Melton’s finals hopes have taken a dive with yet another loss in Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association south-west.

The Lions, without a win this year, were hoping to end their drought against Yarraville on Saturday.

While batting has been the Lions’ Achilles heel this season, they were confident of getting the 214 needed.

But once more the Lions failed to bat out their overs, with just three players reaching double figures as the side was bowled out for 179.

Playing coach Nathan Geisler said that while the Lions’ batting performance was better than those of recent weeks, it still wasn’t good enough.

“With about 20 to 25 overs to go we were in the game, but the batters weren’t there,” he said. “We needed the batters to be out there for longer. We didn’t apply ourselves. To their credit, they bowled well.”

Geisler, who was second top scorer with 37, said the scorecard showed once again that the task was left to too few.

Opener Ben MacRae top-scored with 64.

Geisler said MacRae had been a bright light with the bat across the season.

“He has been fantastic in the later part of the season,” he said.

“He hadn’t been putting the score on the board at the start of the season, but he was still putting starts on the board.

“He has started to capitalise and been a rock in the innings.

“Nathan Taylor played well before Christmas, but no one else is really putting up their
hand.”

Melton batsmen Ben MacRae and David Dickinson. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

Photo Gallery: Melton vs Yarraville 

The loss leaves the Lions sitting ninth, six points outside the top six with two rounds remaining.

While finals remain the target, Geisler said they would be stripping their approach back even further.

The Lions will this week face Altona, which is coming off its third win of the season.

“We haven’t won a game since Christmas,” Geisler said.

“We just want to win this round. Our focus is on next Saturday and batting or bowling well and, hopefully, set ourselves up for the following week.

“We’ll then look at results after that match and work out where we sit.

“We haven’t written off our season, but it’s definitely out of our hands.”

Geisler said they were simply focusing on the tasks at hand.

“It’s still an even competition and anyone can beat anyone,” he said.

The Lions’ second XI will likely have to win its two remaining matches to play finals.

The fourth XI will play finals, but the third XI will miss the top six.