The penultimate round of the South Canterbury senior two-day cricket competition has left three teams still fighting it out to make the final after Waimate had a convincing outright win over Temuka and Star held on for a draw to deny Celtic outright points.
Temuka mathematically also remain in the hunt for the Tweedy Cup but would need other results to go in their favour next round.
The other match between Roncalli and Timaru was abandoned early due to the wet conditions at Ashbury Park.
Play began on time at Knottingley Park where Waimate already had a 58-run lead with seven wickets in hand.
Temuka soon found the going hard as Jason Sew Hoy continued his good form since Christmas before retiring hurt on 53. He put on a century partnership with Matt Devlin, who also scored 53, and contributions from Theo Davidson and Alan Reid enabled Waimate to declare at 212-5 and leave Temuka needing 271 runs for victory.
The loss of captain Richie Preston without scoring did not help the Temuka chase, but then Nathan McNicol combined with Adrian Cunningham to add 50 runs for the second wicket to get Temuka back on the right track. Unfortunately for Cunningham who made 77, one of his best innings for some years, he found little other support with Kevin Teahen the only remaining batsman to make double figures.
For Waimate, Glen Drake’s off-spinners ripped the heart out of the Temuka innings, and with Alan Reid and Matt Sew Hoy only conceding 33 runs from their 24 overs, Temuka were eventually dismissed for 132, well short of their target.
The match between Celtic and Star did not get under way until about 3.45 when it was decided the pitch was safe to play on. With only 43 overs play available, Celtic declared on their overnight score of 263-3 and a 126-run lead and set about dismissing Star as quickly as possible.
The best result for Star was to bat out the rest of the day and deny Celtic any extra winning points, and they got a good start by making 36 before the first two wickets fell.
More importantly was that they were eating up the overs. Dan Campbell added some runs but it was Paul Arkinstall who played one of his better innings for the team as he batted a long time for 27 before becoming one of Sam Carlaw’s three victims.
Todd Elliotte (28 not out) joined Arkinstall and his experience helped guide Star through to stumps as he and Hamish Dickson (20 not out) finally had Star in front on the scoreboard at 141-5.
Celtic tried plenty of options to take wickets with nine bowlers used, and fielders surrounding the bat as Star ground it out, but with little luck.
They even claimed the extra half hour’s play, but were left ruing the fact they couldn’t get onto the pitch earlier in the day.
The points table now has Waimate with a 10-point advantage going into the last round, but they will be up against Celtic who will be looking for maximum points and hoping not to be thwarted by the weather again.
If Waimate can keep Celtic to a draw, or the weather intervenes, they should be assured of one final spot.
Star retains second place at present by about four points from Celtic but will need a good result against Roncalli in the last round to make the final, and, if matches go against form, Temuka will be on the phone checking exactly what can happen.