Sunbury keeps putting on the pressure

Sunbury’s Jay King. (Shawn Smits)

By Tara Murray

Sunbury has finally come away with the points against Sanctuary Lakes in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 5 Russell Pollock Shield competition.

Just one wicket away from victory before rain fell last time the two teams met before Christmas in a two-dayer, Sunbury was determined to get the points against the bottom side on Saturday.

It was a strong Sunbury performance that got the job done, with the players getting an early ending with the result going their way.

Roar captain-coach Craig Ballinger said they had one eye on the weather on Saturday and making sure they didn’t lose out again.

“It was good to finish the job from a couple of weeks ago,” he said.

“We wanted to bowl first as we knew about the smoke problems. We wanted to get the game over with before they could call it off.

“We were confident enough that we could bowl them out cheaply. It might have been a bit cocky, but it paid off.”

The Roar needed just 30 overs as they bowled them out for 72.

Ballinger said while they were happy with that, the score could have been even lower.

“One bloke got away from us, but we stuck to the process and it only cost us about 20 runs,” he said.

“He went outside what we had prepared for, it was really unconventional.

There wasn’t many cricket shots.”

Jason McGann took four wickets and he now has 32 for the season, eight more than anyone else in division 5.

Jay King also took four wickets, his best return of the season.

The Roar had little trouble getting the runs, finishing 2-74 in the 20th over.

Justin Nelson finished unbeaten on 36.

The win and other results moves the Roar to second on the table. Just six points separates the top six sides, with a loss possibly meaning falling outside the top four.

Ballinger said their destiny and where they finish is in their own hands.

The Roar finish the season with three two-day matches, with the skipper saying this was their preferred format with the opportunity for the bowlers to really dig in.

“A few sides take on Sanctuary Lakes and while they’re good blokes, it’s a good opportunity for points boosters for the teams around us,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep doing what we are doing. You really have to keep winning, with so many sides fighting for finals.”

Sunbury kicks off its T20 finals campaign on Tuesday night against West Coburg, in the first match of their round robin quarter final.