Sefton leap-frogged Oxford-Rangiora into third place in the top tier of country cricket at the weekend with a hard-fought home win.
Southbrook and Leeston-Southbridge consolidated the top two berths of the CRV Ambreed Country Premier One Day Competition with comfortable wins on Saturday, whileSefton stayed in the hunt for a semi-finals berth.
A first innings half-century by Sefton Seals’ mainstay opener Tim Harrison proved to be a match-winning performance over Cheviot at Sefton Domain.
A typically-composed Harrison made 52 runs off 106 balls to steer Sefton to 151/9 in their allotted 45 overs. Ollie Bragg was the next top-scorer with 16.
Veteran left-arm seamer Brendon Wellington (4/22 off nine overs) then ripped through the Magpies’ top order, reducing them to 38/5 in the 13th over.
Chris Burnett staged a spirited fightback in the middle of the innings with 35 off 56 balls, while number 10 batsman Henry Sidey gave the visitors hope with a late dash.
But Sidey (24 runs) was last man out in the 43rd over, securing a 17-run Sefton win.
Southbrook romped to classy eight-wicket home win on Saturday, despite Weedons decent first innings score of 198.
Shannon Dunnett blasted 69 runs off 88 balls at the top of the order, helped by number 4 batter Sam Wilson’s 64 off 96.
But there was little help from the rest of the Weedons batsmen. Opening bowlers Cameron Clement (3/45) and Tom Rodden (4/30) did the damage for a Southbrook bowling line-up missing some key players.
The Brook’s star opener Matt Brine demolished the Weedons bowlers in reply, smashing 83 off 87 balls, with 13 boundaries.
Shanan Stewart was also in the mood, whacking an unbeaten 47 off 30 balls, helping the ‘Brook cruise to an eight-wicket win inside 31 overs.
Two depleted teams squared off in the Oxford-Rangiora vs Leeston-Southbridge match played out on a low, slow Pearson Park pitch.
Leeston-Southbridge were inserted and soon under pressure, with injured fast bowler Fergus Fairbairn managing to put the pain aside and take two early wickets.
Ben Donkers and Chris Beatson then came together to form a 102-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Both batsmen were dropped several times and the partnership, where Donkers scored 60 and Beatson 39, helped Lee-Bridge finish on 197 all out in the last over.
Off-spinner Mark Murphy tweaked his way to a five-wicket bag, finishing with 5/28 from 8.1 overs.
In reply, Oxford-Rangiora self-destructed without the services of in-form batsmen Josh Mariu and Dave Fulton.
Jake Waghorn was the only batter to get under way, blasting his way to 33 runs.
Ben Donkers’ medium-fast seamers ran through the middle to lower order, rounding off a fine all-round display with the figures of 5/29 off six overs, and player of the day in a huge 112-run win.