By Jackson Russell
Wallan’s first win of the Johnstone Shield season came down to the last over, seeing the Magpies through by three wickets over Gisborne on the road.
Three wickets from teenage spinner Reuben Rode and a collapsing tail allowed Wallan to give themselves a chaseable target after bowling Gisborne out for 132.
The Magpies were in control early, as quick wickets to captain Steve Bell and Chris Vecchie had Gisborne on the ropes at 2/33, before the hosts put on a 51-run partnership.
Rode secured the breakthrough, taking two wickets caught and bowled in a row as Gisborne fell to 4/94.
Wickets fell with ease from that point forward, with Rode finishing with figures of 3/23 from eight overs with one maiden and Brenton Hanson taking 2/14 from 7.5 overs with three maidens.
Hanson backed up his bowling performance with a half-century in Wallan’s run chase.
The Magpies were in trouble early at 2/15 until Rode and Hanson combined for a 52-run stand, ending when Rode was caught for 32.
Wallan was able to carry the momentum, with Hanson and youngster Lachlan Shinn-Mahony putting on 40 together before Shinn-Mahony was dismissed leg before wicket for 19 at 4/107.
Hanson was eventually bowled shortly after completing his half-century with Wallan 6/122, leaving Todd Keenan and Pauly McDonald to make the winning runs in the final over.
Bell said it was always good to get the first win early on.
“After drinks of their innings, that’s where we really got on top of them. They only made 70 runs in the second half of their innings,” he said.
“It ended up a bit closer than what it should’ve we had a bit of a middle-order collapse, which seems to have followed on from last season, but it’s something we’re hoping to fix throughout this season.”
Bell praised the performances of Rode and Hanson who did the bulk of the work with bat and ball.
“Reuben’s been great for us throughout the regional competition and the first two rounds of the season with both bat and ball. For a young kid, he’s definitely got a bright future in cricket,” he said.
“Those two put on a pretty good partnership and Hanson was pretty good with the ball late in their innings.
“He’s had a few years away from the club, but he showed how valuable he will be for us this season. it’s good to have him back.
“We’ve got four teams playing at home on Saturday, so everyone come down and have a look. It would be good to get a bit of a crowd there.”
Second win for Romsey
Romsey remain undefeated after a narrow eight-run away win over East Sunbury in its McIntyre Cup match, thanks in part to Sean Day’s innings of 67 not out.
Romsey was in trouble early, losing opener Taylor Stevenson and Will Collins early, falling to 2/32 before Matthew Milne and Day were able to put together a 34-run partnership, ending when Milne was stumped for 26.
The visitors really took control when Day and captain Ben Way (36) were able to combine for a 66-run fifth-wicket partnership to get Romsey to 5/162.
After 40 overs, Romsey had made a defendable 7/175.
Romsey struck early and often with the ball, with Darin Jewell and Aaron Paterson taking wickets, as East Sunbury fell to 3/41 before back-to-back 40-run partnerships put the match in the balance.
After Paterson secured the breakthrough wicket at 5/122, East Sunbury’s tail fell like dominoes until the hosts were bowled out for 167 with four ball remaining.
Nathan Hoy cleaned up the tail, taking 3/30 from 5.2 overs while Jewell, Paterson and Louis Moor took two wickets each.