Woodend needs to fire

Woodend’s Hamish McDonald. (Shawn Smits)

By Tara Murray

Woodend needs to get going if it’s to make finals in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup.

Back-to-back losses to start the year, Woodend’s finals hopes are hanging by a thread with three rounds remaining.

Woodend playing coach Greg Matthews said it had been a difficult season to get any momentum.

“We sort of started the season five weeks into the season due to the weather,” he said.

“It’s been very difficult to get the full team on the park, but the positive is we’ve got some kids in the team.

“Before Christmas I thought we were playing quite well, but we haven’t got started again.”

On Saturday, it lost to Diggers Rest Bulla, which is one of the form teams of the competition.

Having made just 132 on day one, Matthews said it was always going to be a tough ask to get the victory.

“It was never going to be enough, we had to bowl well, field well and catch well,” he said.

“We didn’t catch well, especially in week one. “We dropped a couple of early ones and probably could have had then 2-0 and it puts the pressure on the incoming batsmen.”

The Burras resumed at 3-80 and got the runs without losing another wicket.

They would eventually be bowled out for 222. Kevin Barker top scored with 63.

Matthews was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets. Matthews said they were happy with their performance on Saturday, but the damage had been done the week before.

“They outplayed us,” he said. “We were up against a solid batting line-up.

“I thought we bowled pretty well yesterday and put pressure on from the get-go which we talked about.

Diggers Rest’s Rasika Batepola. (Shawn Smits)

PHOTO GALLERY: Woodend vs Diggers Rest Bulla 

“We took it up to them and tried to force them to make a mistake, it didn’t work out, but we were pleased with the way we executed.”

Woodend finished 1-34 in its second innings.

Matthews said it was an opportunity to take some positives out of the game and get some more points on the board.

Woodend sits sixth with three rounds remaining.

They are just over 15 points outside the top four.

Matthews said they know that it will be difficult to make the top four. “We’re relying on other teams to lose,” he said.

“We play Romsey, Sunbury United and Gisborne so it is going to be tough.

The mindset is that every game is sudden death. In other matches, a couple of teams missed out on outright results. Bacchus Marsh just fell short of claiming the full points against St Anthony’s.

The Bulls declared overnight at 1-123 wwith a 22 run lead  The Saints made 162 in their second innings, with the Bulls finishing 6-134, seven runs short of full points.

Gisborne made 278 on the back of 183 to Mick Allen to easily account for Riddell’s 113. The Bombers were 1-29 in their second innings. Sunbury United easily accounted for Romsey. Having made 317, United bowled Romsey out for 138. United was 5-103 in its second innings