Melton has a challenge on its hands if it’s to open the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association east-west season with a win.
Facing Hoppers Crossing, it’s game on after day one of the match.
After being sent in, Hoppers Crossing finished the day at 7-177, with 13 overs still to be bowled on day two after a late start to play.
Melton coaching director Anthony Gale said they would have liked to have had the Cats bowled out by this stage.
“Hoppers would have been happy I would think,” he said.
“It’s evenly poised. We put out a side that we thought would have been able to get them out.
“We dropped a few chances which didn’t help. Hoppers is setting us a competitive chase and we will have to bat well to get the points.”
Brad Jones, Dylan Jobson and Nathan D’antonio took two wickets each for the Lions.
Jack Rhodes was the standout for Hoppers, making 93 at the top of the order.
Gale said it would be interesting to see what sort of form their batsmen would be in, being the first game of the season.
He said they expected to be chasing at least 200.
“It looks like we will need contributions from everyone.”
It’s a new-look Lions outfit this year with a number of changes including Ash Sweet going to Yarraville Club and neither of their overseas players returning.
Gale said it was an exciting opportunity for other players to step up.
“Nathan has come back to the club and it’s only his fifth first XI game,” he said.
“Dylan has already shown some promise though.
“He’s nearly 18 and in a couple of years will have some decent wheels.”
The club has again added two overseas players.
Gale said it appeared it would be an even year across the competition, with a need for players to stand up every game.
“If you had said we would have been within two runs of a grand final last year we would have taken it.
“It’s more even across the board. We need a couple of players to have standout years and the likes of Ben MacRae and Nathan Taylor will have to score the bulk of the runs.
“They are the key players and we will need to get contributions from everyone.
“We would like to play finals.”
Gale said their numbers had been quite strong and he expected a good year across the board.
The only other side to get on the park for the Lions was the fourth XI.
They are in a good position. Having made 188, they have Ivanhoe in trouble at 4-26.