courtesy Tara Murray, Star Weekly
Sunbury is confident its side will shape up well in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 4 season.
Runners-up in division 5 in their first season in the VTCA, the Roar has stuck with a similar line-up as it looks to go one better in the higher division.
New coach Scott Yardley said they were pleased with how things were looking to start the season.
Yardley, who is in his third stint as coach of the club, replaces Craig Ballinger, who stood down from the captain-coach role due to other commitments.
“It was a good nice sharp pre-season and then we were into it,” Yardley said.
“We’ve stuck with what we had and we’re confident in that and we have plenty of juniors coming through.
“It’s about developing the youth and we’ve got a good batch of under-17s.”
Yardley said they had looked to add one new player, Jack Landt. But he will miss the season after signing to play football in the Northern Territory.
Yardley said they would get an idea of where the top side sits in the competition over the first few weeks, having only played Moonee Valley before.
He said there was plenty of motivation to try and win a premiership after so many close misses.
Last season, the Roar was just two wickets away from claiming first innings points in the division 5 grand final after the first two days.
The second weekend of play was cancelled due to COVID-19, with Moonee Valley awarded the premiership being the higher-ranked team.
“We’re still hoping to play finals as a minimum and we are confident that we can get there with what we have,” Yardley said.
“St Andrews [who they played round one] played in the grand final last year and they’ve recruited well, so it shows us we’re in the ballpark.
“The bowlers could be playing in higher grades, so we’ve just got to get the runs on the board for them to bowl at.”
The Roar won their opening round match against St Andrews with the bowlers doing the job as they defended just 104.
Yardley said they always expected low scores early in the season and were confident of getting the win defending everything over 100.
He was happy with how new captain Stephen Treweek went in his first game in the role.
The Roar will only get stronger with last season’s captain-coach Craig Ballinger starting the season in the second XI.
Yardley said Ballinger remains one of their premier batters, he just needed to get a few hits under his belt to start the season.
With an influx of numbers this season at the club, the Roar is fielding an extra senior team, with three teams playing in the VTCA and the other two in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.
On Saturday, the Roar faced Williamstown Congs.
The Congs were bowled out for 117 in the final over, with Jay King and Jason McGann taking three wickets each.
The Roar looked in slight trouble at 7-103 after losing a few quick wickets, but were able to recover and finished 7-121.
Nick Smith top scored with 44.
Other winners were St Andrews, Melton Centrals, Maribyrnong Park St Marys and Footscray United.
This is the perfect opportunity for experienced players looking toward a new challenge to make the change. We are the only cricket club in Sunbury and surrounding areas that can offer TURF cricket.
For all enquiries please contact the club:
President: Brendan Doyle: 0426 244 187 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Coach: Scotty Yardley 0418 564 462 email@example.com
We are Sunbury, hear the mighty ROAR!