It was a somewhat short Saturday afternoon for the fourth round of the Coastal Challenge Cup with low scores and short run chases being the order of the day in most of the matches.
The only game with some length to it was found at Victoria Park, although unbeaten Levin Old Boys still came out with a comfortable 98-run victory for an important away win over Tech Old Boys.
Opener Jamie Pinfold got Levin away to a flyer with 56 from 39 balls, including five shots clearing the boundary, as he and Bailey Te Tomo put on 72 runs by the ninth over.
Akhil Kumar (4-39) then stepped up to slow Levin down with three wickets over the next four overs, but Levin's other leading representative batsman Matthew Good (73) took on the anchor role – sharing in a series of handy partnerships to have his team well on track for a 300-plus score at 199-5 after 36 overs.
Extras didn't help the home side either, with Tech ultimately giving away 35 sundries, 30 of which were wides.
However, Tech ended the innings on 260 over the next ten overs, thanks to the surprise performance of Kane Watkin (5-28).
After the other current or former representative bowlers in Akash Gill, Vikum Sanjaya, the Kinnerley's (Ross and Fraser) and Watkin's own White Fern sister Jessica could not get the breakthrough, the slow bowling of Kane Watkin saw Good give up a catch.
Watkin then took a wicket in each of his next three overs, as the lower order still looked to go after him but would make a mistake, while Kumar took the final scalp as Tech now faced a target that at least didn't seem out of reach.
However, Kashish Nauhria and Kumar had both lost their stumps by the fourth over to Liam Pinfold and Daemon Kennett (2-15), while Fraser Kinnerley had a baseball swing at a lifting delivery that took the nick off the top of the bat, with wicketkeeper Jamie Pinfold juggling the catch behind him.
In-form after his century in the Furlong Cup, Gill (14) had made a promising start, but also gave up a nick to Pinfold's gloves in the over after Kinnerley to leave Tech out of it at 35-4.
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Former Whanganui Collegiate 1st XI player Hunter Morrison (28) dug in with skipper Dominic Lock (60), who was back from commitments in Hamilton, to grind out a 56-run partnership over the next 13 overs, which was eventually broken by Te Tomo (4-31).
Striking six boundaries and two sixes, Lock carried his bat through to the 35th over in an important innings personally, with the next Furlong Cup match looming, but lost partners throughout and was eventually trapped in front by Xitij Sakhalkar (3-34), who wrapped up the innings three balls later.
Watching from the Victoria Park pavilion balcony were Property Brokers United, who had long since polished off their game with a 10-man Kapiti Old Boys, who have yet to have a home match, for a seven wicket win in a contest which lasted only 44 overs in total.
Kapiti were bowled out for 114 in the 28th over, as opener Russell Hughes (26) tried to survive at the top of the order, facing 74 balls, but watching a string of partners come and go.
Jayden Miles went on the attack, striking 38 in 24 balls, while Tom Blake (21) who came in after him also looked to play positively.
But with one wicket less available, Kapiti needed more from them before they were dismissed, as the lower order all fell in single figures before Hughes was the last out, caught off Robbie Power (2-3) who did his usual clean up work with just nine balls.
Captain Simon Badger (2-21) had done the damage at the top, while Ritesh Verma ended Miles' cavalier innings thanks to a Power catch and Chris Sharrock (3-23) worked his way through the lower middle order.
In reply, United had the chase all wrapped up in the 17th over, striking 19 boundaries along the way.
Veterans Gerrard Hobbs and Tom Lance looked to get on with it, although Jayden Smith (2-25) got good balls to dismiss them, ending Lance's run of scores in the 90's.
Andre Canderle also came and went, but from 44-3, in-form Greg Smith (43 not out off 29 balls) partnered with Power (30no off 24) to see their team through to the small target in the next seven overs.
United is the only Whanganui club currently in the Top 4, although the three Horowhenua-Kapiti clubs ahead of them have played an extra match.
