The Pleasant Point cricket club’s senior team has come a long way since entering the South Canterbury competition three years ago.
The side recorded a hard fought 4-run victory over Celtic at the weekend, showing how much they’ve improved since the 2015 season. In their debut season they picked up the odd win, which followed by a semifinal and finals appearance last year.
Their latest victory came at Rockdale Road, the home of perennial champions Celtic and probably the hardest ground to win on in South Canterbury.
Batting first, Point struggled through to a total of 100 as Adam Beck provided the backbone of the innings with his knock of 40.
Left-hander Beck, who opened the innings, fell with the score on 64 and was the only Point batsmen to post score of any substance, while Chris Diedriks, Latham Gibb and Bailey Dryden also posted double figure scores.
Celtic’s bowling attack was led by Dan Laming, who produced a superb spell to nab six wickets, while Sam Carlaw chipped in with two.
In reply, Celtic tried valiantly to chase down the modest total, with Dan Laming making 25 and Andy Scott 19 but they were unable to help the defending champions home.
Celtic fell for 96, with George McDougall starring with the ball for Pleasant Point by grabbing five wickets, while South Canterbury strike bowler Stan Mair was also in good form picking up three wickets.
Cameron Lundie came on late in the piece to take the final two wickets for Point to give them a well deserved victory.
It was Point’s second successive victory in the 60-over competition.
Meanwhile, in the game at Ashbury Park, Timaru recorded a two-wicket victory over winless Star.
Their victory was thanks to a strong partnership from Sri Lankan pair Pat Wickramasinghe (40) and Sasindu Nanayakkara, who hit 58.
Timaru chased down the 161 needed for victory, after Blair Gunn (42), Phil McGregor (33) and Matt Brown (30) helped Star put runs on the board.
The total was probably 15 runs light.
Zane Sanders was the best of the Timaru bowlers, taking four wickets with his left-arm spinners, while Harry Greenhalgh and Jason Stevenson claimed three each.
At 120-1 Timaru looked well poised to secure victory before Wickramasinghe and Nanayakkara both fell to Star veteran Craig Hinton.
Four more quick wickets had Star back in the game but a handy knock of 11 by Sam Robinson helped the team home.
Hinton, Brown and leg-spinner Dale Warwood all took two wickets each for Star.
Next weekend Point face Temuka in what is set to be an evenly fought clash, while Timaru and Celtic collide with the loser out of contention for the 60-over final.