by Jim Timberlake
Geelong Cricket Club’s season hangs precariously in the balance entering day two of their clash with Kingston Hawthorn tomorrow.
The Cats batted first last week and could only manage 188 runs, dismissed in just the 66th over.
Hayden Butterworth (42), Josh McDonald (40) and Eamonn Vines (34) were the only batsmen to make any meaningful contribution in a disappointing performance.
The Geelong bowlers had 27 overs to complete day one and were hopeful of regaining control of the match.
While they did manage to take three wickets, Kingston Hawthorn wiped 64 runs from the deficit.
If they want to play finals this season, they simply must take early wickets tomorrow to give themselves any chance of winning.
In the Geelong Cricket Association, the top of the table clash between North Geelong and Lara is heavily balanced in North Geelong’s favour.
Lara batted first last week with hopes of continuing its good form with the bat, but the Magpie bowlers took the honours on the day, restricting Lara’s total to just 166.
Opener Lachlan Hayes (5/44) was the pick of the bowlers, while Alistair McCann (2/27) chipped in with some handy off spin.
Danny Hughes (42) was the only Lara batsman to produce anything worthwhile.
North Geelong survived 10 overs unscathed, and should go on and win tomorrow.
In division two, Marshall defeated Geelong City last Saturday in a tightly fought contest to progress to tomorrow’s one day final against Bell Park.
City batted first and posted a competitive 5/217 from their 50 overs with Pat Richards (70) top scoring.
In reply, the Bears were in big trouble early when they were reduced to 3/29, but Corey Walter (62) and Stan Grazotis (82) combined for a big partnership, before the Bears tail got them over the line in the last over.
They will now play Bell Park at Hamlyn Reserve tomorrow in what should be a cracking game. Bell Park’s form has been impeccable, but Marshall have a habit of stepping up to the plate in finals, so this will be a tough contest.
Bell Park deserve to start favourites, but Marshall won’t mind that one bit and just might cause an upset.
And in division three, Corio looked like causing a major upset when it dismissed Newcomb & District for just 190 last week.
Matthew De’vries (4/31) took the honours with the ball, while Kayden Henry (46) was the only Dinos batsman to look good.
However, when it was Corio’s turn to bat, the tables turned dramatically, with Zane Richter (5/10) ripping through the top order to send them to stumps at 6/39.
It would take a miracle for Corio to win tomorrow, meaning they will go into the Christmas break with a spot in this season’s finals seemingly a long way off.