By Liam Twomey


Two of St Anthonys’ most experienced players combined for what could prove to be a match-saving partnership in Gisborne District Cricket’s B-grade competition on Saturday.

With their team at 5-49 against Macedon, St Anthonys coach Jamie Bolger was joined in the middle by club president Lucas Alaimo and the pair set about a rescue mission.

They added 146 for the sixth wicket, Bolger reaching 63 while Alaimo top-scored with 80.

It was mission accomplished as St Anthonys ended the day on an imposing 261.

“When I went out there, a lot of good batsmen had already been dismissed,” Alaimo said.

“It was about keeping control of our game and making sure we played the right shots.

“We knew the bad balls would come and as the innings went on, the ball became bigger and bigger.

“Unfortunately, we both lost our wickets in the same over but we put on a good total and a couple of the guys who followed us added a 30 or 40-run partnerships that got us to that 260.”

The weekend’s match is the second in a row in which Bolger has dismantled a bowling attack. He made 119 not out against Ashfield in round four and is staking his claim for the title of best batsman in B-grade.

Saturday’s score of 80 is the highest of the season for Alaimo.

Eamon Cooper was the pick of the bowlers for Macedon, taking 4-44, while Nick Dodd was also a solid contributor with 3-68.

Macedon begins its pursuit this week with 10 wickets in hand.

“We will really focus on not giving them too many free hits when they go out to bat,” Alaimo said. “We need to ensure we bowl in certain areas and then set fields to that bowling.

“It’s very easy to say, but doing it’s another thing.

“We want guys trying to hit the top of off-stump and making Macedon take risks.”

A win for St Anthonys would maintain the club’s perfect start to the B-grade season.

After four rounds, St Anthonys and top-of-the-table Rupertswood are the two remaining unbeaten teams.

St Anthonys finished third last season and Alaimo said the main improvement was coming from extra depth at the club.

“If guys aren’t performing this year we have those who can come up through the seconds and we can give them an opportunity,” he said. “We have the talent there, we just need to make sure everyone is focused on what they can do to contribute.

“We need to make sure we’re focused on working as a team when batting and turning the strike over as much as possible.”