Celtic’s scarcely believable dominance of South Canterbury cricket continues as they demolished Temuka to take out the senior one-day championship for the eighth consecutive season.
The win comes on the back of a unbeaten season where Celtic also took out the Twenty20 competition, a trophy they have yet to lose since it’s introduction five years ago.
“We still love winning,” Celtic captain James Laming said. “I’m sure all the guys will be back next season. We want 10 in a row.” The 154-run win was built around an impressive all-round performance with the bat by Celtic after they were put in on an Aorangi Oval pitch with a tinge as green as the outfield around it.
Any hope Temuka had of knocking off Celtic’s total of 244-9 was blown away by two brilliant spells of swing bowling by Glenn Matthews (5-27) and Tom Pavletich (4-6).
Temuka captain Hayden Broker was hopeful the Magpies would take out their first one-day title win in 18 years, but was left to lament three crucial dropped chances in the field that ultimately took the game away from them.
“We had a few opportunities but you just can’t afford to give these guys a life,” Broker said. “I don’t think the rub of the green went our way but credit to Celtic, they played far better than we did.”
The day started well enough in the field for Temuka. They snaffled the first one to come their way when James Laming (4) spooned a mis-timed drive to mid-off.
Veteran Kevin Teahan also had the better of Celtic’s other opener William Wright in a probing opening spell and had him grassed at slip.
Wright battled through the difficult period and gradually found the middle of his bat but then perished for 33 attempting to hit aerially through cover.
South Canterbury captain Sam Carlaw and run-machine Dan Laming came together and both struggled to find their timing early on.
But the partnership began to flourish after a crucial three-over period that came back to haunt Temuka – Carlaw was dropped at square leg, Laming was dropped by the keeper and both edged it through a vacant slip area off Temuka’s Australian import Ben King-Gee.
No further opportunities were gifted for some time as Laming in particular opened his shoulders.
He brought up Celtic’s 100 in the 23rd over with a six and raced to 50 with a boundary blitz.
Another Laming master-class was on the cards until the introduction of leg-spinner Nick Macguire broke the partnership.
Laming was bowled around his legs for 67, but there was no let up as Carlaw took over as aggressor. He hit Macguire for sixes in successive deliveries, although he then holed out at cow-corner for 59.
Matthews (9) came out looking for quick runs but struggled to lay bat on Macguire, who eventually had him stumped.
With a miserly Vaughan Tarrant supporting him from the other end, Macguire then spun the ball through Andy Scott (16) and Tom Pavletich (4) to pick up a well deserved five wicket-bag.
When Andrew Buckingham (5) was run out on the final ball of the innings, Macguire walked off with figures of 5-57.
He was applauded by teammates, a healthy contingent of Temuka supporters on the bank and a merry Magpie mascot.
Any Temuka feelings of satisfaction at how they had closed the innings subsided rapidly as Glenn Matthews set about ripping the heart out of their batting line up.
Dan Laming took a superb catch at mid-off to remove Willy Stone for one and then Matthews produced an absolute peach of a ball to break the off-stump of Johnny Geddis (11) into two pieces.
He trapped Adrian Cunningham and a dangerous-looking King-Gee (17) leg-before and brought up his five-wicket bag when he bowled Jamie Trezise.
It was a fine display in a final and such was Matthews dominance that the final two overs of his nine-over spell were bowled with five slips and a gully.
Pavletich came on from the same end as Matthews and refused to let the foot off the throat, producing prodigious movement to run through the Temuka lower order.
The end came quickly for Temuka, out for 90 in just the 28th over, with extras ending as the top scorer.
James Laming said it was a complete performance from his Celtic side, with even the fielding on-song.
“That is something we’ve let slip a little over the last few years but we were great out there.
“It’s amazing just how much of a difference it makes. Their fielding probably gave us about 40 runs and we probably deprived them of that many with our effort.”