It was a day of redemption in the South Canterbury one-day senior cricket competition.
Timaru found some form at last, on Saturday, with a 104-run win over Roncalli College, while an out of favour former South Canterbury player piloted Celtic to a 21-run win and Star’s finals aspirations took a blow with a six-wicket loss to Temuka.
After weeks of sluggish performances with the bat, all of Timaru’s batsmen made it to double figures in a performance which stand-in captain Grant Brookland described as the best of their season.
Timaru made 247 for 5, at a run rate of more than five,
It was Brookland who led by example, scoring a brisk 61.
Opener Gerald Piddock, found the vein of form which saw him one of the top run-scorers for the club last year, making 34.
Michael King made 32, Srinivas KS 29, Josh Smallridge 27 and Zane Sanders added an unbeaten 46.
Brookland and King put on 105 runs for the third wicket.
All the Roncalli bowlers were put under pressure, with none taking more than a single wicket. Grant Watt was the best with one for 39 from eight overs.
Roncalli’s innings never gained momentum. Wickets fell at regular intervals and captain Jacob Naylor’s 22 was the best the batsmen could muster.
The school team were dismissed for 143 in the 34th over.
Smallridge took two for 12, while King proved handy with the ball nabbing two for 30.
Sanders also strangled the Roncalli batsmen’s scoring options, picking up one for six from six overs.
Brookland said the injection of a couple of new players, fresh out of high school, such as Nick Galwey and Sam Porter, added a spark to the side.
“It came together really well for once, the top order fired and hopefully we can keep going from here.”
Star’s batsmen, by contrast, ensured their club would suffer their second straight defeat.
They were bundled out for 111 against Temuka, who produced a good all-round bowling display to dismantle a usually sturdy Star lineup.
Temuka’s opening pace bowler, Dylan Lees, bowled nine overs in a row and made sure Star’s top order were back in the pavilion quickly.
His three for 34 spell, combined with two wickets each from Les Humphris and young spinner Nathan McNicol, meant wickets were a regular occurrence.
Extras were Star’s best friend with 30, while Mark East, batting at No8, showed the patience lacking in his top order, with 23.
Temuka were playing with only 10 men, and were in trouble early, at 50 for four.
Up stepped two of Temuka’s most senior players in Adrian Cunningham and Hayden Broker.
The pair were a part of a half-century unbroken stand for the fifth wicket.
Cunningham, who also took three catches with the gloves, held the innings together with a workman-like 28, while Broker was a little more adventurous during his 25 not out.
Todd Elliotte’s spin proved Star’s best weapon again, as he took two for 23 from his nine overs.
Star captain Phil McGregor said they were confident while in the field of defending the total, but in the end it was not enough.
“When we had them four down for 50-odd I thought we had a chance, but in the end 111 wasn’t good.
“Perhaps if we had got 180, then it would have been a close one.
“The top order just didn’t stand up.”
Temuka stand-in captain Willy Stone said they were conscious of knocking off the runs quickly.
“We were confident but we didn’t want to expose our tail.
“Adrian (Cunningham) was superb again.”
Celtic’s second-stringers were shown the way to victory by South Canterbury representative reject, Matt Mealings.
Mealings was the big difference between his side and Waimate. His unbeaten 92 lifted Celtic to 200 all out.
The next best score was Ants de Joux’s 19, such was Mealings’ domination of the innings.
Alan Reid and Matthew Sew Hoy again stood out with the ball for the home side.
Reid took three for 34, while Sew How grabbed two for 28 from 8.1 overs.
Waimate’s reply was a stuttery one. With their highest partnership being 42 runs, they didn’t have a pair who could see them to the total.
Glen Drake top-scored with 33.
Tight bowling from Celtic meant they fell 21 runs short.
Paddy Farr, Ants de Joux and Mark Tutton each took three wickets.