Gisborne McIntyre premiers

Gisborne skipper Jarryd Vernon. (Shawn Smits) 206366_03

Tara Murray

Tara Murray

Gisborne has been declared the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup premiers, after the grand final didn’t go ahead.

The Dragons were due to face Diggers Rest Bulla at the weekend, but the game was called off due to the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

The association decided to cancel all grand finals, after both Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria recommended that games be cancelled.

The highest ranked team in each grand final has been declared premiers, with the Dragons finishing on top after going through undefeated.

Gisborne coach Gavin Mackay said it was a different situation that we probably wouldn’t see again.

He said it was a different feeling to the other premierships everyone had won.

“You have to feel for Diggers terrible way to lose a final,” he said.

“The GDCA has made a decision along with Cricket Australia. It’s a hollow feeling and we would have liked to play in the grand final.

“After winning 10-15 matches this season, it would have been nice to show it wasn’t a fluke.”

Mackay said he thought they had been the better team all season and which meant they could sleep comfortably with the decision that had been made.

“At the same time pretty happy and proud for the season that we’ve had,” he said.

“We played Diggers a couple of weeks ago convincely. Had Diggers gone into a grand final knowing they had beaten us, it would have played on everyone’s minds.”

Overall, Mackay said they had been really pleased with the season and the development that had come from within the group.

The club had continued its focus on the development of the younger players coming through the club.

“We had eight or nine under-19s play in our McIntyre Cup side,” he said.

“We had 18 guys play in the first XI and either 44 or 46 in the second XI which still made the top four. That amount of turnover you don’t normally see at that level.

“It’s an incredible effort throughout the club. We’ll make a couple of tweaks for next year and hopefully all teams will be a bit stronger.”