Kangaroos finals bound

Russell Phillips (Jacob Pattison)382208_05

Tara Murray

The Sunbury Kangaroos are continuing to dream after making the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup finals for the first time.

One of the smallest clubs in the association, the Kangaroos have shown they can match it with the big boys this season, finishing in fourth spot.

For president Shane Woolley, who has been at the club for nearly 20 years, it’s a remarkable achievement.

“It’s the first time for our small, little, humble club,” he said. “It is really humbling, but also respectful for our core group that have hung around.

“We have some good cricketers. We knew that when we moved into McIntyre that it would be hard and we would get thumped from time to time.

“For this group to bond together the way they have. All you can do is respect the way they have gone about it against bigger clubs with a lot more money.”

Woolley said they could have never imagined when they were promoted up 2022-23 season this would have been the outcome.

He said at the time they didn’t want to go up, they wanted to win a premiership and earn promotion.

“I could not be prouder of this group and what they’ve done this year,” Woolley said. “There are some good players in this competition and the opportunity to play against them only makes us better.”

On Saturday, the Kangaroos finals fate could have gone one of two ways.

A win would have ensured they finished in the top four. A loss meant they would have to rely on Gisborne beating Woodend.

It would be the second scenario that played out, with the Kangaroos having a close eye on the other game while they were trying to beat finals bound Sunbury United.

Chasing 9-266, the Kangaroos fell just short, making 244.

Jason King top scored with 86 at the top of the order for the Kangaroos.

Woolley said had they beaten United there would have been a party, having only beaten them for the first time in the top grade earlier this season.

The Kangaroos now face Romsey in the semi finals in a two-day this weekend. Gisborne will host Sunbury United in the other semi final.

Woolley knows they had a task on their hands.

“We know that it didn’t matter whether we played Romsey or Gisborne it was going to be an uphill battle.

“At the end of the day, we’ve earned the right to be there. We have nothing to lose and Romsey and Gisborne have all the expectations on them.

“Everyone is excited. Hopefully we can get a couple of early wickets and make things change. We don’t mind being the underdogs.”

In other final round matches, Riley Vernon passed 1000 runs for the season in Gisborne’s win against Woodend.

Vernon made 148 as Gisborne finished 9-383 in reply to Woodend’s 9-268.

Romsey sealed top spot as it piled on the runs against Diggers Rest Bulla.

Chasing 222, the Redbacks finished 5-462 in reply. Opener Matthew Milne finished 202 not out, while Ben Way made 141.

Macedon finished its season on a high with victory against Rupertswood.