Remarkable turnaround continues for Eynesbury

Justin Siedlecki was the star with the bat for Eynesbury. (Shawn Smits) 203262_04

Tara Murray

Twelve months is a long time in cricket for Eynesbury in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.

Last season in the Johnstone Shield, they won just one game in a tough season for the club.

Now as we enter the final weekend of the season, the Eagles are set to host the Jensen Shield grand final.

Eagles captain-coach Tristian Francis said they would have never imagined that they would be in a grand final this season.

“We were happy to string a few wins together and have an enjoyable season,” he said.

“We didn’t think it would be possible to be in this situation.

“It’s a different situation from getting buckled every week.”

Francis said the key to the development of the side was the young kids who were coming through.

While they struggled at times last season, they all played key roles in getting the team to the grand final this year.

“Josh Oldfield stood up with the ball and Josh Francis has bowled well all year.

“Cody McLaughlin is another one. They are all young kids who have stepped up.”

The Eagles made 220 as they were bowled out in the last over.

The Eagles top order batted well and were 2-118. But the Eagles collapsed, with their lower order struggling to make an impact.

Justin Siedlecki (62) and was the last man out. Scott Oldfield also made a half century.

Tristian Francis said having been in such a good position early, they probably could have had more on the board.

“It was under par,” he said. “We were looking at 280 to 300. We were one down at tea, before losing 5-12.

“Justin stood up and batted through until the second last ball.”

Siedlecki getting out was a blessing for the Eagles, as it meant they had three overs to bowl at the end of the day.

They managed to get the wicket of Corey Beatty, who has scored more than 500 runs this season, just before stumps.

Francis said having Beatty back in the sheds gave them plenty of confidence going in overnight.

“Once we got that wicket we thought it was ours.”

With minor premiers Diggers Rest Bulla losing, the Eagles are the highest ranked team left and with it comes a home grand final.

They will face Romsey, who upset the Burras.

The grand final is the first for the club since it made the switch to the GDCA. Before this year, they had only played one final in this competition.