Altona has produced two stirring run chases to begin the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association east-west group season with a 2-0 record.
The A’s and local rivals Williamstown are the only two sides with maximum points in what has been a rain-interrupted start to the campaign.
On Saturday, Altona had a memorable four-wicket win, chasing down the Endeavour Hills total of 9-274 in the last over of the day at JK Grant Reserve.
For a second game in a row, Matthew Grubb hit the winning runs for the A’s.
A’s captain Adam Yates said victories in tight games can really lift the spirits at a cricket club.
“Any time you chase down over 270, it’s a really good effort,” he said.
“In the last over too, so it was a pretty tight finish and it has been the last two games.
“It’s good to firstly win such a close contest, but to also chase such a big total was great.”
It is not only Altona’s top team that is getting the job done.
The A’s lower XIs have also been flawless and there is pressure on players in all grades to perform.
“Our seconds and thirds also won, so our top three grades are all undefeated and our fourths have had two washouts,” Yates said.
“As a club, we’re going really well and spirits are pretty good at training.
“As you win more games, the hunger to continue that feeling gets stronger.”
Faced with a tough run chase on a frustrating day two impacted by rain, Altona managed to stay focused and time its run chase to perfection.
The A’s passed the target with just five balls to spare.
While opener David Kinsella and first drop Yates were removed cheaply for Altona, Dylan Appleby rode his luck but played an important hand in building a foundation for the A’s with 42.
“He gave a couple of chances, but he stuck it out,” Yates said.
“He contributed in a really important partnership to get things back on track with Greg Sheehan.
“His 42 was very important to us at the top of the order.”
The match-winning partnership for Altona came between Sheehan and James Grubb.
Sheehan was the backbone of the innings, producing a patient innings for 69.
Grubb was the enforcer for the A’s en route to 92 not out.
The pair put on a 110-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
“That’s the second week in a row that they’ve had a really important partnership,” Yates said.
“James was probably a little bit more aggressive and got the scoreboard ticking over.
“Greg just occupied the crease for a long period.
“Their partnership set us up to get into a winning position.”
Grubb, who returned to Altona after a stint with Footscray in the Premier Cricket, is the form batsman in the competition after two knocks.
The all-rounder posted 55 in round one against Box Hill and backed it up with a starring role in the win over Endeavour Hills.
He batted with the lower order, including Daniel Mackenzie (18), Prateek Krishna (12) and his brother Matthew Grubb (11 not out) to ensure the A’s reached the target.
“For him to be there at the end was really important,” Yates said.
Altona will look to keep the good times rolling when it hosts Croydon in a one-day game at JK Grant Reserve on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Williamstown made it two-from-two with a four-wicket win over Box Hill at the Williamstown Cricket Ground.
Set 200 for victory, the Seagulls passed the target in the 63rd over, led by Jarrod Flood-Bauce (68), captain Brent McMinn (51) and James Cook (39 not out).
Yarraville suffered a seven-wicket loss at the hands of Noble Park on Saturday, leaving it with a win and a loss after two rounds.