Dragons time their run

Jay King appeals for a wicket on Saturday. Picture Shawn Smits


Gisborne is hitting form at the right time in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup.

After all but securing a finals place going into the final round, the Dragons set about getting a win over third-placed Diggers Rest Bulla on Saturday.

The Dragons bowled first and skittled the Burras for just 108.

Dragons coach Simon Harman said the bowlers did exactly what he wanted.

“Bowling is our strong suit and our bowling and fielding have been pretty good all year,” he said. “It was good to restrict them to 108.”

Jay King took 4-8 from 9.5 overs, while Tahir Afridi claimed three.

The turnaround with the ball this season has been a key factor in the Dragons’ transition from a non-finals team to a March contender.

Only one of the Dragons’ five main bowlers was at the club last season.

“Our bowling was something we identified as needing improvement this season,” Harman said.

“Tahir has been fantastic all year [he has taken 42 wickets] and Jay King has been really good. Most of us had played against him before and he has played McIntyre Cup. He knows what to do.

“It’s been good to have Beau [Valka] come back and we were lucky to have Clint Young walk in the door.

“Darcy [Nolan], our other bowler, has been good, too.”

But the job against the Burras isn’t finished yet and the Dragons will resume at 2-34 on Saturday.

Daniel Trevillian is on 14 and Valka on four.

Harman said the Dragons had settled on their batting line-up after several early-season changes.

“We had to bat out time and it was nice to get a chunk of the score out of the way,” he said.

“We’ve had the same line-up in the last couple of games.

“We were very active early in the season, switching players around to get the right line-up.”

A win against the Burras would give a huge boost in confidence to the Dragons.

“It’s been so tight this year. We could come from only just scraping into the four [with a loss] to finishing on top of the ladder if results go our way,” Harman said.

“Anyone can beat anyone on any day at any ground.”

The other two sides in the top four are on track for wins.

Ladder leaders Woodend made 9-299 against Sunbury, with Daniel Heaney making 96, while Riddell made 227 against Bacchus Marsh.

Sunbury United racked up 223 against Romsey.