Gisborne has grabbed a vital win in the fight for a top two spot in Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup Premier Firsts.

In a battle between second and third, the Dragons came out on top against Romsey with both the bat and ball.

After his side made 7-204 on day one, Dragons coach Glenn Waites knew good bowling would be required to get the win.

“If you were to say that we made 200-odd at Romsey on a pretty flat and quick ground, I would say that we had under achieved,” he said.

“We had the runs on the board, though, and it was going to be a really good test after coming off a failure against Woodend in a similar scenario.”

After discussing the challenge they faced, the bowlers stuck to their task to bowl Romsey out for 132.

It was one of the Redbacks’ worst performances with the bat for the season.

Waites was thrilled with how the side lifted for the challenge.

“Jacko [Jakson Knight] steered beautifully with his great bowling changes,” he said. “The opening spell by Recordo [Gordon] and Jay [King] set the scene.

Kingy bowled beautifully without much luck. First-gamer Joshua McDonald bowled a wicket maiden in his first over, while Joel Garbutt strangled the game.”

Stand-in skipper Knight was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-29. Gordon finished with 3-28.

While praising the bowlers, Waites was quick also to laud the work of Jason McDonald and Lachlan Shore with the bat on day

Jason McDonald came into the top side due to an injury to Jason Wilson to provide some more experience.

With plenty of time still to bat, the Dragons made 2-108 in their second innings.

Recordo Gordon made 72.

Waites said the most pleasing thing about the second innings was the eagerness of players to get a second hit.

“We had players queuing up to get time in the middle,” he said.

The win opens up a gap of nearly 10 points between Gisborne and Romsey.

The Dragons trail ladder leader Bacchus Marsh by just over five points. Waites said the result and every result in the run home was important.

The Dragons should receive a boost next round, with Wilson set to return alongside Brook Grumont.

Captain Jarryd Vernon is the only player likely to remain on the injury list. Waites said they didn’t know if Vernon would return this season.

“He’s a big loss – he’s a quality player,” he said.

In other results, Bacchus Marsh beat Sunbury, Diggers Rest Bulla had a big win against Wallan while Sunbury United didn’t get near Woodend’s total.