Celtic, Waimate and Temuka started their seasons with wins on the opening day of the South Canterbury cricket season.
Temuka capitalised on a strong bowling effort to beat Roncalli College by four wickets at Ashbury Park 6, Waimate fought back to beat Star by four wickets, despite Star’s Paul Arkinstall scoring 60 with the bat and taking five for 20 with the ball and Celtic captain Craig Davies was up to his old tricks as he scored 93 to lead his side to a 99-run win over Timaru at the Celtic Sports Grounds on Saturday.
Star looked to be in control of their match when Arkinstall and Danny Campbell put on 117 for the second wicket, but the drinks break did the trick, Campbell was run out for 58, and when Arkinstall succumbed to Nathan Sheppard on 60, Waimate began to get back on level terms.
Spinner Glen Drake chimed in with three middle-order wickets to see Star slump to 196 all out in the 44th over.
Nathan Sew Hoy and Sheppard combined for an opening stand of 66, with Sew Hoy scoring 54 and Sheppard 27.
Waimate lost six wickets for 41 runs after that to be 107 for six thanks to the medium pace of Arkinstall who bagged his five-wickets with nagging line-and length bowling. But the experienced Alan Reid and teenager Scott Willoughby combined for an unbroken 90-run partnership for the seventh wicket to guide the visitors home.
Reid’s was left not out 33, while Willoughby played a more controlled innings to remain unbeaten on 47.
Star captain Phil McGregor said the win was there for the taking, but they let it slip.
Waimate captain Jason Sew Hoy said his team was short of bowlers but was happy to get a win considering the middle-order contributed very little.
Roncalli managed to make a game of their match with Temuka, despite having half their side back in the pavilion with less than 50 on the board on an Ashbury Park pitch which played more consistently than it did last year, with good pace and carry.
It was the unlikely pairing of Barry Ward and Adam Beck – the oldest and youngest members of the team – who got them to a total of 130, with Ward lifting the run-rate with a belligerent 43 and Beck supporting him on 14.
Dillon Lees took three for 15 from eight overs while the ever-reliable Kevin Teahen took two wickets.
The Temuka run-chase was spearheaded by Adrian Cunningham who carried his bat to 42, as wickets fell around him.
Lees capped a fine all-round game with some good hitting near the end to make 26.
Daniel Dorgan was the best of the Roncalli bowlers taking three for 13 from his nine overs, while Ben Watson chipped in with two wickets as Temuka snuck home in the final over.
Roncalli captain Tom Pavletich said his team did not occupy the crease long enough, and fell 20 runs short of a defendable target.
Davies again terrorised Timaru as he bludgeoned 93 to set Celtic up for a comfortable win.
He shared in a 151-run opening stand with Jeremy Liddy who made 56, while Dan Laming scored 54.
Timaru captain Hayden Butler took three late wickets to help bowl the defending champions out for 276.
Timaru had a promising opening partnership, but after that, they fell away to be bowled out 99 runs short of Celtic.
Opener Jordan Morrow made 50, while Greg Hull on his return to senior cricket hit 41, but James Laming’s medium pace and the spin of Sam Carlaw proved too much to handle.
Laming nabbed four for 33 from eight overs and Carlaw had three for 24 from nine overs as Timaru were rolled in the 41st over leaving Butler looking at the positives.
“A number of guys stood up and if you look at it, 170-odd would win games against most teams.”