Footscray will take a lot of positives away from its Premier Cricket season, but a third-last finish was not enough for a pass mark in the eyes of captain Dylan Kight.
The Bulldogs blooded a number of excited youngsters into their line-up, which will stand them in good stead for the future, but they still had enough experienced heads to expect to finish closer to the top eight than the 17-point gulf that existed after the final round.
“It’s been a testing season for everyone,” Kight said.
“It’s been disappointing and I don’t want to sugar-coat it at all.”
Footscray finished on a bright note though, crushing Greenvale Kangaroos by 165 runs at Merv Hughes Oval on Saturday.
For the second game running, the Bulldogs posted in excess of 350 runs, scoring 362 off 97 overs.
Unlike the game prior, the Bulldogs comfortably defended the total.
After two months without a win, Footscray was thrilled to get back into the winners’ circle.
“It’s a good feeling just to win again,” Kight said. “The last five or six weeks we’ve put some good performances on the board, but it’s only come with this one win.”
Footscray’s bowlers were superb on day two.
Even after some early dropped catches, their focus never wavered and ensured the Bulldogs would come away with a resounding win.
“The day could’ve unravelled after a couple of dropped catches, but the bowlers stuck to it and didn’t lose too much confidence,” Kight said.
“It was a perfect bowling performance.
“We had shorter, sharper spells with how many seamers we had in the team.
“Everyone who came on was ready to go when they came on and made sure they supported the bowler at the other end.”
Jack Sheppard (3-15) and Hamish Winter-Irving (3-31) were at their menacing best with three wickets apiece.
They built pressure with their miserly bowling too, conceding under two runs per over.
There were no weak links in the Bulldogs bowling attack.
Kight credits them for his own success on a day when he took an incredible club record seven catches behind the stumps although he’s reluctant to take on the praise for the record.
“It’s always good [to get records], but I think I’ve had a lot better days with the gloves on some days when I’ve taken one or two catches,” Kight said
The rebuild will continue over the winter for Footscray.
The Bulldogs have the nucleus of a side that could rise back up the ladder.
“I definitely think the future is bright,” Kight said.
“We had four debutants this year and two young kids [Ash Armstrong and Jordan Kight] make their first 100s and ‘Sid’ [Siddhesh Dixit] take his first five-for.
“We’ve exposed all these kids to the level and none of them have sunk and they all look up to the level.”
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