St Anthony’s put on a brave performance with the bat to avoid an outright loss against Gisborne in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup.

Having already conceded first innings points, the Saints had a task ahead of them if they were to avoid conceding full points against the form team of the competition.

Saints captain-coach Cam Clayton said day one of the match against Gisborne was their worst day of the season.

The Saints were bowled out for 90, with the Dragons 1-173 at stumps in reply.

“It hasn’t been the best start to the year,” he said.

“Last Saturday was our worst day of the year for all-round cricket, with both bat and ball.

“We’re working hard to get back on track.“We have to change the way we approach things. The list we have got isn’t going to match it with the top couple of sides.

“We’re just going to continue to give it our all.”

The Saints were dealt two blows before day two of the match.

Opening bowler Anmol Singh Chahal was not going to bat on day two of the match, leaving them one down.

Youngster Alex Kerr hurt his arm last week and with his arm in a cast, was also ruled out.

The Dragons decided to continue their innings, leaving the Saints with just nine players in the field.

Clayton said he thought the Dragons might have declared at their day one score.

“We were two down before the first ball,” he said. “We fielded with nine players … Once Tom Sanders got his century they declared.”

The Dragons declared at 2-201, with a lead of 111.

The Saints had to score that to avoid the outright loss.

They did, bowled out for 162 in 75 overs.

Clayton said he was proud of the group and how they went about it.

“We didn’t get the points, but it was a win for us,” he said.

“They are well drilled and it’s a tough game mentally.

Darren McCrae made 28 not out off 240 balls.

“He batted throughout the whole day. It was pretty outstanding.”

The Saints sit bottom, without a win after five rounds. They have three draws from washouts.

Clayton said this was the worst start to the season weather-wise in his time in the competition.

He said the aim for the side was to be consistent the next few weeks and be competitive against every team.

“We’re trying as hard as we can,” he said. “Alex [Kerr] is out and there will be a couple of other changes. There’s guys in the twos that are knocking down the door.”

St Anthony’s this week face Woodend, who is also without a win.

In other games, Bacchus Marsh beat Woodend, Romsey was too good for Riddell and Diggers Rest Bulla had a massive win against Sunbury United. In the Jensen Shield, Eynesbury beat Romsey.