By Tara Murray
Gisborne will have to bowl well to keep its winning run alive in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup.
The below strength Dragons put in a solid performance with the bat, bowled out for 244 with an over remaining.
Coach Gavin Mackay said the score was a bit below what they would have liked.
“It’s probably a bit short, but we do have a few out,” he said.
“Ideally we would have liked to score 300. When we had two or three wickets down with Jarryd [Vernon] and Mick [Allen] back in the sheds, we thought about 230 would be an OK score.
“To get 244 wasn’t a bad score in the end.”
Mick Allen was the star for the Dragons making 99 at the top of the order.
Mackay said Allen was disappointed not to go on and get triple figures.
What pleased Mackay the most was the way some of the younger players stood up.
Sam Mackay (46) and Josh McDonald (44 not out) both produced handy contributions to help push the total up.
“We have a bit of depth, which is handy when you get yourself in a bit of trouble,” he said.
“We had six under-19s play and there’s plenty of kids in the twos as well.
“They’ve got the opportunity to develop and we’ve got good batsmen who can help them.
“A lot of times with kids they can get a couple of good shots and the concentration dips. Between overs the experienced players keep them on track and it’s invaluable for them.”
The Dragons have a challenge ahead of them this week, with United one of the better batting sides going around.
Already missing Joel Garbutt, Tom Sanders is unlikely to bowl due to a back injury.
Mackay said they still had plenty of bowlers who could pick up the slack.
“We’ve got three spinners and four other bowlers,” he said.
The Dragons sit on top of the ladder undefeated after six rounds.
Mackay said they had ridden a bit of luck, getting results in rounds where other teams had to settle for draws.
He said they were looking forward to some challenges in the next couple of weeks against some of the top sides.
“We need to be challenged, that’s what cricket is all about.”
A familiar face made an appearance in the Dragons’ second side on Saturday.
Pat McKenna, who captained Australia’s under-19 team before concentrating on football, probably would have played in the firsts had he been available next week.
McKenna was the standout with both bat and ball. “We wish he could play all the time. He’ll maybe play the T20s.”