Life in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association has got off to a perfect start for Eynesbury.

After making the move across from Western Suburbs Churches & Community Cricket Association in the off season, the Eagles are aiming to be competitive in B grade.

On Saturday, they opened their season with a strong win against Bacchus Marsh.

Eagles playing coach Luke Castle was happy with the first-up win.

He said that as he and his brother Hayden had played previously in the GDCA, the club had a rough idea what to expect.

“With the team we had yesterday we wanted to be competitive,” he said.

“It wasn’t a shock to get the win, but we’re happy about it.”

Tristan Francis set the tone by making 59 and was well supported by the rest of the top order.

The top four all made 29 or more in the total of 7-214.

While Castle knew his side had a strong order, he was taken aback when told the par score for the Bacchus Marsh ground was only about 160.

The Bulls got off to a good start in reply and were 0-44 and then looked in control at
2-102.

But the Eagles slowed things down, eventually restricting the Bulls to 7-177.

Castle said they felt confident they could get the job done after setting such a big target.

“They needed five runs an over from the start,” he said.

“They got off to a good start and their opening batsmen took to us a bit.

“With 15 overs remaining, they needed eight an over … with 10 overs left, they still needed 10 an over, so we felt comfortable.”

Castle took four wickets and was the pick of the bowlers.

The coach praised the efforts of opening bowler Tyson Orr, who is just 17.

Orr is one of a number of younger players who will get opportunities with the Eagles this season.

Saturday’s side featured just four players from last season’s premiership win, including their three star batsmen, Francis and the two Castles.

Castle said they had lost about 20 players through the off season.

“We had a lot of guys from Werribee who haven’t returned,” he said.

“A few guys retired and a few have dropped back to the lower grades.

“We’re going to bring in some younger players. Jack Levett is one, Jackson Spencer is only 23 and Jarod Spry is just 16 and is our No.1 keeper.”

Castle, who was captain-coach last season, has handed over the captaincy reins to his brother, Hayden.

In other matches, St Anthonys opened its season with a big win against Gisborne. The Saints restricted the Dragons to 9-138 off their 40 overs. Jason Orr was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-12 off seven overs.

In reply, the Saints made the runs with ease. They produced 4-140 with 17 overs and six wickets to spare. John Jensen top scored with 49.