Gisborne sent a powerful message to other McIntyre Cup cricket hopefuls with a stunning demolition of last season’s runners-up Woodend on Saturday.
The Dragons finished fifth last season after two successive premierships, and are out to make amends in 2018-19.
Woodend batsmen failed dismally, crashing from 0/39 to be bundled out for just 84 runs in the space of 29 overs in the one-day round to open the season.
Jamaican born 26-year-old speedster Recordo Gordon (pictured), fresh from English cricket, made an auspicious debut for Gisborne with the new ball. He showed he is seriously quick and will worry plenty of opposition batsmen this season.
Gordon has spent several seasons with Warwickshire and is thrilled to have the chance to play in Australia.
Woodend’s English import, 20-year-old Monte McCague, moved the new ball both ways and with his astute control should also get plenty of wickets as the season unfolds.
The sun was shining at and conditions were perfect for the opening of what should prove to be a very interesting season for the Gisborne District Cricket Association across all divisions.
]The newly introduced names of Johnstone Shield (equivalent of last season’s B-grade) and Jensen Shield (C-grade) competitions may take cricket followers some time to fully absorb.
Legendary Gisborne CC life member Eddie Gardiner presented Recardo Gordon and 16-year-old batsman Lochlan Shore with their caps before the game unfolded at Woodend’s Gilbert Gordon Oval.
Gordon had a slips catch dropped early on, but once opener Michael Nalesnyik was caught for 21 off a skied pull shot the rot really set in for the Woodsmen.
Umpires turned down a couple of very confident appeals before Jason Wilson, a former club champion at Gisborne, skittled Nick Smith’s stumps.
The procession of dismissals continued and three batsmen ‘holed out’ as if they were giving lone outfielders catching practice.
Failing to bat out 40 overs is something the Woodsmen will surely address. Wilson and 17-year-old pace bowler Joel Garbutt each finished with three wickets, and a run out ended a very disappointing batting display by a side which has beaten Gisborne in recent seasons.
The innings break came at the right time for afternoon tea and the chance to see champion galloper Winx notch up her 28th successive win.
Then accomplished opening bats Jackson Knight and Darren Ward finished unbeaten 52 and 27 respectively, dealing with everything Woodend’s bowlers could serve up.
An early finish to what few thought would be a one-sided contest.
Gisborne coach Glenn Waites was understandably very pleased with his side’s overall performance … Woodend may as well blot this day out and move on as there are some very talented cricketers in the ranks.
Romsey made a very slow start to last season then came with a rush to make the finals. On Saturday at home, the Redbacks gave their promoted Wallan opposition a cricketing lesson, hitting up 8/177 c.c. and then bowling out the Magpies for just 82.
Taylor Stevenson top scored with 62, and Darin Jewell and young spinner Matthew Milne took eight wickets between them. A good way for Ben Way’s Romsey lineup to begin the season.
Reigning premiers Bacchus Marsh and Sunbury United were the other winners. Riddell, with a significant number of last season’s top-liners missing, is down a grade.
Coach Dan Fisk collected four wickets and top scored with 52 to get the Bombers home against Gisborne in their Johnstone Shield fixture.
Macedon opened the season with a win in the Jensen Shield section against Rupertswood.
The McIntyre Cup match of the round this weekend sees a confident Gisborne side at home taking on Romsey. Other matches are Bacchus Marsh v Sunbury, Sunbury United v Woodend, and Wallan at home to Diggers Rest-Bulla.
McIntyre Cup Premier Firsts scores from Saturday’s one-day round were:
Woodend 84 (J. Wilson 3-16, M. Garbutt 3-16, J. King 2-23) lost to Gisborne 0/86 (J. Knight 52 not out, D. Ward 27 not out).
Romsey 8/171c.c. (T. Stevenson 66, S. Day 28 — K. Atkin 3-37, S. Gilchrist 2-28, J. Weshal 2-28) defeated Wallan 82 (D. Jewell 5-20, M. Milne 3-17, S. Day 2-29).
Sunbury 121 (H. Boffey 25 – M. Koutroubas 5-25) lost to Sunbury United 2/125 (A. Dudderidge 50 not out, S. Fogarty 38 not out).
Bacchus Marsh 7/181 c.c. J. Lidgett 57, D. Lalor 51 — D. Quarrell 3-31) defeated Diggers Rest — Bulla 123 (U. Fernando 54 — M. Ekanayaka 3-16, J. Bailey 3-28).
Johnstone Shield (District Firsts)
Gisborne 7/124 c.c. A. Beard 41, D. Martin 26 — D. Fisk 4-30) lost to Riddell 157 (Fisk 57, M. Day 26 — A. Barbour 3-19).
Bacchus Marsh 7/181 c.c. lost to Rupertswood 5/183 (P. McGarry 76); Eynesbury Eagles 127 lost to East Sunbury 144; St Anthonys 6/252 c.c. (P. Clayton 92, P. Scott 71) defeated Ashfield 9/154.
Jensen Shield (Sub-District Firsts)
Malmsbury 195 (M. Cox 50, C. Ganim 42, B. Donnelly 38 — L. Harrison 3-10, S. Taylor 3-36, P. Connor 2-37) tied with Lancefield 7/195 c.c. (J. Wilson 54 not out, Harrison 38 — L. Cox 3-18).
Rupertswood 6/148 c.c. (D. Trotta 3-25) lost to Macedon 5/179 (G. De Royayro 55, R. Thomas 40, C. Pender 33).
Blackwood 6/143 c.c. (J. Cann 42, M. De Jong 39 not out, S. O’Brien 36 not out — B. Stokes 2-12, J. Evans 2-19) lost to Kyneton 1/151 (S. Burgis 100 not out, R. Williams 31).
Sunbury United 4/199 c.c. lost to St Anthonys 6/203 (J.S. Craven 119 not out).
McIntyre Cup (Premier Seconds)
Gisborne 5/199 (S. McKay 48, B. Furber 47 not out, J. Handley 32) tied with Diggers Rest-Bulla 5/199 c.c. (M. Jackson 101 not out – McKay 3-45).
Wallan 99 (J. Taylor 5-24, L. Moor 3-24) lost to Romsey 1/103 (W. Collins 36 not out, A. Miles 33 not out.
Sunbury United 110 (J. Thorsen 4-12, A. Smale 3-12) lost to Woodend 5/113 (B. Gardner 39 not out, J. Fiford 29.
Bacchus Marsh 87 lost to Sunbury 8/149 (P. Webber 81 not out).
Johnstone Shield (District 2nds)
Riddell 7/196c.c. defeated Bacchus Marsh 152; Ashfield 168 defeated Gisborne 91; Rupertswood 4/116 defeated St Antonys 113; Melton Centrals 8/155 c.c. lost to East Sunbury 5/159.