A fighting 91 from Footscray stalwart Dean Russ was not enough to deliver the points to the Kennel, as the Dogs started their Premier Cricket season with a loss to Carlton at the weekend.

Hosting the Blues in a one-dayer, Footscray sent the visitors in to bat and were made to chase leather for the early part of the day.

Carlton’s openers built a 77-run opening stand before Tallan Wright (1-38) grabbed the breakthrough, but that brought Harrison Smyth to the crease and only increased the Dogs’ pain.

Smyth batted through the rest of the innings for the visitors, hitting his way to 105 off 117 balls as Carlton posted 6-272 from their 50 overs.

Lucas Dredge was the pick of the bowlers with 3-56, while Siddhesh Dixit and Hamish Winter-Irving also picked up a wicket each.

In reply, Alex Burton (2) was dismissed early, but Russ and Matthew Underwood rebuilt the innings with a controlled 82-run partnership.

Underwood was eventually caught and bowled by Smyth for 38, but captain Dylan Kight batted well with Russ to give the Dogs a strong chance of a successful chase.

Unfortunately for the home side, the departure of Russ sparked a collapse, with Kight gone soon after for 44 and the next three wickets contributing just seven runs as the innings unravelled.

Dredge (19) and Dixit (14) provided some late lusty hitting but they eventually fell well short of the target as they posted 8-228.

This weekend presents a golden opportunity to get the season rolling for the Dogs, with a double header weekend away against Monash (Saturday) and at home to Prahran (Sunday).

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