A stirring spell of bowling after tea from Timaru’s Sam Porter announced his side as genuine Tweedy Cup final contenders after they defeated Star by two wickets on Saturday.
Porter’s four wickets were the catalyst for the victory and earned Timaru back-to-back wins in the two-day cricket competition after their win over Temuka a fortnight ago.
Star looked like they had shown enough defiance after overcoming an 84-run first innings deficit to have a slender lead at 108 for three with 50 overs remaining in the day.
However, Porter’s figures of four for 31 helped Star’s eventual collapse for 165 and while the batsmen made hard work of the 82-run target, they got there after some late wobbles.
In other results Roncalli College needed just over an hour to earn a 10-wicket win over Waimate at Knottingly Park, while the return of Celtic’s representative players had the desired effect as they turned around a first innings deficit to beat Temuka by 173 runs at Celtic Sports Grounds.
Timaru decided to bat their last eight overs before their compulsory declaration to get a bigger lead on the first innings.
Timaru started day two at 216 for seven in reply to Star’s 179.
Some brisk hitting from captain Jordy Morrow (67) and former captain Hayden Butler (17 not out) got them through to 263 for nine.
Star’s Paul Arkansas deservedly picked up six for 75 in the innings, taking two wickets early on day two as he continued to shoulder most of the bowling load in the absence of Craig Hinton and Jeremy Lane.
Star’s second innings crawled along at just over two runs an over, as captain Phil McGregor seemed happy to try to bat the day out.
The effort was typified by opener Mark East who spent three hours at the crease and he survived 47 overs for 25 runs.
His wicket in the second over after tea started the collapse.
Former representative player Alex McKenzie (53) struck his second half century of the match, but he eventually ran out of partners.
A last-stand of 19 between Todd Debney 15 not out and Tyson Hamilton got Star the runs to take the total to a nervous size for Timaru.
Chasing 82 from 29 overs, Timaru seemed unsure how to approach it and wickets tumbled to foolish shots. Opener Josh Smallridge made 27, while Josh Dick and Zane Sanders added 21 and 17 respectively.
Timaru’s lower order were guilty of trying to finish the match with one hit.
Star’s Grant Managh took two wickets for no runs from two overs amongst the confusion, while Hamilton added two wickets for six as the Timaru batsmen rushed to get their pads on.
The winning runs came from four leg-byes after some nervous moments for Timaru.
McGregor said he felt his team was still in with a chance of making the top two but things needed to change.
“We need consistent player numbers and availability … we need more guys to get to trainings and our top five need to score a bulk of our runs.”
Morrow said there was a good feeling in his team for the first time in a long time.
“We’ve got a good bunch of guys here at the moment and the results are showing that we have good balance throughout the team.”
A resolute 45 from Waimate captain Jason Sew Hoy only delayed the inevitable against Roncalli College.
Daniel Dorgan’s 10 wickets on the first day had done irreparable damage for the schoolboys.
Waimate avoided the innings defeat in making Roncalli chase 38 to win which they did in 10 overs.
Roncalli left-arm seamer Tahir Afridi took six for 29 in the second innings.
Celtic were back to full strength after missing day one with Hawke Cup duty and they easily beat Temuka with a solid all-round display.
After losing the first innings by two runs to the visitors, Celtic regulars Jacob Naylor (56) and Willie Wright (66) put on 115 for the first wicket of the second innings.
A quick-fire 54 from Dan Laming in the middle order allowed Celtic to declare after 51 overs at 258 for five.
Temuka’s opening bowler Tom McKnight was the best of the bowlers with two for 74 from 19 overs.
Veteran Grant Watt lead the wicket-takers to set up the winner.
Watt took four for 33, while recalled representative bowler Glenn Matthews took three for 10 from eight overs as Temuka were bundled-out for 83.
Dylan Lees’ effort of 30 was the only double-figure score for Temuka.
Celtic captain Craig Davies said the pitch aided their mission with the ball.