Yarraville was feeling good about life 68 overs into the first day of a two-day contest with Werribee in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association at Chirnside Park on Saturday – but it only takes one bad over to wreck an otherwise positive day.
The Eagles would have taken a run chase of 233 and would have been content to last to stumps on 0-2 with 232 to get the win, but the 69th over of the day spoiled that plan.
Enter Werribee opening bowler Jonathan Burton. Burton took not one, not two, but three wickets in the last over to leave the Eagles reeling at 3-2 off three overs.
Not only that, Burton did so with the first three balls of the last over, picking up a rare hat-trick by sending regular opener David Morgan and lower order batsmen Alex Hewet and Ben Kettlewell back to the pavilion.
Eagles captain-coach Matthew Love admits those three late wickets slightly changed the momentum of the game, but not so far as to say that Werribee should be favourites in the game.
“It was going to end up an OK day, but unfortunately they jagged a wicket, it gave them a bit of momentum and they ripped through a few of our lower order batters that we sent out there as night watchmen to try and keep them out but unfortunately weren’t able to,” he said.
“It’s not ideal losing three wickets, but two of them would have been batting in the last three, so in a way the momentum is with them starting off next week. We’ve just got to be confident and back ourselves in that we’ve got the batsmen to come that can do the job.”
Yarraville’s bowlers had to be patient on a frustrating day.
On countless times, the Eagles produced ripping deliveries that went unrewarded, particularly Hewet, who finished with 5-96 off 30 overs, but could well have had more wickets with a bit of luck.
“They played and missed a lot, so we didn’t have a lot of luck go our way early,” Love said.
“Once we got into their middle order, we were able to get through them..”
Talor Williams impressed with 3-31 off 7.3 overs, while wicketkeeper Joe Billings snared four catches.
With Yarraville sitting in seventh spot and Werribee in ninth, this Saturday’s play will be the most important to date for both sides as they strive to reach the finals.
“If we win, we go two games clear of them, if we lose, we draw level,” Love said.
“Both clubs will be doing everything they can to get the six points.”
In other games, Williamstown posted 8-324 on day one against Ivanhoe at the Williamstown Cricket Ground, with Mitchell Streiff (86 not out), Brent McMinn (62) and Dale McDonald (48) leading from the front.
Altona, currently eighth, will be chasing 233 for victory against Melton at MacPherson Park.