Sunshine was left deflated after a shock 13-run loss to Roxburgh Park Falcons in the VTCA north A1 at Lakeside Reserve on Saturday.
The Crows did severe damage to their home semi-final chances on a weekend when they had a golden opportunity to close the gap, as the top two sides squared off against each other.
All of a sudden, the Crows’ spot in the top four is under threat.
A mere three points separates them from a fifth-placed Sydenham Hillside still riding high after a three-game winning streak.
Crows’ captain Troy Stone was seething after his side let one slip in the face of a gutsy Roxburgh Park challenge.
“To say I’m not happy is an understatement,” he said.
“We had a debrief at the end of the game and talked about all the little things that went wrong.
“We’ve been in a position to win the game, and today we faltered.”
Sunshine began the day on 0-5 in search of Roxburgh Park’s 206.
The Crows were in the box seat at 3-140 with plenty of overs to spare, but lost 7-53 to be all out for 193.
Once the set batsmen – opener Sam Magnano (72) and third drop James Leach (38) – were removed, a major batting collapse ensued.
Magnano and Leach were the only shining lights for the Crows.
But they did not totally avoid Stone’s wrath, who was disappointed with the pair’s “soft dismissals”.
“It probably turned the match … when they went out,” Stone said.
“I also think they (the Falcons’ bowlers) are a little bit underrated.
“They bowled good areas … most of our batsmen just weren’t up to it today.
“Even myself, I got stumped wandering out of my crease, and there were some other soft dismissals.
“There were some lazy cricket shots and guys not willing to do the hard yards.”
If there is a silver lining for Sunshine after back-to-back losses, it’s that it still has its finals destiny in its own hands. Win the last two games of the season and they play finals.
But finals is the last word on the mind of Stone as he tries to get his side to re-focus on a must-win game against Barkly Street in the penultimate round at Dempster Park starting on Saturday.
“We’ll have to fight on next week,” Stone said.
“We’re still in the four and, if we win the next two, finals is a possibility, but we can’t plan any further ahead than Barkly Street – they’ve had a couple of decent results lately.
“It’s still in our hands and that’s the good thing,” he said.