By Tricia Mifsud
WALLAN Cricket Club’s impressive debut in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup competition continued at the weekend, with the Magpies holding onto a four-run victory over Rupertswood.
Playing at Greenhill Reserve on Saturday, Wallan’s coach and captain Steve Bell won the toss and elected to bat first.
Bell said his side chose to give youngster Bailey Fowler a chance to open, alongside all-rounder Ryan Bonner, who later cemented Wallan’s win with the ball – producing an unstoppable 4/17 off nine overs.
“We gave Bailey a chance opening the batting as we needed to fill the spot in, and he did very well for a young kid and was able to score 14 runs,” Bell said.
“[Bailey opened with] Ryan who is one of the blokes that you can put anywhere and he just gets the job done. He was about to get us out of trouble after a slow start bowling, and when he needs to do that, that’s when he bowls his best.”
Bryan Vance again performed for Wallan, hitting a convincing 68.
“He continues to lead the way and set an example for the others, and especially the younger batters. He did really well on Saturday,” Bell said.
Rupertswood in no way made the task easy for Wallan, taking the game to the end.
The visitors got off to a quick start with the bat, scoring 0/40 in the first six overs.
Bowling duo Harkanwar Singh and Hamish Mullavey-Clark were brought on to bowl, and although neither was able to take a wicket, they significantly slowed Rupertswood’s batting down, proving crucial during that final over.
Bell bowled out Keegan Guy for a duck on the third ball of the final over.
Bell also noted the performance of 14-year-old Beau Fowler, who retired with 101 not out in his division three match against Hanging Rock on Saturday.
His impressive performances have caught the eyes of Bell and the McIntyre Cup side, which is itching for Beau to make his debut in the top tier side.
“He’s got such a bright future ahead of him in cricket, and when he’s ready, we definitely want to give him that opportunity in the top side,” he said.
Romsey were defeated by Bacchus Marsh, after failing to perform with the bat.
Only Matthew Milne and Sean Day were able to record double digit figures, scoring 39 and 15 respectively, to contribute to Romsey’s 100 run total.
Bacchus Marsh had the job done in the 27th over, with Samuel Lalor scoring an unbeaten 35, Brenton Payne 27 not out and Nicholas Strangio 29, to win by seven wickets.
Wallan will travel to play East Sunbury on Saturday at John McMahon Reserve, which Bell said could be another winnable match for the Magpies, while Romsey will play away to Gisborne at Gardiner Reserve.
“We’ve been able to win the first three games, but the competition keeps growing each week. The game this weekend is another winnable game for us,” he said.
“No one really expected us to perform like this; the young kids particularly were a bit cautious about moving up.
“It’s definitely surprised us, but it’s given the team a lot of confidence.”