ROMSEY returned from a week off with a bang in Gisborne District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Shield competition, defeating third-placed Sunbury United to shore up a top-two position.

The Redbacks were sent in after the visitors won the toss, with Taylor Stevenson and captain Ben Way building a strong opening partnership.

Stevenson eventually fell for 27, but Way carried on with Matthew Milne to have Romsey 1/123.

Way was removed for 69 by Damien Edwards and Milne fell soon thereafter to Dilan Chandima for 32.

Edwards and Chandima claimed five wickets between them for the day as Romsey lost five wickets for the addition of only 10 runs at the end of its innings, finishing 8/188 from 40 overs.

The Redbacks responded strongly in the field, Louis Moore striking with quick back-to-back wickets to have Sunbury United on the back foot at 2/23.

Middle-order totals of 39 by both Upul Fernando and Steven Fogarty gave the visitors some hope, but Jamie Taylor disrupted the partnership before Darin Jewell (4/26) ripped through the tail order to have Sunbury United all out for 164.

With two rounds to go, Romsey is in second place and can assure itself a home semi-final if it wins both games.

The Redbacks will travel to Gardiner Reserve to take on Gisborne on Saturday before hosting Woodend in the final round of the season.

Big win to Wallan

In Johnstone Shield play, Wallan decimated Riddell 9/193 to 51.

Alan Jackson’s removal for a duck at the top of the order was the lone hiccup in Wallan’s innings, as Ryan Cumberland (52) and Todd Keenan (28) built an 82-run partnership thereafter.

Spencer Whittingham (22) and Brodie Gilchrist kept the runs flowing for the Magpies after Cumberland and Keenan’s partnership was broken by Riddell bowler Evan Mouat.

In the field, it seemed the only way for the visitors to score was through Magpie mistakes.

Harry Fisher’s 18 matched the number of sundries allowed by the Wallan bowlers, as only three Riddell batsmen surpassed a score of one.

Mitch Van De Duim shone with the ball for Wallan, taking 4/12, while Steven Bell and Jai Weshal had superb outings with 3/6 each.

Wallan can move into third place with a win against Sunbury Kangaroos this weekend, potentially avoiding a semi-final match-up against top side Rupertswood in the first week of finals.

Lancefield continued its dominance in division two with a massive 154-run win against bottom side Sunbury United.

A consistent batting performance, led by Jake O’Meara (48) and Ryan Millar (38), helped set up a total of 7/194.

A virtuosic haul of 8/1 by Matthew Bowden devastated the Sunbury United line-up, with seven of the home team’s batsmen falling for ducks in a team total of 40.

Wallan’s reserves did not have the same success, going down by 156 runs against Blackwood.