Despite the batting of Star’s Jack Harper and the bowling of Waimate’s Alan Reid, the Tweedy Cup cricket competition had to be shared.
The weather had the final say, after both teams looked likely to wrestle the trophy from one another at various points throughout the two-day club final.
Harper was an unlikely hero for Star. He was back in South Canterbury to continue his education following the Christchurch earthquake of February 22.
His innings of 107 neutralised the stirring seam-bowling of Reid, who took six for 92 off 44 overs, and looked likely to give his side the advantage as they chased their first title in their 40-year involvement in the competition.
No play was possible until 4pm on the first day due to constant drizzle, effectively making the match a one innings affair.
Waimate won a crucial toss and asked Star to bat, forcing them to try to survive 48 overs until stumps.
The competition’s top wicket-taker, Reid, soon had Alex McKenzie walking back for a duck as he edged a delivery through to wicketkeeper Liam Crowley.
Runs were hard earned, with Star struggling to go at more than one run an over against the accurate bowling of Reid and the left-arm pace of Matthew Sew Hoy.
Star lost two more wickets before stumps, with George Harper becoming Reid’s second victim, for two, and Paul Arkinstall trapped leg-before-wicket to the spin of Glen Drake.
Waimate reduced Star to 59 for three after 35 overs at the close, after bad light stopped play early.
Reid finished the day with two for 22 from his 18 overs, which would have been more impressive had it not been hit for three boundaries by Todd Elliotte in his final over of the day.
Star captain Phil McGregor had ground his way to 22, but was unable to add to his overnight score when he was caught in the slips by Murray Prattley in Reid’s second over of the day.
Elliotte looked to press on, but with Reid still getting movement off the seam and good shape, he departed for 37 when the score was 79.
Reid soon had five wickets when Danny Campbell went for seven.
Matt Devlin dismissed Hamish Dickson, and Star were teetering at 113 for seven.
Jack Harper was joined by the gritty Mark East and the pair slowly went about building a defendable total.
Reid went off for a spell and the pair soon lifted the run rate.
Rotating the strike soon brought up a half century partnership, and Harper, having survived a confident appeal for a stumping on 36, soon breezed past 50.
The combination came to an end when East was dismissed for 13, and the score at 169 for eight.
Craig Hinton dug in with Harper who was finding the boundary with ease.
Hinton helped him through the nervous 90s to record a match-changing innings, which included 11 fours and two sixes.
By the time he was out, Star had gone from on the brink of a heavy loss to being in complete control, as they declared at 232 for nine.
Waimate were left to get 233 in 58 overs to win the match on the first innings rule, but it was Star who looked more likely to claim the Cup.
Seam bowlers Hinton and Jeremy Lane found some early seam movement and bounce.
Waimate opener Nathan Sheppard was struck on the left-forearm and had to retire injured, and Reid soon followed, caught at second slip by Arkinstall for one.
Nathan Sew Hoy and Glen Drake batted positively in trying conditions, until Drake fell the same way as Arkinstall, for nine, when the score was 35.
Hinton had his tail up, as did his team-mates, despite the consistent drizzle and bleak outlook over Aorangi Oval.
The rain closed in once more and on came the covers. By the time they were removed, Nathan Sew Hoy, who had raced to 31 before the stop of play, was caught behind by East off Hinton.
Another Christchurch earthquake evacuee, Crowley, looked solid, while captain Jason Sew Hoy struggled to contain his hard-hitting nature.
Another rain delay came and went, and eventually Jason Sew Hoy and Crowley were both out leg-before wicket to Lane.
Star were always against the clock and the weather though, and while they removed the injured Sheppard quickly, poor light soon meant the players were off the field for good, with Waimate 94 for six, after 34 overs.
Hinton finished with three for 35 off 18 overs, while Lane ended with three for 24 off eight overs.
Jason Sew Hoy said to win the competition after 41 years, even if they had to share it, was a great achievement for his team.
“This is awesome. All the guys played really well.”
“After it being so hard to get players at times this season, this is a great moment for Waimate.”
Sew Hoy said Reid was a man in control of his game: “He’s just so consistent, puts the ball in the same spot, and gets a bit of movement.”
McGregor said his side was pleased to win the trophy after seven years without it.
“Conditions were really hard out there [to bat] and it probably took us until after lunch before we put them under any sort of pressure, but once we did, we were away.”
Other finals in the weekend also saw some interesting feats with Jamie McLaren’s century for Celtic Second Grade on CSG 1 meaning he has now scored a club century on all 3 CSG wickets. Unfortunately for Jamie, Greg Paul’s 126 not out for Waimate surpassed his in getting Waimate home in a final played in good spirit with the umpires noting that both teams were there to play cricket despite the conditions.
Below are some random photos taken at the final at Aorangi Oval.