Ton-kin delivers in Dogs’ hour of need |PICTURES

IT was the knock Wodonga had been waiting for.

With the Bulldogs in deep trouble at 3-32, star batsman James Tonkin strolled to the crease to meet captain Robbie Jackson in a partnership which was going to be vital to Wodonga’s chances of reeling in Belvoir’s total of 206.

Things only got tougher when Jackson was caught behind just a few balls later, compounding Wodonga’s woes.

The Dogs were 4-34 and on the ropes and they needed Tonkin to deliver.

And he did just that.

With help from Jack Gilbee (34), Bryce Garvey (22) and James Saker (58), Tonkin led Wodonga to a character-building victory with a blistering 117 at Les Cheesley Oval.

The Lavington premiership captain of last season said that fact undoubtedly made his first century for his new club all the more satisfying.

“Definitely,” Tonkin said.

“We were in a bit of strife early and things were looking shaky.

“Belvoir bowled really well with the new ball and the first hour was pretty horrible for us.

“We really had to knuckle down and managed to get over the line comfortably in the end.”

Tonkin, who has scored 411 runs this summer at an average of just more than 40, had certainly been pulling his weight since defecting from the reigning premier.

But this was the innings he’d been working towards.

“It was good to finally get it out of the way,” he said.

“I’ve had a few cracks this season, but I just kept persevering.”

The Cricket Albury-Wodonga ace said he was loving his new club.

“It’s been really good,” Tonkin said.

“I’ve enjoyed being here since I walked in the door.”

Saturday’s victory kept Wodonga hot on the heels of ladder leader East Albury and every chance of living up to the pre-season hype which surrounded the club when the likes of Tonkin and Trent Ball jumped on board.

When asked how Wodonga compared to Lavington’s team of last season, he found plenty to be optimistic about.

“It’s been pretty similar, now that you mention it,” he said.

“We had to work hard all the way last season and this year is no different.

“A lot can happen over the next few weeks and there isn’t really a stand-out side.

“We just need to keep working hard.”

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