Gisborne makes it through to regional T20 final

Gisborne’s Jarryd Vernon. (Shawn Smits)

By Tara Murray

Gisborne is through to the Central Highlands Region’s T20 division 1 grand final after a big hitting win against St Andrews on Sunday.

The Dragons took on St Andrews on Sunday to try and win a spot in next weekend’s Cricket Willow grand final.

The Dragons set the game up early after winning the toss and electing to bat.

While they would lose the wicket of Riley Vernon for not much, it would matter little as they went on to make 3-205 from their 20 overs.

Dragons skipper Jarryd Vernon and opener Mick Allen did most of the damage, putting on 85 for the second wicket.

Vernon said it was a really good day with the bat.

“I’m always a fan of batting first in the T20 format,” he said.

“We put on a good partnership and it’s always good to bat with Mick, with his experience.

“He keeps me going and he hasn’t lost anything at all. Having him at the top of the order, it sets the tone for the day.”

Vernon finished 89 not out off 47 balls with 12 fours and two sixes. Allen made 73 off 51 balls with seven fours and four sixes.

The Dragons restricted St Andrews to 4-147.

Having secured the win, Vernon was more than happy with the performance.

“We had a lot of young kids in, who did a good job, which is pleasing to see.

“To restrict them to 147 was a really good performance.”

The Dragons now play Muckleford in the grand final on Monday at Cricket Willow

. It’s the second time the Dragons have made the final, with a win in 2015.

The winner of the final also represents the region in the Cricket Victoria Regional Big Bash finals.

Vernon said they were hoping to get another win.

“The boys are looking forward to it,” he said.

“We won it last time and went pretty deep in the competition [regional big bash] and made the semi finals.

“Hopefully we can do the same thing again. It’s good for the boys with the extra day of cricket and a chance to bond.”

This year there will be a women’s Cricket Willow title, with Sunbury to face Ballarat Women’s.

Before the final, Gisborne will be looking to wrap up the points against Riddell in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup.

The Dragons bowled the Bombers out for 113 with Josh McDonald taking 3-19 off his 12 overs.

It wasn’t the ideal start for the Dragons with the bat, finishing day one at 4-57. Vernon said it was a good performance with the ball, but not where they wanted to be with the bat.

“We would have liked to not be four wickets down,” said Vernon. “It is what it is and we’ve still got Mick in. The guys still have job to do.

“We would like to keep it going.”