Rupo’s coach returns to ‘finish the job’

John Lane is looking to guide Rupertswood back into McIntyre Cup. Picture Damian Visentini

Rupertswood is on a singleminded mission to get back into the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup.

Having been knocked out in the first week of B-grade finals in the past two years, Rupertswood coach John Lane is hoping for third time lucky.

Lane returns to the coaching role after 12 months’ absence.

“Originally, I wasn’t going to coach again,” Lane said, “but the club came to me and asked if I could help finish the job I’d started.

“It’s been a four to five year journey and the playing list has changed a lot in that time. Now we have the chance to have a real crack.”

This year’s make-up has a different look to the one that dominated B grade last season before losing to East Sunbury in the semi-finals.

Hayden Ross, Jay King and Michael Treweek have departed to play with McIntyre Cup sides and Nathan Shoesmith has joined Premier Cricket’s Essendon.

“We need to get back up into McIntyre Cup to keep our players,” Lane said.

“We seem to have covered all the bases we need to.

“Aaron Forward returns to the club and is a handy opening bowler. Brandon Webber is also back with us and Mark Ryan returns from overseas.

“Anthony Morrison comes across from Williamstown and brings more experience to the side.”

Lane says this is the oldest side he has coached.

“We have six 30-year-olds in the team,” he said.

“It’s a big contrast to the team we had when we got relegated. The guys have been around long enough not to panic.”

Lane is also looking forward to seeing what the younger stars can do. He expects Forward and Webber will be an effective bowling combination and is hoping that David McDonald can top, by at least 100, the 250 runs he made last season.

“He’s 20 and bats at number four,” Lane says.

Rupertswood has started its season with two wins, including the defeat of Ashfield on Saturday.

Batting first, Rupertswood was restricted to 8-130 off its overs, Bruce Marshall top-scoring with 40 and Lane finishing 35 not out.

In reply, Ashfield struggled to 9-100.

James Ryan and Warren Hall took three wickets each.

Wallan, Bacchus Marsh and St Anthonys were the other B-grade winners.