United falls short

Sunbury United's Rajitha Mendis in the grand final. (Jacob Pattison)325606_03

Tara Murray

Luck wasn’t with Sunbury United as it fell short in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup grand final on the weekend.

The form team entering the grand final, United had patches where it was on top of Romsey, but momentum late on day two turned against it.

After keeping Romsey to 199, United seemed on track at 3-126. But with a rising run rate and wickets starting to fall, United got in trouble.

United was bowled out for 172 in the fourth last over of the day, giving Romsey the premiership.

United captain-coach Upul Fernando said that Romsey was just too good on the day.

“A couple of things didn’t go our way,” he said. “The moments that you have to win, didn’t go our way.

“We win those moments and we get back in the game, but we didn’t win enough of those moments.

“Romsey was able to do the right thing.”

Fernando said they were happy with keeping Romsey to 199, bowling them out in the second last over.

Rajitha Mendis and Ashan Ranaweera took four wickets each for United.

Fernando said having made two scores of 300-plus and chased down 290 in their last three matches they were pretty confident of getting the runs.

He said in the end they didn’t finish the game off well.

“Ashan was a key wicket for us who went out early, before Damian Edwards and Stephen Fogarty were looking good.

“Damien and I then looked good and tried to take the game deeper. Romsey was just too good.”

Edwards top scored with 64, while Fernando made 49.

The skipper said while it’s always tough losing finals, they were still proud of the season that they’ve had.

“Credit to the boys who have put in a lot of hard work throughout the season,” he said.

“The committee, there’s a lot of people behind the scenes helping the club where we are now.

“It’s a great club and one of the best clubs I’ve been involved with in Australia.”

Fernando said having finally made it through to the grand final, the next step was winning the premiership.

“We’ll keep the hopes high for next year and keep being positive,” he said.

“It’s never easy losing a final, but we’ll come back stronger next year with more fight and hunger.

“Hopefully we can go one step further.”