The Borton Cup returned on Saturday with Albion taking on Oamaru, Union hosting Valley and Waitaki Boys’ entertaining Eastern.
Oamaru suffered a five wicket lost to Albion at Centennial Park Outer Oval.
Choccos skipper Matt Murphy lost his fifth successive toss, which resulted in his side being sent in on a green grass wicket.
Oamaru struggled early on but strong batting performances by Jimmy Mallinson (40) and Brady Kingan (41) not out got them to a respectable score of 143.
Sam Wicks and Ricky Whyte were the best of the Albion bowlers with 3-29 and 3-30 respectively.
Albion lost captain Peter Cartwright for four but opener Ammer Mirza remained composed and struck a gallant 57.
Brad Kernahan saw the side home with a defiant 39 not out and Matt Munro chipped in with a very handy 18 not out to give Albion a victory with more than 17 overs to spare.
Brady Kingan was the best of the Oamaru bowlers taking 2-31 from seven overs.
Union were left stunned at King George Park after losing at home for the first time since November 2011 in an encounter that saw Valley win the Payne Tempero Trophy following Union’s record 12 match defence.
Valley chose to bat after winning the toss and opening bowler Glynn Cameron ripped through the Valley batting order, taking the first five wickets for 5-41 in the 15th over.
Valley continued to lose wickets at an alarming rate, and were in danger of being dismissed for less than 100 before Shaun Todd joined Neil Gilbert at the crease.
The contest began to turn as Todd began firing with a series of boundaries to record his half century in under 40 balls.
When he was dismissed by Paul Johnston, Todd had notched up 58 including six fours and three sixes and put on 83 for the eighth wicket with Gilbert.
Craig Direen followed shortly after with Valley all out for 156 and Gilbert not out with 36. For Union, Cameron finished with 5-24 while Matt Lilley took 2-24.
Union’s chase began badly, Duncan Drew and Thomas Shields had brought the blues back into the encounter before the loss of Drew for 21 with the score on 70.
Of the remaining Union batsmen, only Dan Conlan reached double figures as accurate bowling from Valley in dismal conditions made runs difficult to come by.
With the pressure mounting, wickets fell at a constant rate and Union were 25 short of victory.
Conlan was not out with 23 at the completion of the innings, while Valley’s Francis Mostert took 3-19 in a prolific spell and Craig Direen 4-27.
Shaun Todd backed up his efforts with the bat, taking 2-33 off seven overs.
Eastern were downed by Waitaki Boys’ High School in their opening fixture, totalling a paltry 67.
Waitaki’s Blake James claimed five wickets while Dallas Mahuika chipped in with four.
WBHS chased down the meagre total in the 15th over.
Round two will see Albion entertain Waitaki Boys’ while Eastern welcome Union and Valley take on Oamaru in Western.
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Jeremy Smith in action during Albion’s win over Oamaru on Saturday.