Riddell’s youngsters are making the difference in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield District Firsts competition.

Riddell did not know what to expect this season after it dropped down a division in the off season due to losing most of its line-up.

However, after five games, Riddell is the only undefeated team in its division.

Riddell captain Daniel Fisk said the development of their younger players – including Kyle Whitehurst, Alex Ryan and Harry Fisher – was behind such a good start to the season.

“They are really coming of age,” he said.

“All three of them are talented youngsters and all three have exceeded expectations.

“They have come along a lot quicker than we thought they would.”

Riddell made 9-187, including Michael Sammut top scoring with 62, while Whitehurst made a quick-fire 41. Fisk said they were happy with that score.

“We said we wanted 200 at the start,” he said.

“In the end we were happy with 180.”

Jack Dillon was the pick of the bowlers for the Thunder with three wickets.

Fisk said they always felt like the game was in their control.

“The game was always ours to lose with the runs on the board,” he said.

Thunder ran out of overs, finishing 4-144.

Dillon completed a good all round game, finishing 67 not out at the top of the order.

Matthew Lloyd took two wickets, while Whitehurst and Fisk took the other wickets.

Fisk said they will get a better indication of where they sit in the next two matches.

They face other frontrunners St Anthonys and Rupertswood as the two-day matches begin.

“Rupo and St Anthonys are two of the better sides and those games will show us where we’re at,” Fisk said.

In other matches, Rupertswood suffered its first loss of the season, against Ashfield. Ashfield made 6-182 from its overs with Ethan Travers making 79 not out. Rupo fell just short, all out for 173 with eight balls remaining.

Captain-coach Andrew Pizaro top scored with 43 not out.

St Anthonys returned to the winners’ list with a big win against Eynesbury Eagles, while Bacchus Marsh was too good for Gisborne.

There were no matches in the Jensen Shield- Sub Districts Firsts.

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