Sent into bat SC were in trouble early losing the first wicket with only 1 on the board, but debutant Caleb Donaldson (in what was to be a great debut) settled in to do his job and bat time and wear bowlers out. He did this better than hoped being 5th out in the 30th over for 18 but unfortunately couldn’t get many to stay with him with only Chris Hogan (28) hanging around for long.
Batting at No 9 Shaun Rooney was next best with 25 as the Southland spinner Mockford kept forcing players into poor shot selections on his way to 5-22.
The scoreboard looked a sorry sight at 119-10!!
Mark Otley removed the Southland skipper Jared Mckenzie with their score at 7, but then two 50 run partnerships saw Southland get to first innings points easily enough.
However a second spell from Shaun Rooney was much more on the money as he dismissed 3 batsman in a row including Domigan for 57 and Cooke for 40 and suddenly Southland looked much more vulnerable at 125-6.
The left-arm spin of Glen Drake kept the scoring at bay as he tied up one end while Rooney continued to attack at the other end and before too long Southland were all out for 156 with Rooney picking up his first Hawke Cup 5 wicket bag taking 5-52 while Drake was rewarded with 3-34 from his 16 overs.
With only a 37 run deficit the South Canterbury openers Will Sharp and Caleb Donaldson then had to negotiate a tricky 23 minute period until stumps which they managed finishing 10-0 overnight.
Sunday dawned another fine day and now South Canterbury had to fight back and try and set a target, but with enough time to dismiss Southland a second time if they wanted to gain any points.
The openers added 28 for the first wicket before Sharp was out for 16 edging a ball to first slip after just starting to play some great shots.
Chris Hogan and Jake Naylor didn’t hang around long as SC slipped to 64-3.
However Donaldson who was batting much more confidently after the first day’s experience was then joined by Glen Drake and the pair set about building the innings.
Donaldson brought up his maiden Hawke Cup 50 before succumbing to the spin of Mockford gloving a ball down legside that was taken well by the keeper. A tremendous knock in the circumstances finishing on 53 with the total now 122-4 and a lead of 85 runs.
Drake began to show his class as he moved through the gears, dispatching the poor balls (and some good ones) to the boundary adding 32 with Henry Race (10), before being involved in a terrible run out mix-up with George Morgan and out for 63 off just 61 balls with the SC score 159-6.
The tail wagged a little with Daniel Campbell 17 and Mark Otley last out for 11 helping the team to 205 and leaving Southland a target of 169 for victory at less than 3 runs an over.
Rooney continued his great match picking up the Southland captain when they only had 4 on the board.
Domigan and Thomas then had a 50 run partnership before another debutant, Taine Cordell-Hull removed the dangerman Domigan bowled for just 20.
Donaldson was given an over of his leggies before the tea break but the Wasp would still have been favouring Southland by about 60 – 70% at this stage.
After the return from tea in just the 2nd over after tea (and Donaldson’s 2nd over he removed the opener Skelt for 43 and the new batsmen 3 balls later.
Rooney got in on the act getting Cooke to knick one to the keeper and then when Donaldson picked up his 3rd wicket removing Culhane for 8 Southland suddenly looked very vulnerable at 88-6 and only halfway to a win.
The South Canterbury boys now had the adrenalin running and the fielding, player support and camaraderie was definitely obvious to all the spectators.
Drake took over from Donaldson who finished with 3-30 and looked to keep a tight rein on the scoring while at the other end Mark Otley was brought back into the attack. Showing the fire and aggression his team needed, and with the wind at his back the ball was coming through quicker than for some seasons, but importantly with great control as he bowled full deliveries round and over the wicket. He picked up an lbw and then the next ball an even better delivery sent the new batsman packing lbw as well and suddenly he was on a hatrick.
Southland avoided the hatrick and over the next couple of overs squirted a few runs here and there but in the end Otley had the last say bowling the No 8 who was becoming a menace and then having the No 10 caught by Drake to rip the tail to shreds finishing with 4-24 from his 10.4 overs and importantly securing the amazing comeback from behind outright victory for South Canterbury to move them from last to second on 12 points (behind Southland on 16) at the halfway stage of this season’s Zone 4 Hawke Cup.
It was a pretty good night of bonding and amazing atmosphere in the changing rooms after the win and great debuts for Caleb and Taine, while Shaun Rooney now leads the Hawke Cup bowling table with 14 wickets and Mark Otley has moved into second with 10.
Its not many occasions that South Canterbury beat Southland outright so well done to the whole team and coach Ants de Joux.
Next up it is Mid Canterbury in Ashburton on January 16th & 17th so all the best for the Xmas break and festive season and we look forward to the two matches in January.
Full scorecard here https://scoring.nzc.nz/#mf98b3731-813a-4cb4-846f-8798a2181c41