Woodend showed its batting strength to be on top after day one against Lancefield in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup.

Looking to cement a top-four spot heading into the Christmas break, Woodend knew it needed to win the match against the lower-placed Lancefield.

Things didn’t look good early, with Woodend in trouble at 6-93. But it didn’t panic and was quickly back on top, finishing at 9-307.

Woodend playing coach Michael Nalesnyik said it was one of the better comebacks he had seen.

“It was a day of two halves,” he said.

“At 6-90-odd it wasn’t looking good, so to finish with 307 was really good. It was a fantastic fightback by the boys.

“We pretty much bat down to number nine with a couple of allrounders in the team. We know that if we struggle early we can still get a good total.”

Warren Else top-scored with 89 coming in at number seven, while Daniel Eastley coming in at eight, made 56.

Brett Gardner was the anchor at the top of the innings, while Nicholas Dugdale-Walker made 41 at number nine.

Even number 10 Greg Matthews got into the party. While he may have only made 32 not out, it was his highest score in about 10 years.

Nalesnyik said Matthews’ innings was one of the highlights of the day.

Nathan Malone was the pick of the bowlers for the Tigers, taking 5-106.

Nalesnyik said despite the big score, they knew they still had to bowl well on a quick outfield and without star bowler Peter Manser.

Woodend currently sits third, behind undefeated Riddell and Bacchus Marsh.

A good bowling performance this weekend will help keep the pressure on the top two sides.

“A win for us at this stage is huge for us,” Nalesnyik said.

“It’s consolidated our spot and hopefully set us in a good spot to get a few more wins and look at finals.”

Woodend was the only side to spend the whole day at the crease, with both sides batting on day one in the other four matches.

Bacchus Marsh and Romsey have already claimed first innings points against Sunbury United and Diggers Rest Bulla respectively.

The Bulls are 9-163, nearly 100 runs ahead of United, who made 66.

The Burras are 2-20 in their second innings against Romsey, which declared at 1-81. The Burras were out for 68 in their first innings.

Sunbury is well on its way to victory against Rupertswood. The Roar are 2-59 in reply to Rupo’s 114.

Riddell is 5-61 in reply to Gisborne’s 99.