Meikle's farewell gives Marist no quarter
Appleby all-rounder Andrew Meikle farewelled Southland cricket in style with a man-of-the-match performance in his side's 35-run victory over Marist.
The former Southland Hawke Cup representative was playing his last game in the province on Saturday, before heading to Perth next month to take up a new job, and did not disappoint.
Meikle contributed a crucial 56 runs to help his side reach 159 all out, batting first.
He then caused trouble for the Marist batsmen with the ball, nabbing four wickets for 21 runs from his eight overs.
Meikle's departure will be a big loss for the Appleby club.
He has been a fine servant for the South Invercargill based team over the past seven years, taking 175 senior wickets in 89 games.
Tim Eade and Mark Ross laid a solid platform for Appleby, putting on 46 runs for the first wicket.
Eade (35) and Calum Johnstone (21) both got starts with the bat, and would have been annoyed they were unable to kick on.
Sean Adam was the most dangerous bowler for Marist, grabbing three wickets for 38 runs.
In reply, Marist got off to a dreadful start, losing three quick wickets.
Southland Hawke Cup batsman Shaun Fitzgibbon and Jacob O'Connell consolidated for the Miller St boys, but once Fitzgibbon was removed for 24, a mini collapse began.
Marist appeared dead and buried at 58 for seven, but with O'Connell still at the wicket and George Mulvey going about his work, they began to try to get back on track.
O'Connell finished unbeaten on 47, but once Mulvey went for 23, any chance of a Marist win disappeared.
Meikle was the chief destroyer with the ball for Appleby, but he received strong support from Ross and Jamie Clark, who both claimed two wickets.
The Metro Tigers will head into the Christmas break as the only unbeaten team in the 50-over competition after running out four-wicket victors over Invercargill-Old Boys at Queens Park.
Invercargill-Old Boys made a wonderful beginning to the game with Jason Domigan and Simon Wadworth, combining for a 108-run opening stand.
Domigan (47) and Wadworth (56) both departed with the score at 108, triggering a massive change in fortune for Invercargill-Old Boys.
They remarkably lost their next eight wickets for 56 runs as the Tigers rolled them for 164 runs in the final over. Thomas Beggs was the only Invercargill-Old Boys batsman, besides their openers, to score in double figures.
Central Southland College student Jared Simpson starred with the ball for Metro, finishing with the excellent figures of six wickets for 30 runs from his eight overs.
Hamish Cooke was also accurate, picking up three wickets for 28 off 9.3 overs.
Metro Tigers' opener Ryan Duffy ruined any chance of an Invercargill-Old Boys win with a superb innings that will rate as one of the best of the summer so far.
Duffy, who has been in a rich vein of form this season, smashed three sixes and 12 fours before he was bowled by Matt Anderson-Stewart, just shy of a century for 96.
Duffy and Brayden Lindsay, who was promoted up the order at first drop, put on 78 runs for the second wicket to take the game away from their Invercargill-Old Boys' opponents.
Metro lost a couple of wickets as they edged closer to Invercargill-Old Boys' score but the final result had effectively been decided.
Hamish O'Brien finished unbeaten on 14 as the Tigers eased to a four-wicket victory.
Albion notched their first 50-over victory of the season, comprehensively accounting for Southland Boys' High School by eight wickets in Gore.
Michael Grattan ripped through the Southland Boys' batting order, finishing with the great figures of four for 23 from his 10 overs.
Ryan Ackland and Nick McCallum tried to dig Southland Boys' out of a deep hole after they had earlier been 28 for three.
They teamed up for a 49-run fourth-wicket stand but there were not many partnerships of note besides that, with the students dismissed for 123 in the 49th over.
Kieran Lloyd went early for Albion but Grattan and Steve Waddell steadied the ship to put their side in control.
Waddell was bowled by Ackland with the score at 77, which brought dangerous Southland Hawke Cup batsman Rhuebyn Prattley to the wicket.
Prattley did not muck around, hitting a quick-fire 40 not out as Albion won with 28 overs still at their disposal. The Southland 50-over senior cricket competition will resume on January 12.
- © Fairfax NZ News