Cats seek positive Dandenong results

EVERGREEN: Thomson opener Grant Dew.

Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake

Geelong Cricket Club had some mixed results last weekend, losing its one-day game against Melbourne on Saturday before bouncing back with a win against Greenvale on Sunday.

At the Albert Ground on Saturday, Melbourne batted first and racked up a big score of 6/265 on the back of Matthew Brown’s 129 from just 135 balls. For Geelong, Andrew Vine (2/37) was the pick of the bowlers, while Josh Blain (2/53) also did a good job.

In reply, skipper Eamonn Vines (69) led the way at the top of the order but a series of scores in the 30s and 20s to most of the other batsmen saw the Cats fall just seven runs short of their target.

This was the second time in three games where the batsmen had all got starts but none could go on to get a significant match-winning score.

On Sunday, though, the contrast was stark.

Greenvale set Geelong a challenging 211 to win with Tim Ludeman smashed a blistering 93 from just 63 balls to see the side cruise home with 15 overs and seven wickets to spare.

The Premier fixture now reverts to two-day cricket, with Geelong travelling to Dandenong over the next two Saturdays. Dandenong has struggled so far this season, so the Cats will look to cash in and get their win-loss ratio back in the positive.

In Geelong Cricket Association, South Barwon looks like registering its first win for the season after a dominant first day against St Joseph’s at the college oval.

The Swans won the toss and sent their hosts in to bat, a decision vindicated by an outstanding bowling performance from Nick Lynch who took 7/30 as St Josephs was dismissed for just 113.

St Josephs opener Luke Ibbs (66) was the only batsman to offer any real resistance, almost carrying his bat before being the last man out.

In reply, South Barwon endured a nervous start to be 3/6. However, Joel Davies (28*) and Jack Spence (10*) saw their side through to stumps at 3/50.

These two should get their side off to a good start tomorrow, and only a miracle could help St Josephs win this one.

In division two, newly promoted Modewarre has raced to the top of the ladder after thrashing Bell Park last week.

The Dragons batted first and started strongly, with a 55-run opening stand between Luke Turner (38) and Jamie Spiller (21), but a fantastic spell of bowling from Brendan Wemyss (4/19) completely changed the game.

Despite some late hitting from Ben Spencer (20), Bell Park could manage just 136.

Modewarre never looked troubled in its run chase, with import Jake Hooson (60*) leading the way, while Wemyss (35*) capped off a great game personally as they raced to an eight-wicket win in just 39 overs.

The Warriors host St Peters tomorrow, and while the Saints enjoyed a solid win of their own last week against Highton, Modewarre looks like its on a real role and should make it three in a row.

Other selections : TORQUAY v Marshall, Manifold Heights v GEELONG CITY, Highton v BELL PARK.

And in the division three match between local rivals St Albans Breakwater and Thomson, the Tigers have the slight upper hand after day one thanks to a magnificent century by evergreen opener Grant Dew (107).

While Dew was clearly the dominant player, his teammates offered sporadic support in their total of 198.

For the Saints, Jake Watson-Searle (5/45) was the outstanding bowler on the day, sending down 24 overs.

With both sides sitting mid-table on one win and one loss, tomorrow’s game is critical to both sides’ finals chances. While St Albans Breakwater has the talent to chase this total down, runs on the board might prove crucial to the Tigers, who should win narrowly.

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