Two Cats hit stride ahead of weekend

BIG KNOCK: Geelong centurion Tom Jackson.

Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake

Geelong Cricket Club enjoyed an impressive victory over Melbourne University last weekend, albeit in a one-day game on Sunday after play was washed out on Saturday amid wild weather.

With the game rescheduled for 50 overs each, Geelong won the toss and sent the hosts into bat, a decision that reaped immediate benefits when Dom McGlinchey (1/52) took a wicket with just the second ball of the innings.

Uni fought back, reaching 2/107 midway through the innings before Brody Couch (5/30) was introduced with devastating effect.

After 50 overs Melbourne Uni had posted 9/228, a competitive total in the bowler friendly conditions.

In reply, the Cats lost Josh McDonald early before Tim Ludeman (36) took up the running. He combined with Tom Jackson (113), who looked better and better as the innings went on, making a wonderful century before unfortunately being dismissed with two runs still required.

The hard work by the top order was complete, though, as a six-wicket win was a fitting reward for a dominant display.

The side returns home now with a two-day fixture scheduled against Fitzroy Doncaster over the next two Saturdays

Geelong Cricket Association unfortunately saw all turf cricket abandoned for the second week running, meaning that the top two grades in all three divisions will go into this Saturday’s round of matches with very little cricket under their belts.

In division one, Lara sits atop the table with a golden opportunity to show that’s where it belongs when the team travels to Winter Reserve to take on the reigning premier East Belmont in a two-day game.

The Cats have been in great form and, with a number of highly credentialed players in good form, will fancy themselves to knock of the Lions just as they did last season.

Star brothers Andy and Danny Hughes have been in great nick and no lead a side with a number of genuine match-winners to back them up.

East Belmont has been building nicely, though, and has played some pretty impressive cricket since losing narrowly to Newtown & Chilwell in round one, with usual suspects Andrew Baars, Matt Lineker and Dave Lineen showing good early-season form.

This game should be a belter and Lara will be hard to beat.

Selections: GROVEDALE v Leopold, NORTH GEELONG v Murgheboluc, Newtown & Chilwell v SOUTH BARWON, ST JOSEPHS v Bell Post Hill, East Belmont v LARA.

Division two has yet to play a two-day game after their first round was washed out over the past fortnight.

The match of the round sends Marshall to Modewarre and, while Marshall gave the newly promoted Warriors a touch up in round one, that form counts for nothing now because Modewarre has blossomed since then to sit on top of the ladder.

With star import Jake Hooson in great form and veteran Brendan Wemyss leading from the front, Modewarre will relish the opportunity to reverse the result from early October.

Marshall is no pushover, though, and, with players of the calibre of Corey Walter in the form of his life, this game is tough to pick.

Marshall will start narrow favourite for its deeper, more-balanced line up but the slightest slip up will cost it dearly.

Selections: BELL PARK v Manifold Heights, GEELONG CITY v Highton, TORQUAY v St Peters, Modewarre v MARSHALL.

In division three, Waurn Ponds Deakin has a golden opportunity for its first win of the season when its hosts Lethbridge.

The Eagles have been competitive but are yet to win so far this campaign.

Lethbridge on the other hand ise a bit harder to get a read on. It certainly boasts a team full of talent but is yet to fully adjust after moving into a turf competition and needs to make a strong statement on the grass to prove it belongs.

With so much to play for both sides will be primed for this but despite Waurn Ponds Deakin being at home on turf, Lethbridge will just be that little bit too good.

Other selections: NEWCOMB & DISTRICT v Bannockburn, ALEXANDER THOMSON v Thomson, CORIO v Guild Saints, St Albans Breakwater v GEELONG WEST.