A new-look Sunbury outfit has claimed the points against cross-town rival Sunbury United in the opening round of the Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup.

With five new players joining the club, the match was the first real opportunity for the Roar players to see what they could do.

New captain-coach Dylan Wright said he couldn’t have asked for more.

“It felt tight towards the end of the game, but I thought we were in control for most of the game,” he said. “I thought the scoreboard flattered them.

“With five new blokes, including myself, and with the weather we’ve had, we haven’t had a lot of practice. It was sort of like a practice match for us.”

After winning the toss, the Roar made 7-172 off its 40 overs. Mark McPherson, one of the side’s new players, top scored with 42.

Wright thought his side could have posted a higher total.

“For a lot of the innings, it looked like we would have got a bit more,” he said.

“They ended up putting fielders in front of the wicket and bowled full and straight. They halted our scoring and we lost wickets in clumps.

“Just a little bit more would have been good.”

In reply, United was in trouble at 5-89. It steadied a bit, but was unable to find the massive partnership it needed.

The Roar claimed the final three wickets for 13 to bowl United out for 159 in the final over.

Brad Hunter took 4-30, which included four of the last five wickets.

Wright said all the new players contributed when needed. He said McPherson had played in the competition before, but went back to his home club.

“He lives in Sunbury and was sick of travelling,” Wright said. “Brad [Hunter] had a couple of years off, but he has been able to free some time up to have another crack.

“Ajay Sood was good and Steve Maitland lives in the area and decided to join the club.”

As well as all the new inclusions, the club has been boosted by the decision of McGann to stay at the club.

The club thought at one stage that he wouldn’t return this season.

“He’s a superstar player and real coup for the club he has decided to stick around,” Wright said.

“His heart is at Sunbury Cricket Club and he’s pretty happy just batting and bowling and not worrying about coaching.”

Wright said that despite the number of inclusions and coming off the back of a grand final appearance, the club and the players were committed to taking things one week at
a time.

“Every player has room for improvement,” he said.

“We would be looking to play finals, but have not put expectations on ourselves to make the grand final or anything”.

In other matches, Diggers Rest Bulla, Riddell, Rupertswood and Bacchus Marsh were the winners.