Gisborne’s premiership!

Undefeated premiers: Gisborne’s McIntyre 1sts premiership team members were jubilant after beating Romsey on Sunday in the grand final, and going through the season undefeated.

Consistently precise bowling well backed up in the field, followed by a match-winning opening partnership of 139 runs between Riley Vernon and Matty Barake, paved the way for Gisborne to become decisive McIntyre Cup premiers at the weekend. 

The Dragons restricted reigning premier Romsey to 212 runs from 80 overs on Saturday, and finished up making 4/213 from 60 overs in the run chase on Sunday. Both sides went into the grand final unbeaten. 

The victory partially made amends for Gisborne being bundled out cheaply in the semi-final last season by a Romsey side that went on to win its first top grade premiership for 40 years. 

The grand final was played on neutral territory in very good conditions on Tony Clarke Oval at Macedon, with Gisborne District Cricket Association president Simon Ovenden signalling this would most likely continue to be the case in future, taking away home ground advantage. 

A large crowd on Sunday, many Gisborne supporters, saw Dragons’ captain Jarryd Vernon receive the premiership cup amid jubilant scenes on the oval. 

“We know we had to be at our best … our work on and off the field over the last two weeks has been outstanding,” Vernon stated. 

Romsey captain Ben Way congratulated the premiers, indicating the Gisborne opening partnership had been decisive in the final outcome. 

Way praised his players for battling the game out, predicting the Redbacks would continue to be contenders in the future. 

When Jarryd Vernon won the toss and sent Romsey in, it paved the way for Gisborne’s attack to stifle scoring opportunities.

Vastly experienced paceman Leigh Brennan was man of the match, claiming 5-69 from his 26 largely on target overs. He also took five in the semi-final. Jay King and Spencer Jones were also miserly in long spells. 

The first wicket in the grand final came when prolific scoring Romsey opener Matt Milne was run out backing up when a drive deflected onto the stumps. 

Jed Richardson did well to score 28, and the fourth wicket stand between Way and Chris Burkett produced 88 runs with the field not being pierced as often as Romsey had hoped. 

Way was eventually caught at deep midwicket for 63, and Burkett departed for 47 at a crucial time. 

While the Redbacks scored 7/325 in the semi-final, they never looked like repeating this type of momentum, with Gisborne batters having the task of pressing home the advantage on Sunday. 

The Redbacks needed early wickets, but they never came as Riley Vernon and Barake initially dug in, then slowly increased the scoring tempo. 

Match winning partnership: Matty Barake (at left) and Riley Vernon shared an opening grand final stand of 139 before Romsey dismissed Barake for 47. Vernon went on to score 92. Photo: Bill West

Walking off a tea with 0/130 was more than the Dragons could have hoped for. 

The first wicket came when Jamie Taylor trapped Barake leg before wicket for a vital 47; Vernon hit a flurry of boundaries and seemed set for his fifth century of the season before being caught by Aaron Paterson for 92 (seven fours, one six). 

Jarryd Vernon was the last batter dismissed, for 22, and Luxmore and Shore carried the Dragons to victory. 

Gisborne has set a high benchmark, and it will be interesting to see what occurs in the 2024-2025 season. 

The finale to the 2023-24 season comes tomorrow (Wednesday) night at the end-of-season presentations, highlighted by the Sullivan Medal count. 

Man of the Match was Gisborne’s tireless and deadly accurate pace bowler Leigh Brennan, who captured 5-69 from 26 overs. Breenan also snared five wickets in the McIntyre 1sts semi-final.


ROMSEY: M. Milne run out 6, J. Richardson c Mackay b Jones 28, C. Day c R. Vernon b Brennan 5, B. Way c Thomas b Brennan 63, C. Burkett c R. Vernon b Brennan 47, T. Dale c Jones by King 22, A. Frost c Baroke b Brennan 6, T. Stevenson run out 8, A. Paterson not out 12, L. Moor c McKibbin b Brennan 4, J. Taylor run out 1. Extras 12. TOTAL 212 (80 overs) 

Bowling: L. Brennan 5-69, J. King 1-57, S. Jones 1-18, J. Catania 0-16, J. Vernon 0-22, D. Thomas 0-19. 

GISBORNE: M. Barake lbw Taylor 47, R. Vernon c Paterson b Taylor 92, W. Mackay c Burkett b Paterson 9, J. Vernon c Richardson b Paterson 22, H. Luxmore not out 9, A. Shore not out 12. Extras 22 TOTAL 4/213 (60 overs) 

Bowling: A. Paterson 2-55, L. Moor 0-42, J. Taylor 2-47, B. Way 0-7, C. Marienfeld 0-13, T. Stevenson 0-28, C. Day 0-10.