Melton scored an important win against Yarraville in the Victorian Sub-district Cricket Association north west competition at the weekend.
With two tough matches to come before the Christmas break, a win against the Eagles was vital in the Lions’ plans to stay in the top six.
It wasn’t the perfect performance, but the Lions found a way with both the bat and ball to get the job done.
Batting first, the Lions found themselves in trouble at 6-60.
Not for the first time this season one of the Lions’ middle and lower order got the job done. The Lions managed 201.
Coach Nathan Geisler was thrilled with how the players responded.
“We know we bat deep and it’s not ideal to rely on them a lot of the time,” he said. “But it’s good we know they can make the runs when we need them to.
“Jake Thornton-Gielen batted really well and Matt Stead, who hasn’t had a lot of opportunities, played well and Jonesy [Brad Jones] made a 50.
“In the end we scrambled to 200.”
Thornton-Gielen made 69 and Stead chipped in with 27.
The Eagles survived unscathed on Saturday night to finish 0-18 at stumps.
Things didn’t look good early for the Lions on Sunday, with the Eagles cruising at 1-92 and then 2-144.
From there it was a change of fortunes – the Lions took 8-40 to bowl the Eagles out for 184.
Geisler said they thought they were in trouble early on.
Stead was the star with the ball taking 4-9 off six overs, including the wicket of David Morgan, who made 72.
“We thought we had to get early wickets to have a chance as their top-order batsmen do a lot of the work,” Geisler said.
“It didn’t happen that way.
“Steady got six wickets against them last time, so he wishes he could play against them every week. He had a really good game.”
Brad Jones also got four wickets. Jones has the equal most wickets this season so far in the north west top grade.
Geisler said the win was even more satisfying after their match the previous weekend had the second day washed out. The Lions had made 3-329 on day one.
The third-placed Lions have a tough ask ahead in the two one-dayers before Christmas.
They face an undefeated Williamstown side on Saturday, followed by a match up with second-placed Plenty Valley the week after.
Good results in both these games could set up the Lions’ season.
“If we can pick up a win in both matches, if not at least one, that will set us up heading into the new year,” Geisler said.
“Williamstown has a lot of depth and Plenty Valley knocked off Brunswick quite convincingly, and we all thought they were the team to beat. It’ll give us another chance to test where we are at.”
The Lions’ Women’s Victoria Premier Cricket seconds side defeated Brighton District 58-57 in their T20 match at MacPherson Park. Briony Polkinghorne top-scored on 28.