By Tara Murray
Melton kept its finals hopes alive in Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association east-west competition with a big win against Croydon on Saturday.
After a disappointing result in the previous round, the Lions needed to take the points on Saturday against the bottom side if they want to play finals.
The match was the only one in the division to get some play on day one last week, but was reverted to a one-dayer on Saturday.
The Lions set the match up, as they have so many times this season, with the bat.
They made 6-216 from their overs to put themselves in a good position.
Lions director of coaching Anthony Gale said while they would have liked one of the top order to go on with a big score, they were pretty happy with the performance.
“It was a good, even performance,” he said. “We had four or five players chip in between 30 and 45. It was a really quick ground and it was beautifully presented.”
Nathan Taylor top scored with 45, while Ben MacRae made 43.
Gale said the score was about par on that ground. He said heading into the field they were full of confidence that they could get the job done.
The Lions bowling attack has been their strength all season and kept them in many matches. On Saturday, the Lions bowled Croydon out for 189. Jake Charge took three wickets, with Gale saying it was an even bowling performance. “It was a hard-fought win,” he said.
“We kept getting wickets when we needed them. We were able to do something special, like run-out at times, when we needed it as well. “We bowled and fielded really well, and our bowlers are in good form.”
The Lions sit in eighth spot, three points outside the top six, with two rounds remaining.
From fifth through to 10th, there are just nine points separating the sides.
The Lions face Noble Park in a two-dayer and then Yarraville in the final round in a one-dayer.
Gale said they need to win both games.
“We might be looking back and thinking ‘if only’,” he said. “If we can get two wins you never know what will happen with the other sides [in finals contention].
“We still have a sniff. If everyone contributes we can match it with most sides.”
The Lions second XI moved up to fourth place after also beating Croydon.
The Lions bowled Croydon out for 126, with Brandon McGee taking three wickets.
The opening partnership between Lucas Alaimo (56) and Gale (51 not out) set up the run chase.
Melton finished 2-127.