It wasn’t pretty, but Melton kept its finals hopes alive in the Victoria Sub-District Cricket Association south-west competition.

Needing to beat Altona to remain in finals contention heading into the final round, the Lions snuck home with one wicket remaining.

Resuming at 2-21 and needing 123 for victory, the Lions had the game in their favour heading into day two.

But the Lions batting has been poor this season, especially when chasing.

It was a battle, but the Lions eventually finished 9-127.

Lions coach Nathan Geisler said the final score was the most important thing.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we got the result,” he said. “We still made some errors at crucial points of the game. There was a couple of points that we thought we could close it out, but we left the door open.”

Geisler said there were a few nervous moments, when the Lions were still 23 runs away from victory, with only one wicket remaining.

Having changed around their batting line-up on day one, it meant the Lions had a bit more depth to play with on Saturday.

“The two Jakes [Thornton-Gielen and Charge] batted really well and we were happy to get the points.”

Ash Sweet, who was promoted up the order last week, top scored with 40.

Geisler said he was likely to bat higher than normal again next week.

“Ash has been in good form and made another 40, without his 40 runs we wouldn’t have won the game.”

Just three other players scored double figures, including Thornton-Gielen, who finished 19 not out coming in at number 10.

Geisler said they were pleased with the win as it’s the Lions first since round eight and has them sitting in eighth.

He said there was still plenty of work to do ahead of their final round match against Brighton. The match will be a one-dayer.

“We’re working hard in that area,” he said of the batting.

Ben MacCrae. Pic Marco De Luca

Picture Gallery: Altona vs Melton 

Like the Lions, Brighton needs a win to have any chance of finals.

Both teams, along with seventh-placed Yarraville, sit three points outside the top six.

It leaves five teams fighting for the last two finals position.

Fifth-placed Ormond (36 points) faces Altona, sixth-placed Hoppers Crossing (36 points) faces ladder leader Caulfield and Yarraville (33 points) plays Elsternwick.

Geisler said the task for the final round was simple.

“We need to win,” he said.

“The door is still open. We just need to win and let the rest take care of itself.”

Geisler said they will probably have a few players unavailable in the final round.

Geisler, who normally only plays the one-day matches, said he was likely to come back into the side.


Sweet end to messy run chase for Melton

Taylors Lakes faces last place with a heavy heart

Plenty to smile about for Plenty Valley

Williamstown rolls over Elsternwick

Werribee makes short work of Moorabbin