Romsey bats stun Marsh

Master batsman Ben Way hit a stunning unbeaten 79 from 59 balls and with help from all-rounder Taylor Stevenson enabled Romsey to beat Bacchus Marsh with a ball to spare on Saturday.
Way slammed five fours and four sixes in a pulsating innings at Maddingly Park to highlight the second round of Gisborne District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup matches.
In full flight Way makes batting look easy irrespective of the quality of bowling, and this surely ranks as one of his finest innings as Romsey appeared almost down and out at 4/88 in reply to the reigning premiers 5/199 (James Leggatt 84, Brett McGrath 45 — Matthew Milne 3-45) from 40 overs.
The previous Saturday, a sluggish Romsey was bundled out for 103, and as coach Way was looking for considerable improvement.
Adam Frost hit a run a ball 30 for the Redbacks, and opener Milne contributed useful runs, but the Marsh seemed to be in control until Way and Stevenson – both Sullivan Medal winners – came together for a partnership which yielded 99 runs and brought the Redbacks to the brink of victory.
Another quality-plus batsman in Gisborne opener Mick Allen also showed his class with an unbeaten 88 (11 fours, one six) against Sunbury United.
A year out of the game has not diminished the former Riddell star’s capabilities with bat and ball.
Gisborne was pleased to edge out Bacchus Marsh with an over to spare in the opening round, and this time had no worries after restricting Sunbury United to 6/161 c.c. (Chaminda 43, Malan 39). The Dragons replied with 2/162 with Allen leading the way.
Diggers Rest – Bulla knocked up 8/184c.c. (Raveen Yasas, S. Fernando 37, Upul Fernando 33 — Matt Darby 3-45 ) and never looked likely to be beaten by Riddell.
Tight bowling removed the top five Riddell batsmen cheaply, and only a sixth wicket stand between Darby 37 and coach Heath Wadden 27 enabled the Bombers recover from 5/43 to eventually score 125.
Woodend, shocked by Riddell the previous Saturday, was denied victory against St Anthonys by a heavy downpour which hit the Melton area and washed play out.
The Woodsmen earlier restricted St Anthonys to 8/129 (Kerr 43 — Tom Robson 3-9, Greg Matthews 2-18) and looming black clouds looked to be the only danger.
Woodend was left lamenting at 1/54 from 13 overs when play was abandoned.
The other GDCA grades got underway on Saturday with Macedon and Trentham opening with wins.
With a premiership last season, Macedon is now playing at a higher level Johnstone Shield, and their batsmen floundered to be 8/69 against Rupertswood.
Tailenders Tom Selby 42 and Nick Aikman 30 enabled Macedon to reach 147, and the Cats stuck to their task to dismiss Rupertswood for 137 (Aikman 3-13).
Gisborne 7/206 (Sam Mackay 50, Callum Jackson 40, Clinton Young 37) defeated Sunbury United 6/137 (Scott Tutton 3-16).
Trentham, in Club North, compiled 157 (captain Chris Boyer 51, Steve Risio 37) at home to Lancefield.
A brilliant bowling performance from Jake Sartori yielded 7-19, with the Tigers dismissed for 140.
There was an exciting Jensen Shield match at Woodend’s Gilbert Gordon Reserve.
Captain Chris Large compiled 7 to enable the Woodsmen to reach 8/178 after an early collapse, and St Anthonys as floundering at 7/104. A late flurry of runs saw the visitors reach a winning 9/182.
New club Aintree (located at Rockbank) made a winning debut by compiling 6/215 (S. Bhaura 70 not out) and then restrict Kyneton to 7/163.
The only century of the round came from Sunbury veteran Heath Boffey with 111 against Romsey, despite paceman Nathan Hoy capturing 5-26.
Romsey replied with 166 (Jed Richardson 50) in reply to 9.220.
Third round McIntyre Cup matches this Saturday are:
Woodend v Bacchus Marsh, Romsey v Riddell, Diggers Rest – Bulla v Sunbury United, Gisborne v St Anthonys.