Having lost to Wereroa in the third round, Wanganui Vet Services Marist's second away trip to Masterton was a better performance, beating Red Star by seven wickets at Queen Elizabeth Park.
Despite a strong start by the home side as Stefan Hook (46) and Ethan Childs (52) combined for a 100-run partnership for the second wicket, both of them were gone in the 16th and 17th overs respectively to Angus Dinwiddie (3-28) and Dominic Rayner (2-21).
That triggered a collapse as Red Star slumped to 130-7 as Dinwiddie, Rayner and spinner Zak O'Keefe worked their way through the middle order.
Sean Jarvis (14no) and skipper Peter Sigvertsen tried to arrest the slide and at least get their team up to a 170 plus score, but Hadleigh O'Leary (3-44) got an edge behind off Sigvertsen and then cleaned up the tail in rapid order.
Chasing 160, Marist still took a little time to construct a solid team innings, as opener Chris Stewart (77 not out) anchored his end, allowing Rayner (31), O'Keefe and Sam Beard to have a bit of a swing, with Red Star's Quinn Childs (2-32) getting the latter two batsmen in their teens.
Skipper Mark Fraser (22no) then joined Stewart for a steady 54-run partnership in around 11 overs to give the defending champions their first win of the competition.
There was another short match at Kena Kena Park as two-time champions Paraparaumu bowled out Collegiate for less than 100, on their way to a six wicket win by the 14th over of the chase.
Sean Windle (2-11) snatched a caught and bowled to continue representative opener Sam Sherriff's lack of runs, and while James Craig (21) defended grimly for 61 balls, trying to build the key partnership with William Hocquard (19), six more of their team mates were also dismissed in single figures.
Joel Clark and Daniel Burgess both made 13 down the order to try and drag their team into triple figures, but the last two wickets fell for no more runs added.
Five bowlers picked up scalps, with Dale McNamara (4-28) getting wickets all the way through the order, supported by Dylan Reder (2-14).
Collegiate still made the table leaders work for their win, as Adam Beard (3-23) had a brilliant start to be on a hat trick after only two balls, sending Ajay Kumar and Andre Halbert back to the shed.
The eager teenager bowlers were still sending down a lot of extras, 20 in the short innings, while Windle and skipper Kelsey Fahey both quickly hit boundaries before they were also gone for low scores at 17-4 after an eventful 14 legal deliveries.
That brought James Logan and Tim Lambert together to both finish on 29 not out, as Collegiate rotated six bowlers in a short time frame to at least give them an over each before the finish.
In the other game, Weraroa were victorious at their domain with a nine wicket hammering of Lansdowne CC.
The Horowhenua-Kapiti clubs will play another round by themselves this coming Saturday, with the other teams having their representative players away with Furlong Cup fixtures.
Levin Old Boys 260 (M Good 73, J Pinfold 56, A Peacock 22; K Watkin 5-28, A Kumar 4-39) bt Tech Old Boys 162 (D Lock 60, H Morrison 28; B Te Tomo 4-31, X Sakhalkar 3-34, D Kennett 2-15) by 98 runs.
Kapiti Old Boys 114 (J Miles 38, R Hughes 26, T Blake 21; C Sharrock 3-23, R Power 2-3, S Badger 2-21) lost to United 118-3 (G Smith 43no, R Power 30no; J Smith 2-25) by seven wickets.
Red Star 160 (E Childs 52, S Hook 46; A Dinwiddie 3-28, H O'Leary 3-44, D Rayner 2-21) lost to Marist 165-3 (C Stewart 77no, D Rayner 31, M Fraser 22no; Q Childs 2-32) by seven wickets.
Collegiate 93 (J Craig 21; D McNamara 4-28, S Windle 2-11, D Reder 2-14) lost to Paraparaumu 95-4 (J Logan 29no, T Lambert 29no; A Beard 3-23) by six wickets.
Landsdown 101 (N Chaney 24, J Ryan 21no; D Williams 5-27) lost to Weraroa 102-1 (D Williams 59no, A Simonsen 28no) by nine wickets.