Ritchie Preston

Ritchie Preston’s consecutive half centuries have helped Temuka in their final quest

Temuka toppled Celtic while a team effort saw Timaru fend off Star in the South Canterbury senior 45-over cricket competition on Saturday.

Temuka’s seam attack combined to skittle Celtic for 120 in just 26 overs and then an unbeaten 70 from Ritchie Preston guided the Magpies to a victory which sets them on course for a finals spot in just over a month.

A devastating five-over spell of bowling from Sam Porter, in which he claimed four wickets for 14 runs, ensured Timaru defended 164 at Mountainview High School, despite 69 from Star’s Paul Arkinstall.

Celtic won the toss and chose to bat, but it was veteran Kevin Teahen who sparked Temuka by removing Celtic’s two in-form batsmen, Craig Davies and James Laming, as well as South Canterbury captain Sam Carlaw with just 44 on the scoreboard.

Temuka looked the more determined team, and while they only used four bowlers, each picked up wickets.

Former South Canterbury bowler Glenn Matthews hit seven fours in making 28, but Celtic’s best partnership was 27 for the first wicket.

English import Matt Woods took three for 23 while Kevin Teahen finished with three for 57.

Kevin Kerse took two wickets as did Nathan McNicol, fresh off his Canterbury under-19 stint.

It was McNicol’s last game for the season as his left wrist will be put in a cast today for six weeks.

Preston wasted little time in chasing down the target. He hit eight fours and three sixes in his innings and received decent support from Johnny Geddis (19).

The pair put on 62 for the third wicket, as Temuka passed the total in 23 overs.

Star looked set for victory against Timaru at 121 for four in pursuit of 164, but lost their last six wickets for 31 runs, thanks largely to Porter.

Earlier, several Timaru batsmen made starts but much like Friday night’s Twenty20 loss to Waimate, no-one got past 50.

Srinivas KS and Nick Galwey both made 29, while captain Zane Sanders made 27.

Star welcomed back left-arm quick Craig Hinton to spearhead their attack and he proved what an asset he is by taking three for 22 from nine overs.

Captain Jeremy Lane also took three wickets.

Arkinstall’s half century looked to have secured Star a much-needed win. Hamish Dickson also made 49, but the issue was that the next best score was just six.

Not even the return of former South Canterbury all-rounder Alex McKenzie could help Star’s batting woes as he was dismissed without scoring.

Brad Leonard (four for 32) got rid of the top-order, while Porter’s four-wicket haul mopped up the tail.

Star were dismissed for 152 in just the 34th over.

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