Thunder’s positive outlook

Blake Watson is one of the keys for East Sunbury. (Jacob Pattison)318047_06

Tara Murray

It was a day to forget for East Sunbury with the bat in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield on Saturday.

After a positive start in its return to the Johnstone Shield from the McIntyre Cup, the Thunder was disappointing on day two against Broadford.

Chasing 8-223, the Thunder was bowled out for just 68 in the 49th over.

The Thunder had been 1-28 before crumbling. Blake Watson top scored with 15, as just four players scored double figures.

Speaking before day two, Thunder vice-president Chris Watson said there had been a lot of positivity about the club this season.

“We had been in McIntyre for a number of seasons,” he said. “We did our best to stay in McIntyre for as long as we could.

“We weren’t unhappy to drop down to Johnstone Shield, it was something the group needed.

“We had a couple of wins the last couple of matches and we’ve already matched that total so far.

“We’ve picked up a number of new players and the mood around the group is a really positive atmosphere. Last year we were getting 14-15 players to training, we’re now getting 24-25.”

Alec Nichols, Spencer Paton and Nathan Hynes have all joined the club having played in the McIntyre Cup and Johnstone Shield previously.

Watson said the three add some great depth to the first squad. The club has also got its first player from the new Kingsfield Estate which is across the road from the ground.

Watson said they were hoping to establish a real connection with the new estate with the committee seeing the growth of the club coming from that area in the future.

The club also has a new coaching panel.

“The new coaching panel is trying to instil a different direction and focus for the group,” he said.

“Under the captaincy of Nathan Dent we started off the season with a couple of great wins against Kilmore and Riddell.

“We then came up against the premiership fancy Wallan and batted fairly positively and there were positives out of that game.

“Against Aintree our batting let us down but we were almost able to defend 101.”

Youth continues to be the focus for the Thunder, with an average age in the low 20s and several players still under the age of 20.

The Thunder sit in sixth spot after seven rounds. This round it faces Eynesbury in a two-dayer.

In other Johnstone Shield matches, Riddell lost to Kilmore.

Having made 120, the Bombers had Kilmore in trouble at 5-46 at stumps on day one.

Kilmore lost two early wickets before being able to steady to run away with a convincing win.

Kilmore finished 9-190.

Nathan Brien took 5-17 off 10.5 overs.

Wallan won the other game, beating Eynesbury.

Defending 3-323 the Magpies restricted the Eagles to 7-213.