Albion step forward in campaign

Albion have a chance to open up a gap on the field in Southland club cricket's Declaration Competition if they beat Appleby on Saturday.

In what has been a limited start to the season because of wet weather, Albion has been the quickest of all the teams to show positive signs in their 2012/13 campaign.

The Gore-based club knocked over Southland Boys' High School and then showed plenty of determination and patience to salvage a draw against one of the competition heavyweights, Invercargill-Old Boys, at Queens Park on Saturday.

Invercargill-Old Boys posted 206 batting first but couldn't bowl Albion out in the required time to grab the win.

New Albion captain Michael Gratten dug in with an unbeaten 76 to ensure the match was drawn.

While Invercargill-Old Boys failed to claim the required wickets for the win, captain Jason Domigan praised the way the game was played and said the finish was exactly what the declaration concept was put in place for.

"At seven for 110, Albion were out of the running to win the game but instead of throwing away their wickets, the pair at the crease ground out the last 14 overs for a well-earned draw with two quality spinners bowling and three men around the bat," Domigan explained.

"Just like the final hour of a Hawke Cup or first-class match should be played."

The form guide suggests Invercargill-Old Boys will be too strong for a struggling Southland Boys' High School unit on Saturday.

Southland Boys' High have lost some key players and don't look to have the batting options coming through at the moment to fill the gaps.

Bowling Metro out for 128 on Saturday showed they do have some strength in their bowling stocks, but they were then were skittled for 35 highlighting their batting frailties.

In the other senior match on Saturday, Metro and Marist will go head-to-head at Metro.

Metro will back up the next day at the same ground when they take on Carisbrook-Dunedin in the quarterfinals of the Otago/Southland club knockout competition.

Metro advanced straight to the quarterfinal after drawing the bye in round one of the competition.

Carisbrook-Dunedin comfortably knocked out the other Southland club entered in the competition, Invercargill-Old Boys, in the first round.

Invercargill-Old Boys were rolled for 56. The Dunedin club chased the total down for the loss of two wickets.