Romsey v Gisborne in final

Corey Day ... the 21-year-old electrician is shaping up as a much-improved player, top scoring for the Redbacks with 81 and taking three wickets.

Another century to skipper Jarrod Vernon and inspired new ball bowling that shattered Sunbury United top order, paved the way for Gisborne to reach the McIntyre Cup 1sts grand final. 

At one stage United had lost its first four wickets for just six runs, and despite a gallant 82 from captain Upul Fernando, the Dragons won the semi-final by 67 runs. 

In the other semi-final at the weekend, reigning premier Romsey’s 7/325 c.c. proved too much for a brave Sunbury Kangaroos to overcome. 

The top grade grand final now takes place between clearly the best two sides – both unbeaten this season – at Macedon’s Tony Clarke Reserve this Saturday and Sunday. 

There was some enthralling cricket in both semi-finals, and respective captains Ben Way (Romsey) and Jarrod Vernon are two of the outstanding batters in the GDCA who expect maximum input for their players in the match that matters most. 

Then there’s in-form Riley Vernon with over 1000 runs for the season – he managed just 24 before a legside Fabian Fernando delivery grazed a stump in the semi-final. 

Now back to the semi-finals – Gisborne elected to bat and were without regular opener Darren Kelly (injured). 

From 0-42, United persisted to have the home side struggling at 4/81, and much rested on Jarrod Vernon’s shoulders. 

With Leigh Brennan playing a valuable passive role, a fifth-wicket stand produced 73 runs and Vernon finished up with 113 (12 fours, two sixes) from 128 balls. A true captain’s knock. 

He was eventually trapped lbw by left-arm paceman Senura Perera who turned in a lion-hearted effort to capture 5-55 from 25 overs. 

Dismissed for 236 left the match wide open, but Brennan struck with a key wicket on Saturday evening. 

Brennan and Jay King were at it again on Sunday, taking three quick wickets between them to wreck the top order and draw praise from their skipper. 

The scoreboard showed a dismal 4/6 for United and it was an uphill battle to get back into the game. 

A seventh-wicket stand of 70 ended with Upul Fernando caught for 82; the last wicket fell at 169 with Brennan finishing with 5-55. 

Back at Romsey, the Redbacks decided to bat against the fourth-placed Kangaroos, and Matt Milne and Jed Richardson put on 56 before the latter was run out for 30. Milne continued on to score 44 to follow his unbeaten 202 against Diggers Rest/Bulla. 

Way then joined Corey Smith in a third wicket stand of 128, making 73 from 88 balls before being caught in the outfield. 

Smith departed for a sound 81, and an unbeaten 45 from Chris Burkett put Romsey in control at 7/325c.c. 

Aaron Paterson snared two quick wickets with the new ball before the Kangaroos dug in. 

Captain Graeme Bennett made a half century and Corey Woolley continued to frustrate Romsey’s attack. 

A dangerous fourth-wicket stand between Woolley who made 97.and Jordan Ballinger 63, gave the Kangaroos an outside chance of causing a major upset as more spectators gathered. 

Taylor Stevenson 4-62 and Day 3-29 were the most successful bowlers, with Way relieved to take a running catch at deep mid-wicket with the score on 9/300 and 26 balls remaining. 

Good luck to both teams in this weekend’s grand final. 

GDCA scores 

Results of Gisborne District Cricket Association semi-finals and grand finals completed at the weekend were: 

McIntyre 1sts: Semi-final 1 –Romsey 7/325 c.c. 80 overs) – C. Day 81, B. Way 73, C. Burkett 45, M. Milne 44, J. Richardson 30 – A. Fearnley 3-80) d Sunbury Kangaroos 300 (75.4 overs) – C. Woolley 97, J. Ballinger 63, G. Bennett 50, M. Fox 33 – T.Stevenson 4-62, C. Day 3-29. 

Semi-final 2 – Gisborne 236 (76 0vers) – J. Vernon 113, M. Barake 24, R. Vernon 22, S. Jones 22 – S. Perera 5-55) d Sunbury United 169 (75.3) – C. Woolley 97, J. Ballinger 63, G. Bennett 50, M. Fox 33 – T. Stevenson 4-62, C. Day 3-29). 

Johnstone 1sts: Grand Final – Wallan 9/225 c.c. (S. Whittingham 85, K. Atkin 34, M. Clayton 32, B. Vance 21 – B. Hickey 6-62) lost toBroadford 6/227 (J. Ingham 85, A. Wood 40 n.o., M. Collier 29, J. Nolan 29, Hickey 22). 

McIntyre 2nds: Grand Final – Sunbury United 163 (71) – A. Billinghurst 44, D. Falzon 26, J. Bottomley 23, J. Hughes 20 – M. Hoyt 2-9, S. Day 2-14, L. Collins 2-18, J. East 2-38) d Romsey 161 (Hoyt 49 n.o., J. Rees 25, J. Thorson 21 – C. Boyes 3-33, J. Hughes 3-49). 

Johnstone 2nds: Grand Final Aintree 9/295 c.c. (C. Kalsi 83, V. Sharma 68 n.o., G. Singh 40, M. Pannu 34 – A. Pizaro 4-77) d Rupertswood 230 (M. Edwards 43, J. Howell 42, R. Turner 37, T. Taylor-White 28, T. Johnson 22 n.o., Pizaro 21 – Kalsi 6-56). 

Grand Final of McIntyre 1sts between Romsey and Gisborne to be played this Saturday and Sunday at Tony Clarke Reserve, Macedon.