By Tara Murray
St Anthony’s has kept its hopes of staying in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup alive with its first win of the season.
While there was a lot of attention on the two top four match-ups at the weekend, the battle between the bottom two sides, the Saints and Riddell, was just as interesting.
The Bombers came away with the win when the two teams met earlier in the season, but it was the Saints turn this time round.
Saints captain-coach Cam Clayton said there was a lot of relief after they picked up the last wicket to secure the win.
“The boys were pretty excited,” he said.
“It’s been tough at times this season and we’ve looked to play young guys. We were hoping to win a couple of games and be competitive.
“We’re still going about it the same way and want to be as competitive as possible.
“It’s taken 12 rounds to get there, so we were relieved to take the 10th wicket.”
The match, which was originally scheduled to be a two-day game, was changed to a one-dayer on Saturday.
The Saints elected to bat and made 6-215 off their 40 overs. Clayton said for a one-day match it was a good score, so they were in a good position.
The Saints shared the runs around, with Clayton top scoring with 62. Ryan Dobbie, Paul Scott and Ben Ingham all made contributions.
Clayton said the key for them had been to bat out all of their innings, to give themselves a chance of posting a competitive score.
Early in the Bombers innings, Clayton thought that they could be in for a long day in the field.
“We were unsure how they were going to approach it, with 215 a good score in a one-dayer.
“We started off pretty bad and they got 17 off the first over and we were thinking ‘would our score be enough?’”
The Saints bowlers responded with some tight bowling and the wickets started to flow.
They bowled the Bombers out for 103.
The bowlers shared the wickets around with Warren Turner taking three, while Jason Craven and Alex Kerr took two wickets each.
The win moves the Saints off the bottom of the ladder. They sit 4.64 points clear of Riddell.
Clayton said they know that the battle to avoid bottom spot and relegation will go down to the final round.
In other results, Diggers Rest Bulla fell short in the top of the table clash with Gisborne.
The Burras were bowled out for 165, with the Dragons making 3-166. Bacchus Marsh and Sunbury United had a tie, both making 133.
Woodend beat Romsey in the other match.
In the Jensen Shield, Eynesbury beat Kyneton, to sure up its spot in the top four.