By Tara Murray
Sunbury Kangaroos’ stunning turnaround in form continued in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield on Saturday.
After starting the season 0-4, the Kangaroos have won their last five games to sit in the top four.
Kangaroos playing-coach Jas King said the turnaround had all started at training.
He said the playing group was quite close which helped.
“Like a lot of clubs we find it hard to get people to training,” he said. “At the start of the year we didn’t know who was playing.
“It was tough at 0-4 and we were in the position that we could drop off or change something.
“A few things changed at training and we have a bit more routine and that’s the big difference.”
King said they hadn’t put any expectations on the season, with the focus they are making sure they are enjoying it.
He said they were making sure they were giving opportunities to a few players that they previously hadn’t had.
Brad Fleming, who had been captaining the twos, is one who has stepped up.
Corey Woolley is having another good season, while Nathan Anderson has really stepped up with the ball.
The Kangaroos have also benefited from the return of former captain-coach Ryan Pretty in recent rounds.
“He has added to the team and really helps out on the field,” King said.
“He’s always around the club, but couldn’t always find the time to commit. He’s pretty keen.”
On Saturday, the Kangaroos knocked off top side Gisborne in the second of the T20 matches.
King said while they had previously struggled when playing at Gisborne, their T20 experience had worked in their favour.
“It was good to get a win up there,” he said.
“We normally go into our shells, but being T20 we were confident. Most of the guys have 10 to 15 games experience in the T20s.”
The Kangaroos batted first and lost a couple of wickets early to be 2-17.
They steadied and would lose just one more wicket on their way to 3-119.
Ryan Pretty finished 48 not out, with Corey Woolley chipping in with 37 at the top of the order.
It was the middle overs that would hurt the experienced Gisborne line-up, as they slipped to 6-61.
It was hard work after that, with the side falling short, making 9-103. Aidan Beard top scored with 26.
Simon Barry, Ryan Pretty and Brad Fleming took two wickets each for the Kangaroos.
King said they knew if they continued to play with the same form that they could be competitive with any team.
It was a good weekend for Sunbury teams, with Rupertswood and East Sunbury getting wins.
East Sunbury moved to the top of the ladder with its win and the Dragons loss.
The Thunder had a comfortable win against Sunbury United to continue its good form.
After two straight losses, Rupertswood returned to the winners list.
Having sat top after an outright win against Macedon, Rupo quickly found themselves sitting outside the top four following those losses.
On Saturday, they kept the pressure on the top four side with victory against Wallan, which was also looking to close the gap on the top four.
Bacchus Marsh won the other match, beating Macedon.
The top six sides are all still in contention for final with just over 11 points separating them