LOCAL CRICKET Jim Timberlake
Geelong Cricket Club’s hopes of contesting this seasons finals were dealt a savage blow last weekend, when they went down to St Kilda by two wickets.
Batting first on Saturday, the Cats’ top order got the side off to a perfect start, with openers Mitch Reid (35) and Eamonn Vies (42) combining well, while Tyler Larkin (38) looked in good touch, as they reached 1/109.
But from there, a steady flow of wickets saw them dismissed for a disappointing but defendable 226.
In reply, St Kilda lost two early wickets to be 2/12, but from then on, they knuckled down, with a series of partnerships seeing them home in the 83rd over.
Hayden Butterworth (4/42) toiled hard as he always does, but the score just proved too hard to defend.
Geelong travel up the highway to take on the Monash Tigers this round, before hosting Prahran in the final game of the season. They will need two big wins, and a bit of luck in other games, if they are to scrape into the top eight and earn a finals birth.
South Barwon have laid down the challenge to East Belmont in the Geelong Cricket Association match of the round, posting a very competitive 252 after being asked to bat first.
Jayden Hicks (84) was the mainstay for the Swans at number three, after Kyle Bienefelt (63) got them off to a blistering start.
East Belmont coach Chris Williams (3/62) helped bring the run rate back under control, but the rest of the attack toiled all day without much reward from the flat wicket.
With Grovedale certain of victory against Murgheboluc, both sides will be desperate for a win tomorrow, as the loser may well be out of the four by stumps.
In division two, Modewarre have laid down an almighty challenge to St Peters, racking up 7/268 last week.
Jake Hooson (92) continued to show why he is one of the best bats in the competition, while Steven King (51) ensured the good start didn’t go to waste.
Fraser Jepson (2/64) was the pick of the bowlers for St Peters.
It’s do or die for both sides tomorrow, and with runs on the board, Modewarre should keep their premiership hopes alive.
In division three, Thomson has to chase down Geelong West’s 244 tomorrow, or their season is over.
At 6/68 last week, the Rams were in all sorts of trouble, but a magnificent 83 to number nine Peter Cruden rescued them, while number 10 Sam Kelly (31) was equally important.
Thomson isn’t without a hope if Grant Dew finds form, but he’ll need a lot of help.
This Sunday will be a huge day for the inaugural Barwon Women’s Cricket Competition, with their grand final scheduled alongside the Division One, Two and Three Mens T20 grand finals.
Ocean Grove went through the women’s season undefeated, and will take on Irrewarra. Both sides will be determined to be crowned the first ever winner of this exciting new competition.
All of the games will be held at South Barwon and Marshall Cricket Clubs. Division three kicks off at 10am, Division one at midday, while the womens match will be at 2pm, and the division two match will start at 2:30pm.