By Tricia Mifsud

AFTER the Gisborne and District Cricket Association called a washout on last week’s round one matches, Wallan Cricket Club made a strong start to the 2021-22 season, securing its first win in the McIntyre Cup.

Playing away to Woodend on Saturday, Wallan was tasked with a run chase of 189 on its attempt to beat the home side, which elected to bat first.

Wallan coach and captain Steve Bell said run chases were not the club’s strong suit in the past.

“If we had’ve won the toss, we would have batted first. Chasing wasn’t something we did well last year, so it was interesting to see how it all went but we did really well considering,” Bell said.

Wallan bowling duo Ryan Bonner and 14-year old Hamish Mullavey-Clark each took three wickets, while Bell, Reuben Rode and Chris Vecchie took a wicket each, seeing the visitors score 188 off 44.2 overs.

Bell said he was impressed with all of the younger players’ performances, particularly Mullavey-Clark’s, and the eagerness among them to begin the season on a high.

“It was a fair effort for a young kid; he definitely felt comfortable and looked comfortable. And for Ryan, bowling at the end of the innings and to get 3/19 was great,” he said.

“I thought all the young kids handled it well, even Bailey Fowler scoring 21 not out for an 18-year-old kid playing his first McIntyre Cup. Everyone just played their part.”

Campbell Fowler was another of the side’s younger players earning Bell’s recognition. Although not able to take a wicket, Fowler, playing with a mature sense of composure, conceded only 19 runs from his five overs.

When it was Wallan’s turn to bat, Bryan Vance’s century comfortably put his side into a position to take home the win.

“You can always rely on Bryan. He played a high level of cricket in the past and the kids love playing with him and watching him with the bat in his hand,” Bell said.

Wallan finished 7/192 from 41.3 overs and will turn its attention to this weekend’s away match against the Sunbury Kangaroos, who fell short against Diggers Rest Bulla by 34 runs at the weekend.

In other McIntyre Cup games, Romsey defeated Rupertswood by three wickets, scoring 7/130 off 37.3 overs to beat Rupertswood’s 129 total.

Romsey’s Johnstone Shield side also recorded its first win, beating Aintree by six wickets, with Daniel Paterson taking three wickets.

Lancefield’s Jensen Shield side was a five-wicket victor against St Anthonys, with Alan Sinclair batting 95 not out, and Andrew Richardt taking three wickets.