Wallan still in finals contention

By Jackson Russell

Wallan is still holding onto the final Johnstone Shield finals spot despite suffering a five-wicket loss to third-placed Rupertswood on Saturday.

Like many other matches across the Gisborne and District Cricket Association, the game was turned into a one-day affair after rain washed out day one.

Wallan made a solid start with Kieran Atkin and Ryan Cumberland putting together a 56-run opening partnership before Atkin was caught for 36.

Cumberland and Lachlan Shinn-Mahony put on 53 together as Cumberland was caught for 53 shortly after reaching his half-century.

It was a breakthrough wicket for Rupertswood as two wickets followed in quick succession with Wallan falling to 4/110.

After Spencer Whittingham and captain Brad Regan put together 16 runs, the collapse began. Whittingham was caught for 3 with Wallan 5/126 as the Magpies lost their next five wickets for 11 runs to be bowled out for 137.

Wallan was able to breakthrough early with the ball, with Stevie Bell dismissing opener Paul McGarry for 11.

Kieran Atkin followed up 15 runs later, running out Daniel Kavanagh for 25 as Rupertswood fell to 2/45.

A 43-run partnership ended when Atkin bowled Bert Van Den Heuvel for eight and Wallan picked up another wicket shortly after with coach Chris Vacchie running out Shane Van Rooy for a duck at Rupertswood fell to 4/88.

Jordan Curran and captain Andrew Pizaro made a 39-run partnership as Curran made a half-century before being dismissed by Ryan Cumberland for 59.

The Magpies couldn’t rein in Rupertswood anymore as the run chase soon ended and Rupertswood finished out their 40 overs at 5/161.

Wallan coach Chris Vecchie said it was disappointing to lose 9/29 to end the innings.

“As a bowling and fielding effort, it was good to get the game so deep considering we were defending a low score,” he said.

“Ultimately, there just weren’t enough runs and that was due to a disappointing collapse through the lower and middle order.

“Rupo bowled well but it was a bit of everything. We just needed someone in the lower order to take a bit more responsibility at the wicket and make it through the 40 overs.

“It’s a bit like footy, when you start missing easy shots, the next guy misses as well.”

Wallan remains fourth on the Johnstone Shield ladder, less than half a point behind Rupertswood but less than two points clear of fifth-placed Sunbury Kangaroos.

Vecchie said it was all in the Magpies’ hands.

“If we want to play finals and be competitive, it’s a must win game. If we lose, we’re done and if we win, we should stay alive,” he said.