Gisborne was outplayed by a better side and had to settle for second in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup Premier Firsts.
Looking for their third premiership in four years, the Dragons came up against the best side in the past two seasons, Bacchus Marsh.
The Bulls showed with both the bat and ball why they have been the top side and ended up worthy premiers.
Dragons coach Glenn Waites said while they were disappointed not to take out the premiership, he didn’t take anything away from the Bulls.
“They were the better team,” he said.
“If it could be anyone besides us, we’re happy it is them. You can respect them and they are a terrific side.”
The Dragons got the first win of grand final week when their skipper Jarryd Vernon was declared fit.
Vernon had missed several weeks after a work accident left him with a hand injury.
Waites said Vernon is the best batsman in the competition and having him back was an asset.
“He had been batting for a number of weeks and fielding with a brace,” Waites said.
“It was a matter of Workcover clearing him.”
Once on the field, the Dragons won the toss and elected to bat.
It was a tough start, with the Dragons losing three early wickets.
They managed to get a couple of partnerships going, but the tail wasn’t able to go on with it and they were bowled out for 204.
Jason Wilson top scored with 62.
Waites said the score was on par.
“We knew it was competitive and they would have to bat well to get it,” he said.
“We left 20-30 runs out there. We lost 6-50 which isn’t great.
“We were trying to push it to 250 and rolled the dice, but they bowled well.”
On day two, the Dragons got an early wicket before the Bulls piled on the runs for the second partnership.
At 1-91 at lunch, the game was in the Bulls hands.
But the Dragons weren’t going to give up without a fight, and led by Jay King got themselves back in the game.
“We bowled OK without being great,” Waites said.
“We ended up taking three pretty quick wickets and then bowled 11 maidens in a row.
“It was a solid effort by Mili [Milinda Sepala] and Scott Wakefield who used their experience and hung in there.
“We had a similar scoreline at tea, but we lost six wickets and they didn’t.” The Bulls finished on 4-208, with nearly 20 overs remaining.
King was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-45.
Having not made finals the season before, Waites said the season had seen some great improvement. “It’s something to build on,” he said. “We’re back at the pointy end of the season. I can tell they are hurting, it’ll be interesting to see how they respond.”
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