Sat, Nov 4, 2023 8:32 PM

Celtic, Renwick pick up cricket wins


Peter Jones

Celtic brought Wairau Valley’s unbeaten run at the beginning of the 2023-24 division one club cricket season to a halt with a commanding 60-run victory at Oliver Park today.

Valley won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that backfired somewhat, with Celtic producing runs at the top of their order and putting a testing target of 263-8 on the board.

Leading the way for the Green and Golds was opener Tom Sutherland, who scored 74 from 103 balls, while the consistent Josh Poole chipped in with 54 from 77, then allrounder Luke Holdaway slammed an unbeaten 47 from 58 deliveries. The 109-run third wicket partnership between Sutherland and Poole proved pivotal, despite some handy efforts with the ball by Luke Pannell, 2-28 from seven and Liam George, who was expensive but also claimed a brace of wickets.

Valley began steadily enough, openers Sukh Aulakh and Harry Campbell scoring 23 and 24 respectively, but when they and Pannell went with just 75 on the board they were struggling.

Matt Stretch’s arrival provided some solidarity and a 74-run fourth wicket partnership with Eddie Swan threatened to turn the tide. However, the loss of Swan, for 19, preceded a string of wickets, including that of Stretch who was unluckily run out at the bowler’s end after a deflection, for 95 from 127 balls.

Holdaway was the chief destroyer with the ball, bagging 3-40 from his 10-over complement, while Jaden Adams, Sutherland, Liam Young and Poole chipped in with wickets and a series of tidy overs to get the job done as Valley fell well short when the final ball was bowled.

Wairau Valley allrounder Sukh Aulakh hits out at Oliver Park. 

On the adjoining ground Wairau’s winless start to the season continued, this time losing at the hands of Renwick, who beat them by seven wickets.

Asked to bat first, Wairau were dismissed for just 86 in 30.3 overs, Colin Wood and extras sharing the role of top contributor with 15 runs apiece.

The damage was done by the spinners, Rikki Bovey claiming 4-22 from 10 and Piers Landon-Lane picking up 3-29 from seven.

In reply, Renwick reached their total for the loss of just three wickets in the 16thover. Opener Lachlan Edwards hit 21 from 15, Max Armstrong 27 from 30 and Bovey an unbeaten 20 from 13 to close proceedings early in the day.

Hunter Ruffell and Baxter Croad both bowled economically and picked up a wicket apiece for the struggling defending champs.

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