Celtic and Timaru will meet in another final this season after earning outright victories in the final round of senior cricket’s two-day competition.
Celtic were already assured a spot in the final, but essentially ended Star’s hopes when they beat them by six wickets at Mountainview High School on Saturday.
Timaru took advantage of their strong position after day one to beat Waimate by 36 runs at Knottingley Park, ensuring they will meet Celtic in the two-day final, just a fortnight after losing to them in the Twenty20 showpiece.
At Ashbury Park 6, Roncalli College managed a four-wicket win over Temuka, thanks to a half-century by Henry Race, and some probing bowling from Daniel Dorgan and captain Tom Pavletich.
Star started the day at 136 for two, with Danny Campbell and Paul Arkinstall sharing in an unbeaten century stand.
Celtic were fielding a second-string team due to a wedding and Hawke Cup duty, only James Blackstock returning from the previous week.
Campbell added just four to his overnight score before becoming one of Matthew Dorgan’s three victims.
Star struggled to deal with the short-ball early, and when Dorgan got a ball to bounce a bit higher than usual to take Arkinstall’s glove on the way to wicket-keeper Neil de Joux, Star slumped to 210 for seven, with Arkinstall dismissed for 85 and the team’s lead at just over 50.
A gritty half-century stand by Julian Blanchard (29) and Chris Hyde (26) pushed the lead beyond 100, but Celtic dismissed them for 277, ahead by 126.
With most of the Celtic batsmen coming off a diet of Twenty20 cricket, they wasted little time trying to score runs.
It was former Roncalli College fill-in Brad Gilbert (53) who prospered.
He punished anything short and down leg-side as he reached his 50 by hitting the winning runs.
Waimate surrendered a 58-run first-innings lead to Timaru, but did well to bowl them out for 124 on day two.
Justin Thompson was the pick of the Waimate bowlers with three for 22 from eight overs, while Jason Sew Hoy wrapped up the tail with three for five from 3.1 overs as Timaru lost their last four wickets for no runs.
It left Waimate needing 183 for victory, but a sizeable contribution eluded them in tough batting conditions.
Gary Muff and Regan Tate both managed 29, but at 93 for six, the tail was left to do too much and they were dismissed for 146.
Abhishek Baadkar and Brad Leonard each took three wickets for Timaru.
Roncalli were missing overseas professionals Tahir Afridi and Ed Kilbee for the second day against Temuka.
It was half-centuries from Barry Ward (53 not out) in the first innings and Henry Race 54 in the second which got them home. The bowling has been strong for Roncalli all season, and again Daniel Dorgan impressed with four for 39 to restrict Temuka to 150 in their second innings, leaving Roncalli 123 for maximum points.
Harry Millar (21) gave Race the support he needed to guide the team to the tricky, low total.
Les Humphris got two wickets and a runout early, but the Roncalli middle order held firm.
The two-day final will be played at Aorangi Oval next weekend, the one-day competition will return the following weekend.