Redbacks going for back-to-back

Matthew Milne (Jacob Pattison)325606_05

Harper Sercombe

Romsey is on the hunt for its second premiership in as many years in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup.

The Redbacks broke their 40 year drought last season, winning the final against Sunbury United.

Not only did the Redbacks win the top flight of the GDCA, but the club also had its seconds and thirds sides playing off in grand finals last summer.

Now, with continuity within all of their sides the Redbacks are ready to go for the 2023-24 season according to captain-coach Ben Way.

“We always have a pretty late start [to pre-season],” he said.

“We’ve only been doing about a month of about four hits, we try not to do too much too early, we want to keep everybody keen the longer the season goes on.

“It’s come around pretty quickly this year and it’s looking a lot better than last year in terms of the weather.

“We’ve pretty much got the exact same group of people together throughout all of our grades.”

Way said in the top side they had kept the same side together which would be handy with a number of other clubs making a number of changes.

“In the top grade we’ve got the exact same team this year,” he said.

“And we’re pretty keen, now that we’ve managed to find our way up to the top, to stay there.

“It was a long build for the club to get there and we’re pretty keen to keep fighting it out for more premierships, and not stop at one, hopefully.

“It helps that we’re all locals and have grown up together.”

While back-to-back premierships would be great for the Redbacks, Way said his goals are far simpler than that.

“I just want everyone to enjoy it,” he said.

“We’ve still got some young players that I think have got some growth.

“We want to see all the young kids who have a few years of cricket behind them now, start to dominate and score more runs and take more wickets and then a couple of us older people to just be the cream on top.

“That’s the goal for us and if we can do that, we’ll win plenty of games.

“If all these people who have a lot of talent start putting in performances week in, week out, and being consistent with that.

“We’re just looking for that change in the guard.”

Last season Way was a clear stand out with the bat for the Redbacks, scoring 617 runs at an average of 56.09, and a strike rate of 110.8, including two hundreds and three 50s from his 14 knocks.

Now, ay is hoping the likes of Matthew Milne, Corey Day and Nathan Hoy can have their own standout seasons.

“I’ve been hoping for the last couple of years that he (Milne) breaks out and starts to make 400 to 500 runs a year,” Way said.

“Hopefully they (Day and Hoy) can back it up with some big scores, they got a lot of starts, a lot of 30s and 40s.

“Our bowlers have been together for a few years now, so I couldn’t pick anyone in particular out, they’ve been a group for three or four years now and they just keep getting better.”

Romsey will kick off its 2023-24 McIntyre Cup campaign with a one day clash against the Sunbury Kangaroos on Saturday.