Criterion Hotel Wairau Valley remain the leaders of Marlborough cricket's SBS Bank second grade 45-over competition after collecting a three-wicket win over Celtic in a low-scoring fixture at Horton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Celtic had first use of the No 3 wicket, but they did not last long. Led by medium-pacer Ethan Gleeson, who finished with fine figures of 5-27 from seven overs, Valley knocked them over for just 75 in 24 overs.
Ben Lowes also played a role in Celtic's demise, bagging 3-17 from five, while Andrew Holdaway (26) was the only Celtic batsman to reach 20.
At that stage, Valley were on track for a convincing win.
However, Celtic were not going down without a fight and by the time Valley finally reached their target in the 22nd over they had lost seven wickets.
Duncan Grigg proved the hero, hitting a match-high 29. Holdaway (2-27) and Brad Pope (2-17) kept Celtic's faint hopes alive.
Meanwhile, after scoring their first win of the season the previous Saturday, Wairau picked up their second consecutive victory when they had an 82-run triumph over Guthrie Bowron Renwick at the Renwick Domain.
Wairau won the toss and opted to bat first and after opener and captain Matt Clark made 21, an outstanding partnership between No 3 Ma'ara Ave and No 4 Charlie Lewis set up their innings.
Ave cracked eight fours and three sixes before being well caught in the deep for 80, while Lewis hit 12 boundaries on his way to 71.
An unbeaten 33 from No 5 Nick Weaver late in the innings saw Wairau post 270-5 from their 45 overs.
Young leg-spinner Piers Landon-Lane was the pick of the Renwick attack, bowling well at the death to finish with 3-37 from seven overs.
In reply, Renwick's chase got off to a horror start as Wairau opening bowlers Sam Flaherty and Tom Rawcliffe grabbed two early wickets each.
No 4 batsman Leatham Landon-Lane led the Renwick fightback with a boundary-laden 60, while Tony McKenzie (36 no) and Sam Solly (34) kept the momentum going.
But the introduction of Ryan James did the trick for Wairau, the young medium-pacer bagging 4-40 from 7.3 overs to secure Wairau a comfortable win.
Wairau 270-5 (M Ave 80, C Lewis 71, N Weaver 33 no, M Clark 21, P Landon-Lane 3-37) beat Renwick 188 (L Landon-Lane 60, T McKenzie 36 no, S Solly 34, R James 4-40, T Rawcliffe 2-23, S Flaherty 2-26).
Wairau Valley 78-7 (D Grigg 29, B Pope 2-17, A Holdaway 2-27) beat Celtic 75 (A Holdaway 26, E Gleeson 5-27, B Lowes 3-17).
Points standings: Wairau Valley 14, Renwick 10, Picton 10, Wairau 8, Celtic 6.
- The Marlborough Express
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