By Luke Voogt
Geelong Cricket Club’s finals hopes could depend on if Cricket Victoria decides to reschedule last Saturday’s round, cancelled amid state government’s snap COVID-19 lockdown.
The cancellation could cost the Cats, who were scheduled to play second-from-the-bottom-placed Camberwell Magpies.
Coach Nick Speak hoped Cricket Victoria would replay the round later in the season, with Geelong facing five sides above it on the ladder in its other six games.
“It was put to presidents, captains and coaches,” he said.
“Our point of view was, ‘yes, let’s find an alternative date’.”
Geelong’s batsmen lead the competition on 2483 runs for, 335 ahead of ladder leaders Carlton.
Opener Eamonn Vines averages 75 for the season while, like him, Josh McDonald and Gus Boyd have made centuries. Thomas Jackson averages 53.1.
The Cats came close to toppling the third-placed Melbourne side, featuring several Big Bash players, prior to the cancelled round.
“If Vines and Boyd had kept their partnership going it would have likely broken that game open,” Speak said.
“We lost in the space of three overs.”
The Cats hope to improve with ball, with pacemen Brody Couch and spinner Tom O’Connell returning to the side a few rounds ago from Big Bash squads.
“We’re looking more resilient in that area,” Speak said.
“Our fielding has been a focus since Christmas. It’s going OK but it’s still something we need to improve.
Tomorrow the Cats take on fourth-placed Dandenong, which Speak previously coached.
In-form batsmen Brett Forsyth, Edward Newman and Tom Donnell, all-rounder James Nanopoulos, who has 21 wickets, and former Sri Lankan off spinner Suraj Randivc could all be dangerous.
“Their top six is very strong but there are holes in every side, so we just have to find them and exploit them,” Speak said.
“The beauty of a win against the sides above us on the ladder… is it takes a win off them too.”
In GCA division one North Geelong sits atop the ladder, followed by Lara, South Barwon and East Belmont.
In division two Bell Post Hill leads the ladder, followed by Marshall, Geelong City and Torquay.
Lethbridge leads division three, followed by Geelong West, Bannockburn and Corio.
In the Barwon Women’s Cricket Competition East Belmont Deb leads Ocean Grove, Barrabool and Manifold Heights.