Dragons go 10-0

Riley Vernon (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Harper Sercombe

Gisborne remains undefeated in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup season following a strong win over Sunbury United on the weekend.

The Dragons reaffirmed their premiership credentials chasing down a score of over 300 against the third placed team.

Last week the Dragons were sent in to bowl, and while United made 7-303 from their 80 overs, Dragons captain Jarryd Vernon said he was pleased with the result.

“I was pretty happy with it,” he said. “Last week when we bowled it was pretty hot, the ground was fast and that was probably in the position to score 330 or 350, so I think we brought it back really well in the last 10 overs of our bowling innings which at the end of the day could have been the difference in the game.”

In the chase the Dragons were super, with both Vernon and his brother, Riley, posting massive scores. Riley made 96, and was dismissed just before the break while Jarryd went on to make a massive unbeaten 103 off just 134 balls.

The Dragons chased the runs down in 76 overs making 6-306.

“It’s always a tricky chase when you’re chasing 300, so we batted really well and set up the chase very well which was pleasing,” Vernon said.

“We got off to a good start yesterday with Riley and Warren and then unfortunately Riley went out two balls before tea on 96, but he’s had an outstanding year and had another outstanding innings yesterday.”

Riley has been the association’s most prolific run scorer this season, with 719 runs at an average of 79.89 to his name.

Batting has been the Dragons’ major strength this season, with the club consistently posting big first innings totals. Vernon said he has been really pleased with his batters this season.

“Our batting group has done an exceptional job this year, but you want to be primed at the right time coming into finals, but I’m super proud of the batting group so far,” he said.

Riley’s opening partner Warren Kelly and Jarryd Vernon are the number three and four batters in the competition, with 559 and 548 runs to their name respectively.

This weekend the Dragons are set to face the Sunbury Kangaroos who currently sit in fourth position. The Kangaroos are coming off a strong win against Macedon. The Cats couldn’t chase down the 8-351 posted by the Kangaroos, falling well short at 10-140.

“It will be another really good challenge for us heading into finals,” Vernon said.

“They’re obviously a team that’s improved out of sight over the last year. They made 350 on the weekend and had a pretty comfortable win so we definitely know that it will be a challenge for us and we’ll have to be at our best again.”

In other results, Woodend had a comfortable win over Diggers-Rest Bulla, and Romsey continued its winning streak against Rupertswood.