The McIntyre Cup 1sts two-day match between Woodend and Sunbury Kangaroos on Saturday produced a really tight finish, with the visitors scraping home in pursuit of 242.
Dropped catches at crucial times proved costly, and the Kangaroos rallied with three middle-order batters scoring half centuries.
There was plenty of tension at Gilbert Gordon Oval after the pace bowlers broke through early to claim three wickets.
Undaunted, the Kangaroos ‘dug in’ and showed plenty of resolve, buoyed by their last over victory over last season’s runner-up Sunbury United in a high-scoring match.
Something of an unknown quantity before the GDCA season began, the Kangaroos are clearly among the improvers, adding a further dimension in the battle for a finals spot.
The Woodsmen will probably learn from this loss, with 8/243 in 66.5 overs after being 0/126 at one stage leaving the door open to a degree may be reflected on.
At this stage the powerful Gisborne lineup and reigning premier Romsey – both unbeaten – are the only sides that appear certain to figure in the finals.
These two sides meet in a blockbuster at Gardiner Reserve in the two-day round beginning on Saturday.
The other games are Sunbury United v Woodend, Macedon v Diggers Rest/Bulla, and Sunbury Kangaroos v Rupertswood.
THREE CENTURIES FOR GISBORNE
Gisborne batters went on a scoring spree, knocking up a mammoth 461 from 101 overs against Rupertswood.
Steadily improving Wilhem Mackay made 122 (227 balls), the irrepressible Riley Vernon 111 (152 balls, and Spencer Jones a quick-fire run-a-ball 106 – 11 fours and three sixes.)
Mackay and Vernon added 198 for the fourth wicket before captain Jarryd Vernon came – and went – bowled by Shane Van Rooy for one.
Some bowlers will surely pay for Jarryd’s unexpected failure!
Romsey, with 302 on the board, never gave Macedon a look-in.
Wickets fell at regular intervals and the Cats were 8/84 at one stage, before an unbeaten 42 from Chris Axton helped carry the score to 162.
On-target Jamie Taylor captured 4-27 and all bowlers used were successful. The Redbacks knocked up 4/104 in some batting practise before stumps.
Chasing United’s 238, Diggers Rest/Bulla reached 0-80 (Nathan Crosland 53) before being bundled out for 136, with Senura Perera capturing 7/35 from 20 overs.
In Johnstone Shield 1sts, Riddell disappointed by being bowled out for 120 on the first day, then failing to capitalise with the ball as two down-the-order batters made half centuries for Kilmore.
The most extraordinary bowling performance came from Broadford’s James Jones with 5-7 from 16.1 overs against East Sunbury. Broadford is proving a welcome addition to the GDCA.
In McIntyre Cup 2nds Gisborne’s 255 proved insufficient to hold out Rupertswood, with Karl Sutherland making and exceptional 144 not out.
Macedon struggled chasing Romsey’s 6/314 c.c., being beaten by 207 runs, and Woodend’s massive 2/371 proved too much for United, with Keiran Else claiming five wickets.
Opener Jack Mifsud scored an unbeaten century to enable Wallan to sneak home against Eynesbury in Johnstone 2nds.
Despite the tireless Matt Lloyd taking 7-62 from 23 overs, Kilmore was able to overhaul Riddell’s healthy 9/256 c.c.
Malmsbury’s three teams had mixed fortunes, with the club’s Green side shining with an easy win over Gisborne in Club North as Guy Nelson made a half century, and the Gold brigade going down to Hanging Rock who had Andrew Warne contributing a fine 88, and Michael Fisher 55, both unbeaten. Edward Kosmac made 65 not out for the Berries.
In Jensen 1sts, Melton South easily accounted for Malmsbury.
11 SIXES FROM COOKE
Brilliant Macedon football captain Jason Cooke showed he is no slouch with a cricket bat at Clifford Reserve on Saturday in Jensen 2nds.
He slammed 106 from 71 balls, including 11 sixes and six fours, before retiring as Macedon surged to 6/270 against Melton Centrals. Lancefield opener Jake O’Meara made an unbeaten 78 in Jensen 3rds to rescue the Tigers as they slumped to 8/77 against Kilmore, with five ‘ducks’. Lucas Jowett and William Phillips helped O’Meara snatch victory in the last over.
In the same grade Sam Hewitt hit six fours and seven sixes in making a blistering 93 for Trentham after captain Hugh Fitzptrick had captured four Aintree wickets.
Broadford batters took just 7.2 overs to knock up a win for their side against Riddell’s Club North side.