By Tara Murray
Gisborne continues to show strong form with the bat in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup competition.
Undefeated this season, the Dragons have produced some good scores early in the season and they were at it again on Saturday in the grand final rematch against Bacchus Marsh.
Travelling to Maddingley Park, the Dragons made 7-284 from their overs.
The top six batsmen all made starts as they were able to share the load to push the scoreboard up.
Dragons skipper Jarryd Vernon said they were happy with the position they were in after day one.
“It was a really good day with the bat,” he said.
“We made 284, which I thought was pretty good, and I’m happy to defend that next week.
“I said at the start of the day, that 280 to 300 would be a pretty good score. I think it is above par.”
Mick Allen led the way with 86 at the top of the order.
In his first season with the Dragons, Allen has scored 341 at an average of 113 to be the leading batsman in the top grade.
“Having a player like Mick at the top of the order is always good,” Vernon said.
“His experience is second to none and we’re happy for his form to keep coming.
“After a year off cricket and coming to a new club, he’s starting to find his feet and hopefully he’ll be a weapon in the back end of the year.”
Vernon, who sits fifth in runs scored this season, contributed 74 of his own runs.
He was quick to put the focus on the overall total, not his own contribution.
“It’s nice to get a few runs on the board and put us in a good position.
“As long as we put runs on the board I’m happy.”
Vernon knows the match is far from over, as Bacchus Marsh is a good batting side. It made 309 in its last match.
He said they would have to be on their game as they had two or three guys who could get away from them.
A win would keep the Dragons undefeated heading into the T20 matches either side of the Christmas break.
Vernon said they couldn’t be in a better position, but know there’s still plenty of work to do.
“The T20 games are crucial for us to win as well,” he said.
“There’s still a lot of hard work to do for us guys.
Hopefully after Christmas we can find some consistency and set an 11 that can win a grand final.”
In other matches, Romsey made 284 against Diggers Rest Bulla with skipper Ben Way making 148.
St Anthony’s had one of its better days, making 9-262 against Sunbury United with Paul Scott making 135 not out.
Woodend made 296 against Riddell, Daniel Eastley was the pick of the batsmen with 94.