The champion Celtic cricket side cruised to a five-wicket win over Waimate in the one-day final at Rockdale Rd to grab their fourth consecutive title.
Celtic were certainly the dominant side on their home ground, after a late change from a damp Aorangi Oval, but the state of the pitch did not impress the visiting captain, Jason Sewhoy.
While it certainly was not dangerous, the ball kept low and Waimate struggled to hit it off the block.
They elected to bat after winning the toss but struggled to a paltry 138 off their 45 overs.
That was never going to be enough, despite Alan Reid knocking the top off the Celtic order. Celtic, in their 19th final in a row, never looked in too much danger with their batting firepower.
Waimate opening bowler Reid gave his side some hope when he had Craig Davies back in the pavilion for a four-ball duck, after the Celtic skipper offered no shot and was adjudged leg before, without hesitation by the umpire.
Another confident appeal was turned down before the in-form Sam Carlaw joined Davies after a 10-ball duck, bowled by Reid, and Celtic were teetering at two for 10.
The problem Waimate faced was that Celtic had seven current and three former South Canterbury representatives in their side, and despite a gallant bowling effort succumbed in the 34th over.
The experienced Dan Laming steadied the ship for Celtic and was 45 not out at the end, with Matt Mealings on 13.
Opener Willie Wright made 18 while Glenn Mathews chimed in with a well composed 33.
It was, however, the Celtic bowlers who won the match, bowling a tidy line and length.
While the ball kept low, none of the Waimate batsmen were prepared to chance their arm apart from Sewhoy, who clubbed three sixes, batting at six, on his way to 45 not out.
Reid also opened the batting and doggedly hung around for 38 overs for his 30, while wickets fell around him.
The rest, however, did not threaten the scoreboard as six of Celtic’s seven bowlers grabbed a wicket.
Opening quick Matthews impressed with his effort, giving away only 10 runs from seven overs as Waimate worked at a snail’s pace.
James Laming’s nine overs cost him 12 runs while Davies chimed in with a cameo at the end, grabbing two wickets off two overs for eight runs.
After the game Sewhoy came out firing, claiming the wicket was substandard for a final and unhappy they were only advised of the change three hours before the match started.
“The pitch wasn’t up to scratch, it was pathetic. It was too wet and hard to score runs on. They (South Canterbury Cricket) should have waited and delayed it a week so we could have played on the best ground.”
Sewhoy said they had tried hard and gave themselves a chance but put down too many chances.
Celtic skipper Davies agreed the pitch was not as good as it usually was due to the the short notice but believed it was a fair contest.
“Normally you would expect a score of around 200, but it wasn’t dangerous and it was the same for both teams.
“They needed to man up and get some runs.”
South Canterbury Cricket chief executive David Fisher said it was a case of making the best of the situation.
“We inspected Aorangi and the bowlers’ run-ups made it unplayable so went down to Celtic and were happy with the pitch as it had been played on the day before and Star didn’t have any problems.
“Yes it was a bit low and slow but that is one of those things. The date had been set and we thought it was best to go ahead.”
Fisher said he felt they gave Waimate enough warning of the change of venue under the circumstances.
In the end Celtic deserved their win as they have been the dominant one-day team all season and have not lost a match when they have fielded their top side.
The one-day trophy added to their victory in the Twenty20 final but they look as if they may struggle to make the two-day final.
Some random photos from the final.