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Late GDCA season nailbiter for Romsey cricket

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

Romsey emerged victorious in its Gisborne and District Cricket Association, GDCA, clash against Sunbury United, but it was not all smooth sailing for one of the division’s top sides.

Sunbury United, sitting third on the McIntyre Cup ladder, travelled to face the undefeated Romsey for the penultimate round of the 2023/24 season.

Eliminating the opposition for 191 on day one, Romsey was in prime position to capitalise and lock in another win.

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The Redbacks, however, were unlucky to lose multiple wickets in quick succession early in the innings after posting around 50 runs with openers Matthew Milne and Jed Richardson, putting them on their back foot as the day progressed.

GOOD OPENER: Jed Richardson whisks a ball away as part of his 33-run total. ​

Captain and coach Ben Way said the match was ‘a little bit closer than he would’ve hoped’ at the start of the day.

“It’s just one of those things where we kept losing wickets, when we felt like we were starting to be in control we’d lose another wicket,” he said.

“It got to the stage where we were behind the eight ball, and it was only the 10th wicket that got us over the line at the end.”

After another spate of lost wickets later in the innings, it was Aaron Paterson and Jamie Taylor who posted 17 and 15 respectively to secure the win as two of Romsey’s final three batsmen.

PITCHING IN: Chris Burkett was one of Romsey’s top scorers, making 23. ​

Top performers were Way on 56, Richardson on 33, and Chris Burkett on 23, while returning Taylor Stevenson took three wickets on day one.

“No one really got a huge score and no one got a huge bag of wickets, we just did enough to win I think,” Way said.

Hosting last-placed Diggers Rest Bulla Village this weekend, Way said the key was to stay focused and make sure the side continued to play its best cricket.

“You don’t want to go into finals on the back of a poor performance, so we just want to turn up and play as well as we can and just play positive cricket,” he said.

“We’re happy that a couple of people down the bottom could stand up and get us over the line, it’s good for confidence going into the finals that if we are in a bit of trouble, those guys can do what we need at that stage of the game.

“We’re not looking to do anything extraordinary, it’d be good for a couple who haven’t made any runs to get a few runs and keep our bowlers ticking along. It’s just about continuing that on this week, we’ll see where it takes us.”

In the seconds competition, Romsey made it a double victory over Sunbury United 5/175 to 10/173.

Paul Brady scored an unbeaten 105 in an encouraging sign for Romsey’s top team, while Nathan Hoy took three wickets.

Johnstone Shield

It was a triple victory for Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford at the weekend as all three sides continue fighting for a finals berth.

At home against Aintree, Wallan posted an impressive 9/354 to take a dominant victory – supported by 90 from Kieran Atkin, 74 from Matthew Clayton, 50 not out from Scott O’Donnell, and an unbeaten 30 from Campbell Fowler.

At Harley Hammond Reserve it was Broadford that was able to keep Riddell at bay.

Batting again to post a further 117 runs on day two, Broadford’s bowling strength came to the fore, limiting Riddell to 111 – thanks to four wickets from Nathan Woods, three from James Jones and two from Jack Connell.

Kilmore meanwhile travelled to play Eynesbury and came home with an 8/208 to 10/177 victory, spearheaded by 74 by Leon Zelvys and a massive five wickets from Brett Buttler.

The results mean GDCA newcomers Broadford have moved into the top spot on the Johnstone Shield ladder, followed closely by Wallan with Kilmore in fifth.

Wallan host Broadford this weekend for the final round of the home and away season, while Kilmore has a bye.

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