By Tara Murray
There was no room for complacency for Sunbury in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 5 Russell Pollock Shield on Saturday.
Having had an outright win against Footscray ANA in the final round before Christmas, the Roar faced the same opponent on Saturday in a one-dayer.
It would be the same result, with a big win for the Roar as they cemented their spot in the top four.
Roar captain-coach Craig Ballinger was thrilled with how his side has started the year. “It was a really good day and we got what we needed,” he said.
“We had them prior to Christmas and Jason McGann destroyed them taking 8-13.
“Facing them again the first game after Christmas, we couldn’t rest on what we had done. We had to reset and everything took care of itself.”
The Roar’s bowlers again got the job done against Footscray, bowling them out for 67 in the 33th over.
Jason McGann and Jason McGowan both finished with the figures of 3-20. Ballinger said the bowling unit was bowling well as a collective.
“I’ve been really impressed with the bowlers,” he said. “There’s been a real even contribution, even down to Stephen and Michael Treweek, even if the figures don’t show.
“Michael has come in and has tied down an end bowling spin, allowing the quicks to bowl as fast as they can from the other end.”
With a few players unavailable, the Roar had to make changes to their batting order.
They still got the job done, finishing 3-72.
Regan Connell, who hasn’t batted any higher than seven this season, opened the batting and finished 35 not out.
Ballinger said it was good to give some other guys the opportunity to have a good bat.
“Our seven, eight and number nine aren’t getting hits, so with a couple of top order guys missing there was the chance to bat higher.
“Regan normally bats around seven. He came to me during the week and said he would like to bat at the top.”
Ballinger said one good sign for the side this season was it had been the depth in the squad.
He said while they had always had quality, they hadn’t had the depth if players were unavailable.
“There’s so many options coming into selection night we have a good headache,” he said.
“If someone is out, we have guys ready to come up and do the job, we’re just not filling the spot with numbers.”
The win has the Roar sitting third, with 10 points separating the top six teams.
Ballinger said they were always confident they had the side to match it with every team and that were now starting to come together and play consistent cricket.
Sunbury is also through to the finals of the T20 competition.
Their quarter final group also includes West Coburg and senior division side Yarraville Club.
Ballinger said they had nothing to lose playing two higher ranked sides.
“They are danger games for sides like Yarraville Club, which don’t want to lose to a division 5 side.
“The pressure is on them and we have nothing to lose. It gives us experience against sides that are where we want to be in the next few years. It’ll be a good experience for us.”