Footscray is experiencing some growing pains in Victorian Premier Cricket.
The Bulldogs are a younger side compared to the four seasons post their premiership glory of 2013-14.
Where the Bulldogs would find a way to win from any position in the past four years, it is not the case this summer.
The so-close-yet-so-far tale has been trotted out too many times for captain Dylan Kight’s liking.
Kight knows some of his squad is learning on the job, but that is no consolation.
So, another tight loss at the weekend, this one by 16 runs to Frankston Peninsula at A.H. Butler Oval, was met with disappointment.
“It’s very frustrating,” Kight said.
“It’s been the same story about three or four times that we’ve walked away [with a loss] and it could’ve quite easily gone the other way.”
It was a two-man show for Frankston Peninsula with the bat on Saturday.
The home side posted 9-259 declared off 95 overs on the back of sensational batting from Tom Wood (102 not out) and Chris Dew (72).
“They were willing to do what we weren’t with the bat today and just stick through the hard periods and they came through the other side of it,” Kight said.
Footscray’s response was up and down like a roller coaster.
Each time the Bulldogs looked to be on the right track, they would lose a wicket.
The Dogs got plenty of starts from their top order – openers Ash Armstrong (30) and Matt Underwood (25) featured in a 50-run opening stand, Travis Dean (23), Kight (17) and Russ (14) started promisingly – but none could go on.
Tallan Wright did his utmost to keep Footscray in the game with 64 off 100 balls, while Jack Sheppard (25) and Lucas Dredge (14 not out) provided assistance.
Wright’s knock provided hope when all looked lost.
Footscray remains second-last on the ladder, nine points clear of bottom side Kingston Hawthorn.
While finals are well and truly off the radar, the Bulldogs are treating their match against Dandenong as their own personal grand final.
“They currently hold every title in the Premier Cricket first XI, so it’s a good challenge,” Kight said.
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