Footscray is running out of chances to keep its finals hopes alive in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition.
The Bulldogs face a critical second day against Camberwell Magpies at Merv Hughes Oval this Saturday.
The equation is simple for the Dogs – score 294 runs or all but kiss goodbye their finals dream.
Bulldogs captain Dylan Kight admitted to a sense of urgency for his side.
“It’s a big game with them sitting in the ninth position,” he said.
“It’s a 12-point game, so it would be a big swing if we can manage to get over the line.
“We know if we don’t succeed in getting the runs, it’s going to be really hard [to make finals].
“We know that as a group.”
Footscray might have missed a trick on day one.
The Bulldogs had Camberwell on the ropes at 9-230, but a remarkable 10th wicket partnership between Magpies captain Andrew Fekete and tail-ender William Walker blew the total to 293.
It has left Footscray with plenty of work to do.
“I would’ve been happier if it was 250 or 260 and at 9-230 it looked like we were going to keep them under that,” Kight said.
“That last partnership took them above par.”
It was an up and down day for Footscray in the field.
Not getting an early dismissal hurt as Camberwell advanced to 89 before the first wicket.
But Footscray stuck to its guns and snared three quick wickets to reel Camberwell in to be 3-113, then after another successful partnership, the Bulldogs got another cluster of wickets, taking 6-45 to have the Magpies at the crossroads at 9-230.
“We managed to get some quick wickets and it looked like we may be able to keep them under 250, which would’ve been a big win for us,” Kight said.
“Then their captain Fekete chanced his arm a bit and got away with it.”
Fekete was entertaining en route to 52 off 38 balls. His last wicket partnership with Walker was a game-changing 63 runs.
“[Fekete] hit them as clean as anyone did for the whole day,” Kight said.
“They took the score above what we would’ve liked.”
Jack Sheppard was the pick of the Footscray bowlers. He was unlucky not to get a five-for, eventually setting for 4-54 off 21 overs.
“He just presents all day, bowls medium pace and doesn’t give much width and length,” Kight said.
“He’s just disciplined in what he does.
“A dropped catch at the end of the day would’ve been his fifth wicket.
“He was the pick of the bowlers and deserved five wickets.”
Lucas Dredge was Footscray’s other multiple wicket-taker with 3-45 off 16.1 overs. Dredge brought an end to the Fekete show.
Kight snared five catches behind the stumps.