Finals-bound Rupo ready to fire on all cylinders

Rupertswood's skipper John Lane thinks he side is set for finals. Picture Damian Visentini

Rupertswood believes it is better prepared for finals this year than it was a year ago in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s B-grade competition.

The club finished on top of the ladder last season with just two losses but was then surprisingly knocked out by East Sunbury in the semis.

A year later, and in the same situation, Rupertswood captain-coach John Lane says he and his players aren’t looking backwards.

“It’s a different side,” Lane said. “We have six or seven new faces and the message has been to take it game by game and not look at what happened before.

“We’ve been more about processes and ensuring we’re guaranteed a home final. The boys are looking forward to it.”

Rupertswood finished the regular season with an easy win over faltering St Anthonys; it was revenge for the Saints’ one-run win earlier in the season.

After clinching a top-two finish weeks ago, St Anthonys lost its last three games and gave Rupertswood the opening to take top spot with Saturday’s victory.

Rupertswood made 9-220 on day one on the back of 109 from Chris Ryan.

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The century was not only his first in 20 years at the club, it also brought him a higher score than his brother, Mark, who made a ton earlier in the season.

In reply, St Anthonys was bowled out for just 108, with Aaron Forward and Brandon Webber claiming three wickets each.

Speaking before the second day, Lane said he was pleased with his batsmen’s fightback after being 5-23.

“Most sides claim to have a strong batting order and we’ve shown we have one, but our top order has yet to perform at the same time as our middle and lower orders.

“We’ve yet to fire on all cylinders.”

Lane said there was one major difference from last year’s team.

“We’ve dropped two games this season, so consistency has been a big thing the past couple of years,” he said. “Last season we had a couple of great players, but if they didn’t perform we struggled a bit.

“This year we’ve had more options and different combinations. Now we have five or six players who can bat and bowl, which we didn’t have last season.”

Rupertswood plays Bacchus Marsh this weekend, while St Anthonys hosts Wallan.

Lancefield missed out on finals by less than a point after beating Wallan in the final round, while Macedon defeated Ashfield.

East Sunbury finished at the bottom of the ladder after falling two runs short of a win against Bacchus Marsh.