Romsey primed for big clash

Romsey bowler Louis Moor rips through East Sunbury's top order to take 3/10 on Saturday.

ROMSEY will take strong form into this week’s showdown with fellow Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup finals contender Bacchus Marsh after dispatching East Sunbury on Saturday.

Romsey skipper Ben Way sent the Thunder in to bat after winning the toss – a decision that yielded immediate results.

After heavy rain across the region on Friday, the Romsey bowlers were able to use the moist conditions to their advantage.

“Batting was a bit tough early for them. The ground was in perfect condition, but because of the rain the ball was moving around a fair bit because of all the moisture,” Way said.

“That’s probably the best we’ve bowled. We bowled really well and took our chances.”

The Redbacks allowed East Sunbury no latitude, with Louis Moor (3/10) ripping through the top order in what Way called his ‘best spell for the year’ and Sean Day chiming in with 2/6 from six overs.

Jamie Taylor surrendered just two runs from his five overs, finishing with 2/2 and four maidens in his first appearance at McIntyre Cup level this season.

After having East Sunbury on the ropes at 8/25, the Redbacks allowed a 45-run partnership between Nathan Dent (28) and Josh

Smiley (16) before finally dismissing the Thunder for 77. After the early loss of opener Chris Burkett for a duck, Romsey settled into its innings, with Sean Day (37) and Corey Day (18) putting the home side on track.

At 3/74 the Redbacks needed only four runs for an easy victory, but lost four wickets for the addition of only one run, with Taylor Stevenson and Jed Richardson each making ducks.

The Thunder’s Lachlan Wilkins removed both Stevenson and Richardson, finishing the day with 4/11 to be the pick of the East Sunbury attack.

Way said Romsey’s final score of 7/78 did not reflect his side’s dominance.

“We lost four wickets for bugger all at the end, which made it look a lot closer than it was,” he said.

“We were pretty comfortable, and I don’t think we were ever in danger of losing the game. It made it look a bit more competitive than I suppose it was.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t win it one or none down, which was what we were after.”

The Redbacks will now turn their attention to Bacchus Marsh, which sits one place above them on the ladder in second.

With Romsey, Bacchus Marsh and ladder leader Sunbury United separated only by percentage, Way said this weekend’s game would be important.

“This is one of the ones that will determine where we finish on the ladder at the end of the year,” he said.

“They’ve got some quality players and in the past couple of years we’ve had some really good games.

“We seem to have played a few where it’s come down to the last ball of the last over with these guys. They seem to be super tight, so it’s probably going to be the same thing again.”

Wallan also had success at the weekend, with a 108-run first-wicket partnership between Alan Jackson (61) and Ryan Cumberland (80) paving the way for an innings of 4/219.

Despite the efforts of Gisborne opener Aidan Beard (72), the visitors could not mount a challenge and were 6/166 from their 40 overs, with Todd Keenan and Jai Weshal claiming two wickets apiece for Wallan.

Wallan will have a chance to further entrench itself in the top four this weekend when it plays bottom side St Anthonys on the road.