Leeston-Southbridge jumped to the top of the country cricket standings with a comprehensive eight-wicket demolition of Ohoka on Saturday.
The combined side’s victory sees them leapfrog Weedons – who suffered a hefty 79-run loss to Darfield – and lead the CRV Ambreed Country Premier One Day 2020/21 competition.
At Leeston Park, the home side chose to bowl first and immediately rolled through Ohoka’s top order.
Sam Chamberlain and Tom Burt did the damage at the top, hitting good areas and grabbing four wickets between them – Burt bowling a close to unplayable delivery to remove the dangerous Will Hamilton.
But it was a total team bowling and fielding effort – creating two run outs – to dismiss an Ohoka side missing a few key players to injury for a paltry 93 in 35 overs.
Only Harry Fitzpatrick offered any resistance and was left stranded on 40 not out off 86 balls.
After losing Rupert Young for a duck in the first over after a peach from Austin Hamilton, Leeston-Southbridge knocked off the win inside 15 overs, with Canterbury Country star Harry Chamberlain smashing 45 off 31 balls, and Country development coaches Toby Doyle (15 not out) and ex-Holland international Tim Gruijters (20 not out) finishing the job.
Darfield’s powerful top-order set up a commanding win to knock Weedons off the top perch on their home soil.
Liam Foulkes (26 runs off 52 balls) and Nick Jenkins (33 off 45) put on a 63-run opening stand, before Jesse Frew (73 off 87) and Canterbury Kings star Henry Shipley (52 off 56) put on 109 for the third wicket and set up a fine first innings total of 222/6 in their allotted 45 overs.
Weedons’ reply stuttered to 17/2, with all-rounder Frew again in the action to remove the openers, and the run chase never recovered.
James Richards again showed his class, top-scoring with an unbeaten 59, but aside from keeper-batsman James Watson (26), he got little help and they were all out for 143 in the 39th over.
Crisis-hit Southbrook – winless since the opening round back on October 3 – defaulted against fellow-strugglers Lincoln after being unable to find enough available players.
In the other game, Sefton beat Cheviot by seven wickets while Oxford-Rangiora Vikings had the bye.
Ohoka 93 (H Fitzpatrick 40; W Macfarlane 2/16, S Chamberlain 2/17, T Burt 2/19)
Lost to Leeston-Southbridge 97/2 (H Chamberlain 45, T Gruijters 20no)
Darfield 222/6 (J Frew 73, H Shipley 52, N Jenkins 33, L Foulkes 26; A Deb 4/41)
Beat Weedons 143 (J Richards 59no, J Watson 26; W Greenslade 2/14, J Frew 2/27, L Foulkes 2/27, J Pauling 2/42).
Lost to Sefton 116/3.