Melton all but sealed its finals spot in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-west competition by defeating Altona on Saturday.
The ladder-leading Lions sit 18 points clear of seventh, heading into the final two rounds. Only two outright defeats and results going against them will stop the Lions from a top-six finish.
Lions coach Nathan Geisler said it was a welcome feeling knowing finals were looking likely.
“We spoke about it after Christmas that we’re in a good position,” he said.
“We wanted to learn from last year when we missed out.
“Hopefully now we can win the next two games and get that home final.”
The Lions had to work harder than they would have liked to defeat Altona on Saturday.
With 8-232 on the board after day one, the Lions had a good platform and started well with the ball to have Altona in trouble at 5-35.
But poor fielding let the As back into the game and at 7-184, it was game on.
Danger-man Brad Jones then struck three times to seal the win for the Lions and the As were bowled out for 188.
Geisler said the fielding made the win a bit tougher than it should have been. He said it’s something they will have to work on in the coming weeks.
“We dropped a few catches and let them back into the game,” he said.
“It was like the Brunswick game all over again and it cost us then. It got to the stage where we couldn’t hold a catch.
“It was a good win in the end.”
Jones, who has the second most wickets in the competition, finished with five, while Geisler was also full of praise for Jake Charge who bowled well into the wind in difficult conditions.
The Lions face Hoppers Crossing and Coburg in the final two rounds.
Ash Sweet, who missed Saturday due to representative commitments, will return to the side, strengthening the bowling.
Despite the opposition sitting towards the bottom of the table, Geisler said they won’t be taking anyone lightly.
While the Lions are all but assured their spot, just six points separates fifth-placed Plenty Valley and 11th placed Hoppers Crossing.
“We’re expected to win both games, but no game is easy,” he said.
“No one at the start of the season predicted that we would be on top and you look at the bottom six teams and no one expected some of them being there.
“It’s a pretty much even competition.”