Experience and composure at the crux of a 50 over innings allowed Property Brokers United to stay ahead of an eager Collegiate 1st XI in their Bullocks Coastal Challenge Cup match at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Both sides batted well under pressure and were in identical positions with 166 runs on the board after 39 overs of their respective innings.
The difference was United upped their ante to reach 248-6 with a late flurry, while on their turn to field they used the crafty veteran spinners to bowl tight while sacrificing singles to protect the boundary.
Collegiate lost a couple of key wickets and went 14 overs without collecting a four to help break the shackles, ultimately batting out to finish 18 runs short at 230-8 in what was still a creditable performance.
The highlight was wicketkeeper Matt Simes scoring a very rare century for a schoolboy at Premier 1 club level, carrying his bat to finish 106 not out from 134 balls.
"I was just trying to rotate the strike," the teenager said.
"Keep it ticking, keep wickets in hand for the last ten [overs]."
However, Simes ran through five batting partners over that time frame, because while United spinner Robbie Power (3-62) took a little stick from allrounder Ben Kelt (23), who had a good day, Power and Martin Pennefather (1-49) were able to keep Collegiate to under six-an-over at the end while collecting wickets along the way.
It pleased captain Tom Lance, who continued his fine form with 80 off the bat - having been on track for a third century in as many weeks until getting a good ball from Angus Dinwiddie to be caught behind.
United have two wins from two games played and one rain out.
"Can't complain about that," said Lance.
"We strangled them with tight bowling, got to stop that four ball."
United made a quick-fire start with 62 runs in nine overs, before Greg Smith (23) was bowled by Kelt (3-18), who also removed Freddie Wilson in short order.
Lance carried on with Simon Badger (68), who played the supporting role, until both figured they could get on top of Dinwiddie with a series of boundaries.
While expensive, Dinwiddie did break the partnership, so Power came out and then very reluctantly left when the caught behind appeal off Kelt was upheld.
However, a quick 25 from Brendon Walker lifted the run rate, as Badger went through until being dismissed off the second to late ball.
In reply, Collegiate made a solid start because while opener James Russell fell early to Badger (1-23), Sam Sherriff protected his wicket to score 43 in a 106-run partnership with Simes.
Sherriff's runout in the 29th over opened the door for United, as Dinwiddie (14) and Kelt looked to up the run rate, although they were undone by the spin of Lance and Pennefather respectively.
Power and Pennefather then made sure Harry Cave, Charlie Greatbatch, Beau Hourigan and Henry Kilmister couldn't get away of them, spreading the field wide and inviting hits, with Wilson capitalising to get two stumpings off Power.
It left Collegiate needing about 26 off the final over.
Across on the No2 pitch, Marist would have been confident about their strengthened lineup before their five wicket loss Levin Old Boys, having acquired the services of Wanganui's Meads Cup-winning fullback Nick Harding straight off the rugby pitch.
Harding has transferred from St John's Tech in a case of household loyalty, as he is living with Marist captain John McIlraith.
Marist scored 281-5 with every batsman contributing, with Zak O'Keeffe (35), Craig Thorpe (25) and Mark Fraser (69) building on the start by McIlraith (30) and Andy Manoussos (23), although the latter took 80 deliveries.
It freed up Chris Stewart (56 from 49 balls) to have a crack in the final overs, while Harding only faced five balls but hit two of them over the rope.
All of the Levin bowlers copped a little, which made captain Dion Sanson's 2-34 from his ten overs stand out even more.
Ultimately, it was Sanson's day as he carried his team with 91 not out off 93 balls, following on from Bailey Te Tomo (73), as Levin reached 281-5 in the 49th over.
Marist would try ten different bowlers, as only their regulars Thomas Redpath (2-38) and O'Keeffe (1-30) were able to deny and thwart the Levin batsmen, as 37 wides amongst the 45 extras conceded made a difficult target a lot easier.
Jamie Pinfold (39) made a good start for the visitors, which Tomo and Sanson carried on, and although Redpath picked up a couple of wickets in the latter portion, Sanson and Ryan Taylor (14) were able to take plenty of runs off the other part-timers and stay ahead of the run rate.
Down at Nga Tawa school pitch it was a rough day for a very undermanned Matt Burke Engineering Marton Saracens, who were embarrassed in a quick ten wicket hammering by Kapiti Old Boys.
The game was moved after the covers leaked at Centennial Park the night before, while Marton are currently without key players still being at university or injured, such as skipper Dominic Rayner.
They struggled to 104 not out off 39 overs, and in return, Kapiti blasted the winning runs in just the seventh over, with Marton using five bowlers who were all hammered.
The Kapiti openers both scored 50's as they targeted the school's short 40m boundary.
Rayner hopes to be recovered soon, while he will talk to double Wanganui representative Craig Clare about trying to come back earlier than expected after only just ending his rugby season with the NZ Heartland XV in Timaru.
Others, like Thomas Walshe, should be available after Christmas.
The Horowhenua-Kapiti derby game between Paraparaumu and Weraroa was postponed due the funeral of a Paraparaumu club member.
United 248-6 (T Lance 80, S Badger 68, B Walker 25, G Smith 23; B Kelt 3-18) bt Collegiate 230-8 (M Simes 106no, S Sheriff 43, B Kelt 23; R Power 3-62) by 18 runs.
Marist 281-5 (M Fraser 69, C Stewart 56no, Z O'Keeffe 35, J McIlraith 30; D Sanson 2-34) lost to Levin 285-5 (D Sanson 91no, B Te Tomo 73, J Pinfold 39; T Redpath 2-38) by five wickets.
Marton 104 all out lost to Kapiti 105-0 by ten wickets.
Paraparaumu vs Weraroa postponed.