Celtic returned to the winners circle in the Marlborough second grade cricket 45-over competition on Saturday when a good all-round bowling effort and a half-century to Martyn Holdaway saw them defeat Guthrie Bowron Renwick by three wickets at College Park.
Choosing to bat first, Renwick got off to a poor start when in-form opener Rikki Bovey (10) was dismissed in the third over by left-arm seamer Tim Warner. This largely set the scene for the rest of the innings as the Celtic bowlers took full advantage of the Renwick batsmen's failure to come to grips with the extra pace of the artificial surface.
Wickets fell regularly throughout the innings and only a gritty 52 from No 6 Mark Zillwood allowed Renwick to post 171-9. Miserly medium-pacer Brad Pope led the Celtic attack with 2-18 from his nine overs, while Warner (2-34 from eight) and Michael Daines (2-40 from nine) also played their part.
Celtic's opening pair of Elliot Robinson (21) and Kesh Sampath (10) got off to a steady start despite some tight bowling from Renwick new-ball pair Richard Marshall and Leatham Landon-Lane. As well as beating the bat on numerous occasions, Landon-Lane created a number of inside edges which narrowly missed the stumps.
No 4 batsman Holdaway, who was not afraid to punish any short-pitch bowling, was able to lift the run-rate and his 74-run partnership with Patrick Crannitch took Celtic took within reach of victory.
Two late run-outs threatened to derail the chase, but they eventually got home in the 40th over with three wickets to spare. Marshall and Bovey bagged two wickets apiece for Renwick.
Meanwhile, the other second-grade match on Saturday between Wairau Valley and home side Picton at Endeavour Park was abandoned soon after it began.
Originally scheduled to start at 12.30pm, the game did not get underway until 1.15pm. Valley won the toss and decided to bat first, but at 8-0 at the end of the third over heavy rain quickly returned. Both captains agreed the wet weather and poor conditions made it dangerous and the match was called off. The two teams collect two points each for the no result.
Celtic 173-7 (M Holdaway 53, E Robinson 21, R Marshall 2-30, R Bovey 2-37) beat Renwick 171-9 (M Zillwood 52, B Pope 2-18, T Warner 2-34, M Daines 2-40).
Wairau Valley 8-0 v Picton (Match abandoned after three overs).
Points standings: Wairau Valley 16, Renwick 14, Wairau 12, Picton 12, Celtic 10.
- The Marlborough Express