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GDCA: Romsey building ahead of finals

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ROMSEY bolstered its Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup premiership credentials by thumping traditional powerhouse Bacchus Marsh in a two-day match at the weekend.

The Redbacks were not intimidated by the prospect of facing the Bulls at their Maddingley Park home, winning the toss and electing to bat on Saturday.

Romsey openers Taylor Stevenson and Matt Milne made a positive start, absorbing early heat from the Bacchus Marsh bowling attack to build a patient 45-run partnership, which was finally brought undone when Stevenson was caught behind off the bowling of Brenton Payne.

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Milne continued his steady approach alongside new batsman Nathan Hoy, reaching 44 off 166 balls during a near three-hour stint in the middle.

The pair added another 81 runs before Milne was brought undone by Nick Strangio, but Hoy, 50, skipper Ben Way, 40, and Chris Burkett, 49, all made valuable contributions to keep the scoreboard looking healthy for Romsey.

Corey Day’s 17 not out alongside a collection of Romsey tailenders saw the Redbacks through their 80 overs at 8/252, setting an imposing target for Bacchus Marsh.

When play resumed on Sunday, Romsey got an early breakthrough with the wicket of Bulls opener Payne for six, bowled by Aaron Paterson.

Paterson struck again soon after to remove fellow opener Strangio, seven, and later picked up the wicket of tailender Ryan Brown, five, giving him team-best figures of 3-19 from 12 overs.

Also prominent was Jamie Taylor, who removed Bacchus Marsh danger man James Lidgett for 30 and finished the day with 3/23, including six maidens.

The unerring Romsey attack piled on the pressure, bowling Bacchus Marsh out for 93 runs in the 57th over, giving the Redbacks time to bat again.

Before the close of play the visitors had reached 4/88 in 24 overs, with Stevenson falling one run short of a half-century.

The win solidified fourth place for Romsey, with Bacchus Marsh sitting only one rung higher with a worse percentage.

The Redbacks will take on second-placed Sunbury United in a two-day match starting on Saturday at Romsey Recreation Reserve, with the potential to move into third place with a win.

Wallan, meanwhile, slipped to last place on the McIntyre Cup ladder with a loss to Sunbury United at the weekend, although the Magpies did everything in their power to secure an upset victory.

After being sent in to bat, Wallan was immediately on the back foot when opener Kieran Atkin fell for a golden duck.

It was up to first drop Spencer Whittingham to build the Magpies’ innings alongside Matthew Clayton, and the pair did so with a 63-run partnership that was eventually broken when Whittingham was stumped by United keeper Lance Watts for 42.

It was the start of a good day for Watts, who also stumped Wallan skipper Bryan Vance for 49 to pick up two crucial wickets for his side.

Wallan was all out for 181 in the 75th over, giving its bowlers a target to defend.

Sunbury United crafted its run chase patiently, valuing its wickets but only accumulating runs slowly.

It appeared as if Wallan might pull off an upset when Todd Keenan struck twice in a row to remove Ashan Ranaweera, 14, and Adam Billinghurst, duck, but a match-saving 79 not out from captain Upul Fernando steered the Hornets to 5/187 with three overs to spare.

Johnstone Shield

Kilmore remains in second place despite a slip-up against Aintree in a two-day match at Kilmore.

The Blues were sent in after Aintree won the toss and lost opener Justin Colliss, four, early before bouncing back to build through Kevin Craddock, 25, and Steve Burns, 29.

A middle-order 29 from Marcus Davern also proved handy after Kilmore had lost three wickets for only 29 runs, allowing the side to notch 146 before being bowled out in the 69th over.

Kilmore looked poised for a brilliant victory when some precise bowling from father-son duo Brett and Josh Buttler and sharp fielding from Burns and Justin Colliss had Aintree 4/14.

But visiting captain Gurinder Singh Sohal came to the rescue for his team, scoring 90 runs alongside Nishan Singh, 66, and Rubal Singh 64 not out, to take Aintree to 9/254 at the close of play.

Josh Buttler finished the best of Kilmore’s bowlers with 3/44.

Women

Lancefield Black lost its first match of the season after an upset by Darley at the weekend.

Playing at Lancefield, the visitors won the toss and batted, with Kim Bessell’s 44 not out helping them to 6/107 from 30 overs, with Meaghan Lyons, 2/10, and Emily Consiglio, 2/27, the best of the Lancefield bowlers.

Darley kept the usually prolific Lancefield bats silent, with no player reaching double figures as the side was bowled out for 33 in reply.

Lancefield Yellow fared better against Aintree, as Bethany Reece, 70 not out, and Carolyn Cusack, 58, piled on runs to chase down a healthy Aintree total of 4/206.

This week Lancefield Black and Yellow will square off in a home derby on Thursday evening, while Kilmore will return from a bye to play Macedon.

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