Rupertswood banks on youth for the future

Rupertswood’s Max Howell. (Shawn Smits)

By Tara Murray

Rupertswood’s focus on developing its youth is starting to show off in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association competition.

Rupo has made a big focus of blooding their young players with at least two under-17s playing in each of their top two sides each week.

That has flowed down into their other two sides, with a number of youngsters stepping onto the field each week.

Rupertswood senior coach Andrew Pizaro said they were achieving everything they had set out to do at the start of the season. He said the long term focus of the club was the priority with the hard work starting to show through.

He pointed out the achievements of 12-year-old Hayden Wright on the weekend as a case of that.

Wright took 6-8, including being on a hat trick, off five overs in the fourth XI.

Pizaro said all the players getting opportunities had earned their opportunities.

“Where we are going as a club in regards to what direction we’re going, was on show yesterday,” he said.

“The success we had with the juniors and the young kids coming through, I’m confident they will do a job and things are going well at the moment.

Rupertswood’s William Honner. (Shawn Smits)

PHOTO GALLERY: Rupertswood vs Gisborne 

“Where we end up finals-wise, isn’t a great concern at the moment.”

Rupo’s first XI is right in the mix for a finals berth in the Johnstone Shield, with nothing separating the top six sides.

Rupertswood currently sits outside the top four, but a win this week would see them move back in.

“We won outright against Macedon before Christmas and went to the top and then were out of the four the following week when we lost,” Pizaro said.

“We win this week and a couple of others play each other, we would be second. It’s pretty cut throat and whoever makes finals deserves to and if you miss out it’s unlucky.” Rupo is halfway through their match with top four side Gisborne.

The Dragons made 8-211 from their overs.

Pizaro took three wickets for Rupo.

The skipper said it was a really good contest between the two sides.

“The outfield is ridiculously slow, so it’s a good score,” he said.

“I feel we can score 250 plus. Not on our hitting power, but the running between the wickets is pretty good.

“We can take that advantage and not do anything silly. It’s less than three runs an over.

In other matches, East Sunbury has the slight edge over the Sunbury Kangaroos.

The Kangaroos were bowled out for 105 with Hammad Rashid taking 5-15 off 14 overs.

The Thunder lost two early wickets and will resume at 2-28, with playing coach Liam Sherlock 14 not out.

It was another tough day for Macedon, as it conceded 7-408 to Wallan.

Kieran Atkin scored a massive 209 for the Magpies.

Chris Axton was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets. Sunbury United made 177 in the other match against Bacchus Marsh.