Footscray has hit a flat spot at the wrong end of the Victorian Premier Cricket season.
The Bulldogs have suffered consecutive losses in games where they could have locked in a finals’ berth.
While the fifth-placed Bulldogs should still reach the finals, there are form concerns in the finals run-in after Saturday’s 29-run loss to Kingston Hawthorn at Walter Galt Reserve.
Kingston Hawthorn could only muster 176 off 76.3 overs, but it was more than enough to beat the Bulldogs.
The Hawks were held back by the Bulldogs’ bowling, which saw four individuals – Hamish Winter-Irving, Lucas Dredge, Jack Sheppard and Tim Buszard – take two wickets apiece.
The letdown for Footscray came with the bat.
The Bulldogs crumbled to be all out for 147 in 55.5 overs.
They appeared to be coasting to victory at 2-92 after a strong start from top order batsmen Matthew Underwood (30), Greg Munro (24) and Hayden Butterworth (39), but their last nine wickets fell for just 55.
Footscray can secure its finals’ spot with a win over Melbourne in a final round at the Merv Hughes Oval.
In the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association, Yarraville is back in the top six after a commanding 97-run victory over St Bernard’s Old Collegians at the Yarraville Oval.
After making 380 on day one courtesy of centuries to captain Matthew Love (114) and Joe Billings (119), the Eagles were always going to be hard to topple, but St Bernard’s fought it out until the bitter end with Chris Spinella leading the charge with 114.
Yarraville’s reward for their victory was reclaiming sixth place on the ladder, following Werribee’s draw with Taylors Lakes.
If Yarraville can beat Taylors Lakes in a final round one-day game this Saturday, they will be in the finals.
Williamstown moved into top spot with a hard-fought six-wicket win over Altona at J.K. Grant Reserve.
Patrick O’Malley scored 77 and Brenton Hodges contributed 69 as the Seagulls successfully chased down the A’s total of 239.
In the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division, Spotswood made its last-ditch attempt to break into the top four, posting 207 off 65.2 overs against Yarraville Club.
The Clubbers will start day two on Saturday with 2-36 on the board.