Sunbury had a disappointing start to life in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association Division 5 Russell Pollock Shield.

With plenty of hype and excitement around the club, Sunbury was hoping to start a new competition on a winning note.

But instead, it had to settle for a first round loss to Moonee Valley.

Roar captain-coach Craig Ballinger said there was only one negative out of the day, the result.

“We should have won,” he said. “The hype is still there and there were nerves built up.

“The delayed start kept the butterflies alive. We’ve got the first game under way and we know what everyone is capable of.

“We think we can give it a bit of a shake.”

The Roar’s season start was delayed to this week because several ovals were unavailable and it was thrown another curve ball on Thursday night when the fixture was changed, again because of the unavailability of some ovals.

Instead of playing Footscray ANA, Sunbury travelled to Ormond Park to face Moonee Valley. Ballinger said no matter who they played, being in a new competition meant they were facing the unknown.

Moonee Valley was restricted to 8-150 from its overs.

Jason McGann took four wickets for Sunbury.

Ballinger said they were confident they could get the job done chasing that total but it wasn’t to be – Sunbury was bowled out for 135 in the final over.


Sunbury’s Jason McGowan. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Sunbury vs Moonee Valley

“Chasing 150 on that oval, we were 100 per cent confident of chasing down that total.

“We batted well in patches. They got hold of us in the middle overs,” Ballinger said.

“The spinners strangled us and we weren’t used to it. It’s an unknown on a turf wicket and they bowled in the right areas. It was taken away from us between the 20th and 30th overs.”

Ballinger said they would learn from the match.

Stephen Treweek top scored for Sunbury, coming in at number eight, making 28.

Ballinger said Treweek nearly won the match off his own bat, but like he was with the ball, he was unlucky.

“His bowling figures didn’t show how well he played.

“He was caught on the boundary, with the fielder needing to throw it back in to a teammate 10-15 metres away.

“They had a bit of luck.”

The Roar added three experienced players to their line-up this season.

All three were part of the weekend’s team.

Jay King, who opened the bowling and took two wickets, provides plenty of leadership on and off the field.

Michael Treweek returns to the club from Rupertswood, to play with his brothers and Nick Smith has come across from Woodend.

Ballinger said all three added depth to the squad and helped provide support to the younger players coming through.