Cats host the Dogs after beating from the Blues

TOP SHOT: Grovedale bastman Nick Hyden plays a shot in front of wicket-keeper Aaron Morgan.

Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake

Geelong Cricket Club lowered its colours to Carlton in a one-day game last Saturday, although with the Cats sitting nicely at five wins and two losses the prospect of finals action this season still looks bright.

Batting first, the Cats struggled to find anyone willing to dig in and play a long innings. Josh McDonald (52) did his bit at the top of the order, while Hayden Butterworth (37) and Mitch Reid (31) did theirs, too.

Dom McGlinchey (30*) provided a late boost but the side could only manage a disappointing 209.

In reply, Carlton looked in total control, romping to an eight-wicket win in just 37 overs.

Geelong returns to Kardinia Park over the next two Saturdays for a two-dayer against 15th placed Footscray in a game the Cats should win.

In Geelong Cricket Association’s division one match of the round, Grovedale completely dominated Geelong City’s bowling attack to post an imposing 7/324.

Nick Hyden (161) was the star for the Tigers in a masterful batting display, while opening partner Michael Blain (57) figured in a 216-run opening stand.

Luke Ford (45) ensured the good start didn’t go to waste, while Jacob McKenzie (3/53) was the leading wicket taker for the Sharks.

As always, Richie Oliver will be the key tomorrow. The star English batsman is easily the classiest player in the Geelong City line-up, although Luke Inglis did make 151 last game, so if he can continue his good run of form this game might go down to the wire.

In division two, Manifold Heights has been set a target of 223 by St Peters for what would be its first win of the season.

On a hot day last Saturday, St Peters batted first. Steve Illingworth (51) top-scored at number five in the order, with help from Ben Miller (44) at number seven.

For the Sharks Mayuka Perera will hold the key to victory this Saturday. His form has been patchy so far, with four scores between 22 and 32, but he might be due for a big one, so an upset’s on the cards.

And in division three, Alexander Thomson fought back from a disastrous start on day one against St Albans Breakwater to remarkably have first innings points in the bag already.

The Vikings could only manage 140 batting first Dan Harris top-scoring with 42.

Needing a big effort with the ball if they were any chance to defend that, Jack Clapham (6/38) delivered in spades as the Saints were dismissed for an incredible 84 in just 32 overs.

With a 56-run lead, Alexander Thomson will be eyeing off outright points this Saturday, and the side can increase its lead to around 200 in quick time then it might just be able to pile the pressure on and bag 10 points.

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