Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake
Geelong Cricket Club has announced itself as a genuine threat this season after defeating Melbourne University last weekend.
Defending a modest 188, and with Melbourne Uni resuming on day two at 5/57, the Cats were going to need a good start.
Jake Reed ensured that would be the case, the returning paceman picking up where he left off on day one to run through host’s lower order on his way to figures of 5/42 from 22 overs.
Dom McGlinchey (3/20) also continued his good form as Geelong cruised to a dominant 85-run win.
The Cats then made the most of the remaining time to spend another 37 overs at the crease, racking up 3/98.
This weekend sees a Saturday/Sunday two-day game scheduled, with fifth placed Geelong hosting second-placed Essendon.
In years gone by Geelong tended to falter against the top sides. However, this group of Cats will be chomping at the bit to prove they can mix it with the best.
In Geelong Cricket Association, top placed East Belmont is now the only unbeaten team following Newtown & Chilwell’s loss to North Geelong last round.
The Lions haven’t had it all their own way, though, as both Grovedale and St Josephs have pushed them all the way. And they will expect more of the same this round when they travel to South Barwon to take on the third-placed Swans.
South Barwon has been quietly going about its business, and despite a shock loss to Bell Post Hill last round will feel that this is the perfect time to test itself against the reigning premier.
Skipper Terry Hill, veteran Joel Davies and import Lewis Sharp have all shared the bowling load so far, while Davies and Phil Lang lead their run scorers.
East Belmont has got through unscathed so far, although it’s side still appears unsettled and will sweat on the availability of paceman Dave Lineen from a leg injury.
But the return of star batsman Matt Lineker will boost the side, which will start deserved favourite although not by as big of a margin as some may think.
Selections: South Barwon v EAST BELMONT, LARA v Bell Post Hill, NEWTOWN & CHILWELL v Grovedale, Geelong City v NORTH GEELONG, Leopold v ST JOSEPHS
Division two goes into round six with a two-dayer scheduled over the next two Saturdays.
Third placed Murgheboluc has the chance to put a nice little gap between itself and fourth placed Marshall when it hosts the Bears at King Lloyd Reserve.
The Frogs have proven a force in this division so far, with Grozdanovski brothers Michael, Jason and Daniel leading the way brilliantly.
All three played critical roles in the defeat of Manifold Heights last round and will look to continue their good form.
Marshall, on the other hand, has been very inconsistent so far.
The Bears lowered their colours to Torquay last game, and although they won’t be the only ones to do that this season, they really need to bounce back here to prove they are still one of the premiership threats.
Nathan Frye (55) and Stan Grazotis (39) found some form with the bat, while captain Corey Walter (63) proved he is all class at this level.
In what will be an intriguing contest, Murgheboluc might just have a sight advantage in class but will need every bit of it to win this one.
Selections: St Peters v HIGHTON, BELL PARK v Manifold Heights, TORQUAY v Thomson, MURGHEBOLUC v Marshall.
Division three has a new ladder leader after St Albans Breakwater roared to the top with a stunning outright win over Corio.
Defending 247, the Super Saints would have been confident of victory but when they arrived at Shell Oval on day two a wicket that was quite wet at one end meant play might not start at all.
In the end, play did start and the score cards suggest that the bowlers were offered a fair bit of assistance by the wicket.
Sean Bogan made the most of it with 5/5 in the first innings, while Adam Hausler took 4/26 in the second.
In the end Corio could only muster 38 and 143, although it will feel that play should not have commenced at all.
St Albans Breakwater takes on Waurn Ponds Deakin in this game and will be keen to play in equal conditions so it can prove the side belongs at the top of the ladder.
Selections: TEESDALE v Corio, ST ALBANS BREAKWATER v Waurn Ponds Deakin, GEELONG WEST v Alexander Thomson, Newcomb & District v MODEWARRE, Guild Saints v BANNOCKBURN,