St Albans’ season is hanging by a thread in Victorian Turf Cricket Association north-west.
The Saints were dismal for most of day one in their do-or-die clash with Altona North at Crofts Reserve on Saturday, but a late flurry of wickets gave them a skerrick of finals hope.
It was looking grim for St Albans after it was bowled out for a mediocre 78 off 43.1 overs.
Altona North nervously negotiated 36 overs to finish the day at 5-65.
North is in the box seat, but some early
St Albans wickets may make getting those 14 runs needed a bit tricky.
The Saints’ lifeline was provided by Geeth Alwis (2-13) and Robert Nikolic (2-28) through some great bowling late in the day.
Keilor Park is locked in an arm wrestle with West Coburg at Morris Reserve. After bowling the Burgers out for 81, the Devils are 6-46.
In senior division, Keilor can secure its spot in the finals with a win over Doutta Stars at Keilor Recreation Reserve. The Blues produced a competitive 210, with Sam Davis starring with 76 not out and Upal Bandara adding 38. The Stars are still in the running for the minor premiership, so there will be plenty riding on the result for both teams on day two.
In north A1, Sydenham-Hillside will likely need an outright win over East Coburg at Hillside Recreation Reserve to reach the finals.
The Storm had a terrible opening day, bowled out for 86 and losing on first innings after Easts were all out for 103. The Storm went to stumps on 2-33.
Caroline Springs and Sunshine are jousting it out at Town Centre Reserve for top spot. Sunshine fired the first shot with 267 on day one.
In west A1, Grand United can snap up top spot in the finals against current ladder leader Seabrook at JR Parsons Reserve. The Gorillas are 2-19 in reply to Seabrook’s 164.
In north west B1, Sunshine Heights can sniff an outright result that could see it make an unlikely push for the finals. The Heights posted 130 to take first-innings points on day one over Maribyrnong Park St Mary’s, which hit 61 and is struggling on 5-51 in its second dig.
Should the Heights obtain maximum points through an outright win, they will still need assistance from other teams to make the finals.
Deer Park can seal top spot with victory against Sunshine YCW at John McLeod Oval. The Lions made 260; YCW was 0-1 at stumps.
In sub-district cricket, Taylors Lakes had to settle for a draw with Werribee after the umpires deemed the Chirnside Park pitch unsafe after about 10 overs on day two. The Lions were 5-69, chasing Werribee’s 181.