Surging Cats set to cement place in finals

IN OTHER NEWS: Lara duo Sam Purdy and Brad McMaster have been selected to represent the Victorian under-21 squad.

Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake

Geelong Cricket Club surged into third position on the Victorian Premier League ladder after a hard-fought win over Casey-South Melbourne last weekend.

Batting first, the Cats were lead beautifully by skipper Eamonn Vines who peeled off a majestic 122 after batting for almost six hours.

Brenton McDonald (33) helped ice the cake on the Geelong innings as the Cats set their hosts 280 to win.

Casey-South Melbourne started its chase reasonably positively, reaching 2/110, before McDonald (3/61) and Dom McGlinchey (3/88) tore through the middle order to reduce their opponents to 9/177.

However, an incredible fightback saw the score quickly climb before McDonald claimed the last wicket with 18 runs and three balls to spare.

The Geelong side continues to go from strength to strength and hosts Ringwood over the next two Saturdays in a game the Cats should win, and in doing so wrap up a finals spot for certain.

In Geelong Cricket Association’s match of the day Richie Oliver (86) has helped set up an intriguing run chase for this Saturday, setting Lara 213 for victory.

The Geelong City star was the mainstay, receiving good support from veteran Chris Bambury (31) as the Sharks posted a competitive 212.

Danny Hughes (3/49) led the way for the Cats with the ball in a game both sides simply have to win.

Tomorrow’s run chase will be as tight as it gets in a local home-and-away fixture when Andy Hughes and co attempt to chase down the runs and keep their team’s premiership aspirations alive.

In division two, Marshall has done its finals chances no harm with a very defendable 255 against Highton.

Stan Grazotis (83) top-scored, while Jake Hilton (42) continued his good post- Christmas form at the top of the order.

James Menzies (22) provided a late boost for his side to capitalise on a solid day’s batting.

For Highton, Charlie Dewhurst (3/26) was the pick of the bowlers.

Marshall will be out to prove it belongs in the top four, and this will be the perfect opportunity to do so.

And in division three, Geelong West has kept its finals hopes alive, restricting Modewarre to 186.

Geelong West had Modda at 8/12 at one stage before Jackson O’Hanlon (40) and Nat Matthews (42) put on 60 for the ninth wicket.

For the Rams, Mitch Stephens (4/46) bowled 24 excellent overs.

With no Sam Loftus tomorrow, Geelong West will need all its batsmen to step up and shoulder the burden, otherwise the team’s season is over.

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