A fighting partnership between an Australian and a talented teen has put Temuka through to this season’s one-day club cricket final.
They will face unbeaten Celtic who dismantled Timaru’s dreams of a championship for the second time in two weeks.
After losing the Twenty20 final by 48 runs the week before, Timaru’s batting was again exposed by Celtic’s attack after they won the toss and elected to bat at Ashbury Park.
Left-armer Glenn Matthews knocked the top off as Timaru found themselves three down with just six runs on the board.
Tim Butler (22) and Prabodha Arthavidu (14) attempted to build a partnership but when that was broken with the score at 46, Timaru had little left to give.
Caleb Rosanowski (21), Sam Robinson (15) and a returning Brad Leonard (18*) did their best but could not hang around long enough.
South Canterbury’s Josh Dick was bowled for a duck having sprinted to get to the game in time to get a bat.
Celtic’s attack – minus South Canterbury opener Brad Watson who has just had shoulder surgery – was at its strangling best with Dan Laming (2-25), Sam Carlaw (2-27) and Matthews (3-24) doing the bulk of the damage.
Chasing just 121 for the win, Celtic never looked troubled.
William Wright (44) and James Laming (42) took advantage of a fast outfield and poor bowling to put on a 94-run opening partnership.
Arthavidu took two cheap wickets but by then Celtic were cruising, winning by eight wickets with 27 overs remaining.
The result gave Temuka an opening to make the final if they could dispose of an in-form Roncalli-Celtic side.
It was not looking likely early, however, as Roncalli-Celtic opening bowler Nick O’Brien accounted for Willy Stone and Johnny Geddis cheaply.
With a bit of luck the left-arm seamer could have taken even more wickets on the slow and placid pitch.
Ben King-Gee and Jamie Trezise needed to steady the ship for Temuka and did just that in what turned out to be a match-winning partnership.
King-Gee, a tall first five-eighth from a town near Wollongong in New South Wales, has been drafted in for the Temuka rugby team.
He showed he’s handy with the bat as well, striking an eye-catching 71.
Trezise (65) was the perfect foil for King-Gee and the boy who spent the winter in Winchester, England on the Mark Parker scholarship became the main man once King-Gee departed with the score at 134.
After a mini-collapse of five wickets for 40 runs, the old-stager Kevin Teahen (35) ensured Temuka went beyond 200.
He was run out trying to eke out one more as Temuka finished their innings at a respectable 226-9.
With former Canterbury fast bowler Hayden Shaw unavailable for Temuka because of injury, Roncalli-Celtic made a decent start to their chase.
At 57-1 off 13 overs they were on target, but the leg-breaks of Nick Maguire (2-19) and the skiddy seamers of Vaughan Tarrant proved too much for the schoolboys.
Tarrant, in particular, bowled superbly, trapping the heart of Roncalli-Celtic’s line-up, Tristram Cooper (20) and Liam Beck (14), on the pads on the back foot.
He finished with the impressive figures of 4-16 as the schoolboys limped to 106 all out.
In the day’s other match, Waimate comfortably beat Star at Knottingley Park thanks to a whopping maiden senior century for Theo Davidson.
The game was essentially a dead rubber with both sides well out of contention for the final but no-one told Davidson that.
Batting three, the South Canterbury rugby representative blasted an incredible 184 as Star’s bowling attack was carted to all parts in the 45-over match.
Davidson was ably supported by Sam Porter (54), Nathan Sew Hoy (31) and Glen Drake (28).
He was finally caught off the bowling of Craig Hinton attempting to get to an improbable double-century as Waimate plundered their way to 326-5.
Star were never in it and a fighting 57 from Phil McGregor was not enough to get them close.
Alan Reid took 4-17 including the wicket of McGregor, Connor Farrell took 2-28, while Drake (2-20) completed a good match by mopping up the tail as Star were dismissed for 181.
The season is now over for Waimate, Star, Timaru and Roncalli-Celtic, while Temuka and Celtic will have a week off before meeting in the final at Aorangi Oval on March 7.