Celtic are the Marlborough 50-over cricket champs after beating Wairau Valley by three wickets at Horton Park on Saturday.
In a low-scoring encounter, on to a Horton Park No 1 wicket which contained plenty of moisture and made free-flowing shot-making hard to accomplish, Celtic made the most of winning the toss.
Electing to bowl, they soon had Valley in trouble, removing opener Tom Leonard with just three on the board. Ben Ivory-McCullum and Luke Pannell played within themselves to push the score up to 22 before Ivory-McCullum perished.
Pannell, who finished as top scorer with 18 from 36 balls, began to form another partnership with Matthew Stretch before the youngster was bowled by impressive medium pacer Matt McCormick with just 40 runs on the board. The key wicket of Stretch followed soon after, caught at slip by man-of-the-match Jerrym Lamb from Jaden Adams’ bowling.
From then on it became a steady procession out to the middle then back to the pavilion for the remainder of the Valley order as they limped to 129 in 45 overs.
Celtic used seven bowlers who, backed up by some slick fielding, all bagged at least one wicket. Left arm spinner Josh Poole, who took 2-21 from his 10 overs, and medium pacer Adams, 2-23 from 10, picked up a brace apiece, while Lamb, with 1-12 from seven was the most miserly.
Elated with their fielding effort, Celtic were immediately put under pressure when it came their turn to bat. Openers John Porter and Logan Robinson were both bowled by the lively Bailey Andrews-Kennedy, leaving their side 2-3 after seven overs.
However the arrival of Josh Poole and Jack Holdaway steadied the ship, the pair taking the score through to 30 before Poole departed for 14. Holdaway then joined forces with Lamb and they began to turn the match around. When Holdaway was dismissed by Stretch for 24 from 72 balls they had lifted Celtic’s score to 70 and the platform for victory was set.
Reuben Kepes became Andrews-Kennedy’s third victim 15 runs later, Liam Young and McCormick came and went with the score at 111, but through it all Lamb remained calm and in control.
When Celtic achieved victory the vastly-experienced allrounder was unbeaten on 69, scored off the same number of balls, with six fours and two sixes.
For Valley, Andrews-Kennedy and Sam Boyce bowled accurately and economically, the former recording figures of 3-18 from his 10 overs, while Boyce claimed 2-18 from his full complement.
Next up for the club players is the first round of Tasman premier league play next Saturday.