Despite its first slip-up of the season, Williamstown remains the leader in the clubhouse in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association south-west group.
The Seagulls went down by three wickets to second-placed Caulfield at Williamstown Cricket Ground on Saturday.
The damage was not enough to see them fall off their perch at the top of the ladder but the defending champions’ six-point gap has disappeared, with Caulfield and Oakleigh joining them on 30 points.
The Seagulls will travel to Oakleigh for a two-day game prior to the Christmas break to determine which of those sides will be on top going into the new year.
Williamstown could not post a big enough total to trouble Caulfield and its potent batting line-up.
The Seagulls hit 9-179 off their allotted 45 overs.
Patrick O’Malley, a spinning all-rounder who will represent the VSDCA against the Victorian Country Cricket League this Sunday, made 30.
His opening partner, James Cook, posted 33, while there were handy contributions from Mitchell Streiff (32) and wicketkeeper Brenton Hodges (21) in the middle order.
Caulfield reached the target with 17 balls to spare, even though Matthew Twentyman and O’Malley made life difficult for it.
Twentyman snared a Williamstown best 3-17 off seven, while O’Malley backed up his strong batting display with 2-37 off nine.
Yarraville will spend at least the next fortnight sitting outside the top six after a 16-run loss to Oakleigh at Yarraville Oval on Saturday.
Given the Eagles potency with the bat, they would have been disappointed not to chase down the target of 211. They fell agonisingly short, finishing on 8-194 off their 45 overs.
Earlier in the day, Yarraville spread the workload with the ball with three bowlers – Jack Noble, Nathan Allen and Joshua Raymer – taking two wickets apiece.
The Eagles needed one player to go on and register a big score, but the best they got came from Aidan Salvado, who scored 45.
Yarraville will travel to Werribee for a two-day game, hopeful of securing a victory that will see it return to the top six before Christmas.
Altona found the going tough against Werribee at Grant Reserve, losing by 55 runs.
The A’s struggled to contain the Werribee batsmen, who posted 3-241, thanks largely to a 148-run partnership between the Dean brothers, Matt (97) and Shaun (53).
Altona was restricted to 6-186, with captain Adam Yates top-scoring with 48.
Yates will represent the VSDCA in the representative game this Sunday.
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