By Tricia Mifsud

A LATE fixture change by the Gisborne and District Cricket Association, GDCA, from two-day matches to one-day matches saw Wallan Cricket Club’s original round nine game rescheduled.

Instead of playing Romsey, the Magpies lined up against Gisborne at Gardiner Park on Saturday.

It was a start Wallan hadn’t hoped for that led to its defeat on the day.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, opening batsman Ryan Bonner went out for a duck, and Chris Vecchie was dismissed shortly after for six.

The following batsmen, Bryan Vance and Spencer Whittingham were able to steady the ship for Wallan, making 38 and 30 respectively, which was backed up with Campbell Fowler’s 39 not out.

For Gisborne, Jay King led the way with ball in hand, taking three wickets including the ball bowled for Bonner’s duck, as well as bowling four maiden overs.

At the conclusion of 45 overs, Wallan had made 6/152, which coach and captain Steve Bell said showed pleasing improvement with the bat, although he would have liked to see his side make a larger score.

“Gisborne bowled well early on and we struggled to get runs. The second half of the innings we were able to move on a little quicker,” he said.

“We thought it was a defendable score, from the position we were in early on, and it was good to see Campbell Fowler get some runs. He’s done a fair bit of work during the break.”

Heading to the field, Wallan let Gisborne’s opening batsman Michael Allen start well, before he left the field for 34 at the hands of Harkanwar Singh Sandhu.

Allen’s departure saw Jason Wilson come to the crease. His 74 not out performance led Gisborne to its 2/155 total in the 42nd over.

The only other Magpie successful in taking a wicket was Bell, dismissing Harry Luxmoore for seven.

Bell was disappointed with the fielding efforts, labelling it as one of the side’s worst of the season.

“It was a bit of a disappointing effort the bowling effort and we dropped a few catches including Wilson four times,” he said.

“We just weren’t able to get any pressure on them; we bowled a couple of tight overs then a loose one.

“We’ll continue to look at both our batting and bowling. We knew this period here would be challenging playing the top four of last season, but our fielding this weekend was our most disappointing.”

Wallan will host top-of-the-ladder Sunbury United in a match that will instil confidence if it can knock off the undefeated side.

GDCA resumed its matches at the weekend after a two-week break to manage the increasing numbers of players and team staff testing positive or isolating due to COVID-19.