Footscray was swimming against the tide throughout its 127-run loss to Melbourne University in the Victorian Premier Cricket at Merv Hughes Oval at the weekend.

The Bulldogs were chasing leather all day on Saturday as the Students posted a mammoth 4-367 declared, including centuries to Thomas Rogers (141) and James McNeil (100).

New ball operator Hamish Winter-Irving was Footscray’s lone multiple wicket taker with 2-67 off 18 overs, including the scalp of McNeil.

The other wickets were snared by Jack Sheppard (1-62), who claimed the prized wicket of Rogers, and Lucas Dredge (1-64).

Footscray is always up for the challenge of a big run chase, but it lost too many wickets in clusters to build the partnerships needed to get the win.

It started promisingly for the Bulldogs with openers Greg Munro (25) and Matt Underwood (27) taking the score past 50, but Munro’s dismissal sparked a mini collapse with the side losing 3-1 to be in trouble at 3-59. The Bulldogs had a middle order revival with starts from Dean Russ (40), captain Dylan Kight (34), debutant Jordan Kight (32) and Tim Buszard (34), but their last three wickets fell without a run and they were all out for 240.

Footscray, sitting third on the ladder with 49 points, remains in the mix for a top four finish with two rounds to go before the finals.

The Bulldogs will get a chance to bounce back against fourth-last Kingston Hawthorn in a two-day game at Walter Galt Reserve starting on Saturday.

In the Victorian Turf Cricket Association, Spotswood has been set a victory target of 264 against Seddon and ladder leader Yarraville Club could only manage 156 against Doutta Stars in the clash of the top two sides.

The Stars will go into day two as hot favourites, having already posted 3-77.