Cats seek top start with trip to St Kilda

Jim Timberlake

Cricket, by Jim Timberlake

Geelong Cricket Club got its season off to the perfect start last Saturday with a fantastic team win against Melbourne.

Skipper Eamonn Vines won the toss and elected to bat on a flat wicket, and his openers did the job early, putting on 70 for the first wicket before Hayden Butterworth was out for 46.

Josh McDonald continued to set a strong tempo though, the keeper batsman scoring a sparkling 92 from just 94 balls

Vines himself chipped in with 44, and with most of the other batsmen getting a start the side posted a very competitive 6/276.

In reply, Melbourne began positively, opener Sam Harper scoring a brilliant 114, and at 2/207 the Demons looked like cruising to victory.

But the introduction of Brody Couch to the bowling attack changed the game, the first changer taking 4/32 while Angus Boyd provided good support with 3/29 as the Cats bundled out their visitors for 240.

Tomorrow the side travels to the newly refurbished Junction Oval to take on St Kilda in another one-day game, knowing that two early wins can really set their season up.

In Geelong Cricket Association, round two kicks off tomorrow with a second batch of one-dayers.

In division one, St Josephs takes on cross-river rival Newtown & Chilwell in a game where the winner will sit nicely on two wins after both sides enjoyed dominant victories last week.

Joeys hosted Bell Post Hill last Saturday, batting first and making 5/241 as star all-rounder Leigh Kentish top-scored with 74. In reply, the Panthers were never in it as Jack O’Donoghue (3/32) and Justin Foss (3/26) did all of the damage with the ball.

Newtown & Chilwell’s win was probably more impressive though, the Two Blues travelling to Lara where the Cats posted a very tidy 7/238 on the back of a Brad McMaster century.

While 238 looked like a challenging target, in the end it looked about 60 runs too few as George Chisholm (86), Will Simpson (48) and Cooper Bingham (90*) slayed the Lara attack to all corners for an outstanding eight-wicket win.

Tomorrow’s game looks like it will be close but Newtown and Chilwell will start the favourite after last week’s impressive performance.

Selections: Bell Post Hill v EAST BELMONT, NEWTOWN & CHILWELL v St Josephs, GEELONG CITY v Lara, NORTH GEELONG v South Barwon, GROVEDALE v Leopold.

In division two, Torquay will be out to prove a point against Bell Park in a replay of last season’s grand final.

Bell Park was of course premier but with wet weather badly affecting the match, which resulted in a draw, the win probably didn’t sit quite rightly with either side.

Bell Park showed it will still be a force to reckon with after an easy first-up win against St Peters last week.

Torquay on the other hand lowered its colours to Murgheboluc, the Frogs fighting back from a poor start with the ball to eventually romp it in.

So tomorrow will Torquay shows it can again be among the contenders or will Bell Park flex its muscle and send a message to the division that it’s the one to beat again?

One suspects the latter to be more likely.

Selections: St Peters v MURGHEBOLUC, Highton v MARSHALL, Thomson v MANIFOLD HEIGHTS, Torquay v BELL PARK.

And in division three, Bannockburn and Teesdale finally get the chance to prove themselves in a division they see as more befitting of their talents.

The two sides squared off last week, with Bannockburn winning easily after firstly dismissing Teesdale for just 97 before romping to an eight-wicket win.

Teesdale will travel to Newcomb & District this round, while Bannockburn will take on Waurn Ponds-Deakin. Both sides will be unfamiliar with playing on turf as opposed to hard wicket and all eyes will be on them both to see how they adjust.

Selections: Newcomb & District v TEESDALE, Guild Saints v ST ALBANS BREAKATER, Modewarre v GEELONG WEST, Corio v ALEXANDER THOMSON, Waurn Ponds-Deakin v BANNOCKBURN.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.