Local Cricket, by Jim Timberlake
Geelong Cricket Club heads into day two of its clash with Dandenong in the box seat this weekend despite making only 155 last Saturday.
The Cats lost the toss and were asked by their hosts to bat first in weather View Postmore-suited to a football match as a wintry blast roared through Melbourne.
The rain, wind and hail meant the pitch was ideal to bowl on but Eamonn Vines (23), Josh McDonald (38) and Dom McGlinchey (34) all dug in for extended periods to post a competitive 155 from 52 overs.
With plenty of time still remaining on day one, Geelong sent down 21.2 overs, reducing Dandenong to 6/54 at stumps.
McGlinchey (5/22) was the star, sending down 11 overs of quality pace bowling, while Jared Bailey (1/16) also snared one.
The weather might not expected be much better this weekend, so, given equal pitch conditions, Geelong’s bowlers should be able to finish the job.
Geelong Cricket Association moves into November with round four in division one scheduled as a two-day game.
Lara has kicked off the season in brilliant form and finds itself atop the ladder. It hosts third-placed Grovedale tomorrow in a massive game for both sides.
The Cats have a very impressive squad, with a mixture of talented youth and experienced veterans all doing their bit.
The Hughes brothers who almost single handedly destroyed Leopold last game, though, with Danny taking an incredible 8/35 from 21 overs to dismiss the Lions for just 97 on day one. On day two Andy scored an even 100* to see his side home with nine wickets to spare.
Grovedale has also started the season brightly, with two wins and a tie from three games. This will be the Tigers’ toughest test so far though, as their draw to date has been kind.
Jordan Moran (111*) showed his class against Bell Post Hill last week and will need to back that up again if the Tigers are to prove they belong in the top four.
Selections: LARA v Grovedale, Murgheboluc v ST JOSEPHS, Bell Post Hill v EAST BELMONT, Leopold v NEWTOWN & CHILWELL, South Barwon v NORTH GEELONG.
Division two has its first two-day game of the season this round, and the best match is one few would have predicted just a month ago, with top-placed Modewarre looking to cement its spot against a Torquay side fighting to keep in touch with the top four.
For the Warriors, classy import Jake Hooson has led his side brilliantly but has had plenty of help from the likes of Mitch McDonald, Daniel Brew and Zac Previti, who all are in great form.
For Torquay, a season that promised so much as the team looked to go one better than last year has started with a splutter. Torquay was soundly beaten last week by Marshall in a grand final rematch, and really needs to start getting some wins on the board to be a genuine threat for the premiership.
On paper, Torquay has the talent to win this one but, on form, Modewarre starts deserved favourite and looks the likely winner.
Other selections: BELL PARK v St Peters, Marshall v GEELONG CITY, Manifold heights v HIGHTON.
And in division three, Newcomb & District sits atop the ladder as the only side to win every game.
It has a golden opportunity to consolidate that position when the team travels to Lethbridge tomorrow.
Lethbridge has struggled to adjust to turf cricket so far, losing to Corio and Guild Saints in the last two games. However, this match sees it back on their home ground, and the key may be the team’s preference for hard-wicket conditions, which some Newcomb & District players have experienced for many years.
Surface aside, Newcomb & District starts favourite and looks like having the class to win but certainly won’t have everything its own way.
Other selections: Waurn Ponds Deakin v ALEXANDER THOMSON, Corio v ST ALBANS BREAKWATER, GEELONG WEST v Bannockburn, THOMSON v Guild Saints.