star to a competitive 185-9.
George Harper top-scored with 34, while Alex McKenzie made 33 and Danny Campbell and Todd Elliotte lifted the run rate in the latter overs, making 28 and 24 respectively.
Jeremy Liddy and Davies took two wickets each, while Matt Mealings produced a direct-hit run out at the wicketkeeper’s end from a throw from long-off which stalled Star’s late rally.
Celtic’s run chase had a breezier start, as they raced along at five runs an over for the first 20 overs for the loss of just two wickets.
A 109-run partnership between Davies and Sam Carlaw proved the difference. Davies made 79, increasing the tempo when needed, and Carlaw made 65 not out to steer Celtic home with seven overs to spare.
Davies said he always felt in control of the game.
“Usually you’d look to get 230 to 240 on that pitch, so we were pretty confident. I think I looked up at the scoreboard after 20 overs and they were only on 60, so we never really panicked.”
Waimate joined Celtic at the top of the table with a crushing win over Timaru.
Matthew Sew Hoy conceded just three runs from the bat, as he tore through the visitors’ batting lineup with figures of four for eight from eight overs.
Three batsmen made it to double figures for Timaru, with Zane Sanders and Hayden Butler both making 27.
Waimate opener Alan Reid carried his bat again with 29, while Glen Drake, who took two wickets with the ball, added 44 not out with the bat.
Waimate captain Jason Sew Hoy said the late in-swing and sharp fielding was critical in his side’s success, as they prepared for an under-strength Celtic next week.
Timaru captain Hayden Butler said the top order needed to take responsibility to restore pride in the club.
“The batsmen need to take responsibility,” he said. “It’s about saving face now. It’s not about winning a competition, but about saving face.”
Temuka made hard work of chasing Roncalli’s 177.
Rory Lorimer struck a powerful 97 to put Temuka in charge, but they scraped home by one wicket after losing quick wickets.
Roncalli’s captain, Jacob Naylor, grabbed three wickets, as did Matt Dorgan.