RESURGENT Allansford is in the box seat after day one of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association Twenty20 bonanza.
The Gators were one of five clubs which emerged undefeated as a new era of the WDCA got under way across the district on Saturday.
West Warrnambool, Woodford, Nestles and Russells Creek Blue also have unbeaten records from the opening day.
But Allansford sits on top, courtesy of a superior net run rate on the back of two convincing wins at Allansford Recreation Reserve.
The Gators defeated Merrivale by 45 runs and thrashed Koroit by 126 runs in its two Twenty20 matches.
Batsmen Tim McDonald and Gault McCluggage and medium pacer Justin Fedley all starred in the victories.
McDonald made 101 runs — knocks of 51 not out and 50 — to be the third-highest run-maker for the day.
McCluggage posted the highest score across the competition, 71 against Koroit, while Fedley took 5-14 against the Saints.
New Allansford captain Kyall Timms said he was rapt with the start. “Obviously it’s very early in the season, we’re not going to get too far ahead of ourselves,” he said.
“The things we tried yesterday came off for us. We’ll take it as it is and look towards next week.”
Timms said the Gators were gunning for a spot in the WDCA Twenty20 final in January.
But the round-robin tournament also gave them a chance to play with their line-up, aware bigger challenges lay ahead.
That was most evident in McDonald, who opened against Merrivale but dropped to five against Koroit.
“We wanted to give other blokes a go. We are trying out new things, trying to give people a chance to prove themselves,” Timms said.
“Next week will be a different story. We’ll have a bit more of an idea with our batting line-ups and how we want to set up our bowling.
“Our philosophy this year is we’re going to play people on form. Everyone is aware of that. We’re looking to be fairly strong.”
Timms said he was a cautious supporter of the new WDCA structure, in which a Twenty20 round-robin preceded the regular season.
“Ask me at the end of the season. It did actually work pretty well yesterday but it does take up a full Saturday,” he said.
“But the days of blokes playing football and cricket all year round are dying off.
“The association had to try something. To their credit, they’ve done this and they’re willing to have a go.”