By Jackson Russell

Romsey opened its Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup account with a comfortable 93-run win over Diggers Rest Bulla on Saturday.

Winning the toss and batting on its home ground, Romsey got off to a slow start, losing opener Taylor Stevenson for seven before Matthew Milne and Will Collins (31) put on 42 runs together.

Milne’s dismissal for 12 left Romsey at 2/51, triggering a top-order collapse of 3/4 that saw the side fall to 5/55 before captain Ben Way entered the fray to stabilise his side.

Way put on a 32-run stand with Adam Frost (eight), 26 with Nathan Hoy (16) and 55 with Darin Jewell before he was bowled for 57 at 8/168.

The last two wickets fell soon after, with Jewell’s the last to fall, run out for 22 as Romsey was bowled out for 174.

Just two of Diggers Rest Bulla’s batsmen made double digits as Romsey’s attack ran over the top of the visitors, bowling them out for 74 with one batsman retired hurt.

Stevenson did the bulk of the damage for Romsey, taking an efficient 3/7 from five overs with three maidens while Frost and Jewell both took 2/11.

Romsey’s Way said the side’s younger players stepped up with the bat to help steady the ship.

“Our middle and lower order, we do have a lot of youngsters through there, which is good for a combination for experienced and younger players to contribute,” he said.

“Our bowlers all did the job, bowled pretty economically and kept them tumbling. There are no draws in one-day cricket, and they kept coming at us, but we bowled well.

“[Stevenson] was bowling quite well, he and Darin managed to put the squeeze on after their openers started well and then the wickets started to come. If you can keep the runs down, the wickets tend to follow.”

Way said a long, steady build meant the club felt like it could beat anyone.

“We’re getting to the stage where we’ve been building for 10 years now,” he said.

“We’re at the stage where we think we have enough young talent and experienced players to feel like we can compete with anyone.

“As a club, across all grades, we think every game we go into, we can win.”

Wallan loses opener

Wallan was unsuccessful in its Johnstone Shield opener, losing to Rupertswood by 59 runs at home.

After Rupertswood won the toss and elected to bat, Wallan was able to claim an early wicket with captain Steve Bell dismissing opener Daniel Kavanagh caught behind for nine.

Jasjeet Singh, on debut, continued the momentum when Paul McGarry was caught by Reuben Rode for 14 to have Rupertswood at 2/20.

Ryan Bonner dismissed Rupertswood captain Andrew Pizaro for seven to have the visitors 4/41 not long after.

Wallan was able to take wickets with consistency until Max Howell and John Lane put on a 33-run partnership that ended when Lane was bowled by 16-year-old spinner Reuben Rode for 23 to have Rupertswood 6/93.

Ryan Cumberland followed up by dismissing Ned Crotty leg before wicket for a duck, before Howell and Matthew Castle put on a 62-run partnership.

Bonner took the breakthrough wicket when Howell was stumped by Spencer Whittingham for 55, and finished the innings by bowling Castle for 18 as Rupertswood was bowled out for 164 with three balls left.

Bonner led Wallan’s attack, taking 3/34 from 7.3 overs.

Wallan struggled to build momentum with the bat, with only four partnerships reaching double digits as the hosts’ run chase fell short.

After a 20-run opening partnership between Rode and Alan Jackson ended when Jackson was dismissed leg before wicket for 14, Rode and Bryan Vance were able to put on another 29 runs before Vance was caught for 12.

Two quick wickets followed with Whittingham dismissed leg before wicket for a duck and Rode caught for 18 as Wallan fell to 4/52.

Lachlan Shinn-Mahony and Ryan Cumberland were able to put on a 31-run partnership before Cumberland was caught for 23.

This was the beginning of the end for Wallan as the Magpies lost the next 4/7 to fall to 9/90.

Steve Bell and Pauly McDonald were able to put on 15 before Wallan ran out of time and its run chance fell 59 runs short.

Bell said Wallan were in a good position with the ball until the partnership between Howell and Castle.

“I still thought 164 on that ground was about par score so it was still very gettable. With our batting, a couple guys got a small start, but no one ever really got going,” he said.

“The batting was a bit disappointing and we fell well short of the target in the end.

“Campbell Fowler and Jas Singh both played their debut games for the First XI so congratulations to those two young blokes.”