Three Eastern Southland cricket teams put up a hard-fought battle in the Southland Combined Country cricket semifinals at the weekend but came home empty-handed.
In division one, the Blue Mountain Cricket Club Blueys and Wyndale Cricket Club lost their matches, as did division two side Waikoikoi Cricket Club Harliwich Contracting.
Waikoikoi headed south to take on a strong Invercargill EWL Marist team at Queens Park, Invercargill.
Waikoikoi opted to bat first, scoring 186 runs for seven in its 40 overs.
Marist scored quickly, making 188 runs for four in 32 overs.
Waikoikoi captain Matt McCall said it was the first time the club had played on a quick outfield this season.
Bowler Ben McCall had a good day, snaring two wickets with the ball and two catches.
“He’s been pretty good but he just seemed to really hit his straps on Saturday.”
Snow Robertson and Brad McFaul were the pick of the Waikoikoi batsmen, scoring 39 and 33 runs respectively.
Waikoikoi’s large squad was a mix of youth and experience which boded well for the future, McCall said.
“We’ve got some young boys coming through, it worked well.
“Everyone showed up week in week out. We got on really well and were a tight-knit unit,” he said.
In Winton, Blueys lost to top of the table Central Western Winton Senior Mens at Moores Reserve.
Central Western batted first notching up 139 runs for 10 in 35 overs.
In reply, Blueys were all out for 109 runs.
Blueys captain Jordan Cudd-Anderson said the team bowled well despite its loss.
“As a whole, I thought we bowled pretty well together and had a good effort in the field,” Cudd-Anderson said.
Bowler Pargat Sandha took four wickets in his eight overs.
“He’s been pretty consistent for us all season.”
The Blueys worked well as a unit, he said.
“We worked really well together. We backed each other up.”
Cudd-Anderson had been impressed with young bowler George Davies throughout the season.
“He’s probably been our top bowler. He’s bowled really well all season.”
While the team was on a par with last season, he believed they played better in the semifinals this year.
“We definitely put up more of a fight this year than last,” Cudd-Anderson said.
Wyndale had its work cut out for it when it took on Te Anau at home.
Wyndale won the toss, opting to bowl first.
Te Anau made 179 runs for seven in its 40 overs.
In reply, Wyndale was all out for 120 runs.
Scott Gutsell and Jeremy McLeod both had a good day with the ball, taking three wickets each.
Top batsman was Devon McLeod, making 30 runs. Jeremy McLeod was on his tail with 25 runs.