Geelong Cricket Club’s topsy-turvy season continued on Saturday with a disappointing loss to Carlton.
The Cats won the toss and sent their hosts in to bat, a decision that proved sound early when they reduced the Blues to 3/16 as Dom McGlinchey (2/25) ripped through the top order.
Carlton fought back with a couple of handy partnerships, but Hayden Butterworth (4/32) continued his good form with the ball to dismiss them for just 185.
When it was Geelong’s turn to bat though, things went pear shaped as they fell to 4/10 within half of an hour of the lunch break.
Again it was Butterworth (92) who rescued the side, and at 7/155 they looked like pulling off a miraculous escape. It was not to be though, eventually dismissed for 160 in a loss that saw the side drop back out of the top 8.
Two day cricket returns now, with a trip to Essendon scheduled over the next two Saturdays, where nothing but a win will suffice.
In the Geelong Cricket Association, Grovedale’s hopes of contesting this seasons finals remain alive after a dominant win over Newtown & Chilwell, while the three teams immediately above them on the ladder all lost.
With two day cricket now scheduled for the rest of the season, the Tigers take on South Barwon this round in a huge game for both sides.
Veteran Gareth Yelland (4/20) looks to be finding his best form again, while Jordan Moran (81*) continued his stellar season with the bat to easily chase down the Two Blues’ meagre 143 with nine wickets in hand.
South Barwon lost to Lara at home, and will be desperate not to make it two in a row, as they play East Belmont after this, making for a very hard month of cricket.
Selections: South Barwon v GROVEDALE, BELL POST HILL v Leopold, NORTH GEELONG v St Josephs, Newtown & Chilwell v EAST BELMONT, Murgeboluc v LARA
In division two, serious questions are starting to be asked about Geelong City, after they lowered their colours to St Peters last Saturday.
While the boys from Richmond Crescent will still back themselves to go all the way, they must overcome Torquay this round, who also have their season on the line, as a loss here would make it very hard to play finals.
The win to St Peters has breathed new life into their campaign, and their game against Highton this round will also be a ripper.
With four games left, and with the ladder bunching up by the week, this season will be one of the tightest ever, making for some great cricket to be had.
Selections: Manifold Heights v MARSHALL, Highton v ST PETERS, Torquay v GEELONG CITY, Modewarre v BELL PARK.
And in division three, we are still no closer to having any idea what this seasons finalists might look like, with the logjam in the middle of the ladder refusing to clear itself.
Newcomb & District and Alexander Thomson should play finals, while Waurn Ponds appear certain to miss out. But that leaves seven clubs with legitimate claims to the other two spots.
St Albans Breakwater did their premiership hopes no harm with a fantastic win against Newcomb & District last week, and play Waurn Ponds Deakin in a two day game this round, so they can go a long way to taking one of those spots with a win here.
Selections: GEELONG WEST v Guild Saints, NEWCOMB & DISTRICT v Thomson, Corio v ALEXANDER THOMSON, BANNOCKBURN v Lethbridge, ST ALBANS BREAKWATER v Waurn Ponds Deakin