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Borton Cup defending champion Oamaru-St Kevin's will almost certainly qualify as top club for the semifinals in two weeks after it defeated Waitaki Boys' High School first XI by five wickets at Milner Park on Saturday.
It is top of the Borton Cup table, 15 points ahead of second placed Union (55). Albion defeated Valley in the other game.
Bolstered by a fine innings of 97 from player-coach Francois Mostert, Waitaki Boys' set Oamaru-St Kevin's the task of scoring 196.
Mostert's fine innings was backed up by wicketkeeper-batsman Jack Price (28), while bowling for Oamaru-St Kevin's, Matt Murphy took three for 24, and Nick Johnston claimed two for 53.
Waitaki Boys' chipped away at the opposition's innings, claiming the first five wickets for 128 runs, but former Volts all-rounder Craig Smith (29) and Stephan Grobler (40) produced an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 68 to keep Oamaru-St Kevin's in first place.
Albion retained its third place in the Borton Cup ranks with a 62-run win over bottom team Valley on the Outer Oval at Whitestone stadium.
Batting first, the Albion batsmen flourished on their home track. Jonty Naylor (61), Jayden Stockbridge (63), Gary Mahuika (35) and Regan George (26) guided Albion through to 246 for eight.
Bowling for Valley, Cameron Grubb claimed four for 23.
Valley began its chase in impressive fashion, as Andrew Harding (39) and Cameron Leckie (38) featured in an opening stand of 78. But only Grubb (26) and Hamish Loe (23) showed any stickability as the side was dismissed for 184 in the 37th over.
Bowling for Albion, Ricky Whyte took four for 31 and Dylan Winter bagged two for 24.
Phoenix's Kerry Kelly chalked up her 32nd centre title when she and lead Gail Douglas (19 titles) defeated Meadowbank duo Dorothy Breen and Barbara Allan 16-8 in the final on Sunday.
Breen picked up a single on the first end of the final, but Kelly quickly took control to lead 4-1 after four ends.
Breen picked up a two on the fifth end, but five shots on the next two ends took Kelly out to a 9-3 lead. Breen - who was restricted to winning only five of the 14 ends played - got within three shots, but Kelly pulled away in the last three ends to win 16-8.
The first men's pairs semifinal was won by Lenny Milner and Bob Campbell, of Meadowbank, who beat Peter Bell and Ken Thickett, of Awamoa 21-10. There was a major boilover in the other semifinal when the Maheno team of Graham Fisher and Neville Ludemann downed experienced pair Russell McDonald and Bob Mason 15-6.
But Fisher and Ludemann could not go all the way.
They had to bow to Milner and Campbell, who dominated the final, winning nine of the 14 ends to give Milner his eighth centre title.
It was a special moment for Bob Campbell, the lead, who won his fifth title and thus his first gold star.
Milner has been in impressive form this season, having won the men's pairs, triples and now the fours. Fisher and Ludemann won single shots on the first two ends, but Milner struck back with five shots on the third end.
Fisher fought back with a three, a two and a single on the next three ends to lead 8-5 before Milner took control, winning the next eight ends to lead 18-8, where both skips called it a day.
- Terry O'Neill