Werribee is refusing to wave the white flag in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association.
The Tigers keep delivering in cut-throat situations to maintain their mathematical chance of reaching the north-west first XI finals.
For Tigers skipper Tim O’Brien and his teammates, this is familiar territory.
“We were in the same position last year,” he said. “Every game is a final for us … if we drop one, we’re probably cooked.”
Werribee’s form is getting stronger the longer the season goes on.
The Tigers were superb in a five-wicket win on the road over finals contender Kew at Victoria Park on Saturday.
Set a target of 213 for victory, the Tigers had a few early hiccups to be 3-56, but finished strongly for a relatively comfortable victory.
Night watchman Jonathan Burton was the surprise star with the bat for Werribee. Burton was put in late on day one to see the Tigers to stumps and did so brilliantly. But then he batted on into the second day to make 55.
Burton is not a recognised run-scorer for the Tigers, having spent most of his first XI career as a tailender, but his significant batting improvement is starting to have an impact on the field of battle.
“I spoke to him during the week, and said, ‘It’s a really good opportunity, you’ve been batting really well, so there’s no reason you why you can’t pick yourself up a good score here’,” O’Brien said.
“He’s very positive and batted beautifully. He didn’t play any rash shots, just hit the ball when it was in the zone. It was a pretty mature innings.”
Shaun Dean was the other stand-out for Werribee with 73 not out, as the Tigers finished on 5/214. Dean has played many chanceless innings for Werribee over the years, but this was not one of them.
“There was a couple of shouts with him, definitely a couple of close calls,” O’Brien said.
Werribee will host Yarraville in a tantalising two-day game at Chirnside Park starting on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hoppers Crossing fought hard but was eventually chased down by Brunswick in a low-scoring thriller at Gillon Oval.
The Cats went into the day confident they could defend 129, but the Wicks recovered from 7-74 to reach the target eight down. Brandon Diplock took 4-22 off 12.5 for the Cats.
With their finals hopes dashed, Hoppers Crossing will be playing for pride on its trip to Preston on Saturday.