James Grubb has made some noise in his Altona homecoming.
The all-rounder featured prominently in the A’s season-opening four-wicket win over Box Hill in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association on the road at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday.
He showed why the A’s were so excited to see him return home after a stint with Footscray in Premier Cricket.
Grubb excelled with bat and ball, taking 2-33 off nine overs to help restrict Box Hill to 9-179 off its 45 overs, then scoring at nearly a run-a-ball for 55 in a successful run chase.
“He’s a good addition this year,” A’s captain Adam Yates said.
“He’s an Altona boy and he spent about four years at Footscray and the off season over in England.
“He just hits a good spot with the ball and challenges the outside edge and challenges the off stump.
“Then he batted really well.
“He came in with a positive mindset.”
When Grubb arrived at the crease, Altona’s innings was at the crossroads at 3-50.
With 130 runs still to get, Grubb and Greg Sheehan took the game away from Box Hill with a superb fourth wicket partnership of 72.
Grubb accelerated the scoring, while Sheehan, who made 49 not out, played the steady hand before unleashing late.
“He [Sheehan] just paced the innings really nicely,” Yates said.
“He was quite slow to start with, but when it got down to a run a ball, he just found the boundary when he needed to.
“He’s a very experienced player, so to have him at the end was critical.”
Altona passed the target with eight balls to spare.
Matthew Gubb chipped in with a valuable 12 off 11 balls late.
Earlier in the day, Altona was staring down the barrel of a big score to chase.
Box Hill was cruising on 57 without loss, but Grubb, Daniel Mackenzie (2-39) and Yates (3-35) stemmed the bleeding in the middle overs and negotiated a chasable score.
“To bank six points in the first game is critical,” Yates said.