Dragons snare premiership

Gisborne's premiership side (Supplied)

Tara Murray

There were plenty of celebrations for Gisborne and a sense of relief after claiming the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup.

Having not lost a match this season coming off a season where they only lost two, including being knocked out in the semi finals, the Dragons have been a dominant force.

But until Sunday they had nothing to show for it.

“It is amazing,” skipper Jarryd Vernon said about getting the premiership. “It’s a big relief for us.

“The guys have put in a mountain of work since August and the commitment has been unbelievable.

“To have the complete performance with what we’ve done the last two days, I’m a proud captain.”

Gisborne won the toss and decided to bowl. It would be the right decision, with the Redbacks bowled out for 212.

Vernon said they would have taken that total any day of the week. Neither side had lost going into the grand final with the one match between sides a drawn due to weather.

“They were 3-150 at one stage with Ben Way and Chris Burkett at the crease,” he said. “It could have gone either way.

“Leigh Brennan and Jay King bowled really well and brought us back into the game. Kingy has a couple of grand final medals [best on ground medals] and Leigh was unbelieve with 10 wickets in two finals.

“To stop them at 212, I would have taken that any day.”

Brennan took 5-69 off his 26 overs.

Way top scored with 63 for the Redbacks, while Burkett scored 47.

The key for the Dragons was to get off to a good start on day two. They got that wish with Matthew Barake and Riley Vernon setting the perfect platform.

The pair put on 139 for the opening partnership.

“Wickets in hand in a grand final are really important,” the skipper said.

“Riley and Matty put on 130 and put us in a really good position. We needed 70 odd with 10 wickets in hand, they batted really well.

“Matty stayed there and played his role supporting Riley.”

The Dragons then lost a few wickets and slipped to 4-193 when Jarryd Vernon went out.

It meant it was left to a couple of the younger Dragons to get them over the line.

“Archie Shore is just 15 and he held his nerve batting with Harry Luxmoore,” Vernon said.

Riley Vernon top scored with 92 as he continued his good season.

Aaron Paterson and Jamie Taylor took two wickets each.

Brennan was named man of the match for his bowling performance.

Now having won four McIntyre Cups with the Dragons, Jarryd Vernon said he was trying to make sure those who have won their first enjoy it.

“That is what we said to the younger guys, you might never get the opportunity again,” he said.

“I’ve been fortunate to win four grand finals now, I might never get another opportunity. We’ve shared a lot of memories on the field.