GDCA: McIntyre Cup final still up for grabs

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LATE wickets and a hotly disputed umpiring call have left Sunbury with a lifeline in the McIntyre Cup final as Sunbury United took the upper hand.

The Gisborne District Cricket Association decider was restricted by rain on Saturday, but a wind-swept Langama Park was a happy hunting ground for Bees batsmen on Sunday.

United could have been in an impregnable position at stumps if not for two wickets late in the day to leave the Bees 7-292 at the close.

But the ace in the hole for United is skipper James Hughes, allowed to retire hurt after being hit in the helmet by a Jason McGann bouncer, which caused the skipper to drop his bat on the stumps.

Sunbury went up in celebration before realising that Hughes had his cheek split open and needed treatment.

After much conjecture, the United skipper walked from the field not out, but retired hurt.

Andrew Powell held his nerve through the controversy, showing no signs of nervous 90s as he hit 102.

But holing out to mid-off ended his knock 10 minutes before stumps, while Adam Billinghurst was caught in close on the leg side from the final ball of the day.

Powell and Lyndon Dowsett (71) had shared a 134-run partnership for the fifth wicket, while Nathan Morse made 64 at the top of the order.

McGann, Sunbury’s captain, took 5-59 from 33 overs through the first two days. “A couple of early wickets next week . . .we’ve just got to bounce back,” McGann said.

Powell said he was disappointed not to reach stumps not out.

“It was a tough day early, hard to score but we did well to tough it out.

“We’ve still got heaps of work to do. We’ve got to get out there, make as much as we can and then bowl them out.

“I’m spewing I didn’t bat to the end of the day, but it’s always good to make a hundred.”

Action continues this Saturday. Sunday is available for play should a first innings result not be reached by the end of the third day.


Sunbury United 7-292 (A Powell 102, L Dowsett 71, N Morse 64, J McGann 5-59, P Newton 1-76, H Boffey 1-43)