Lions aiming at second win

Ben MacRae (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

Melton produced a solid day to be well and truly in the mix for victory against Strathmore in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association north-west.

In a bottom of the table clash, with one win between them, both sides fancied their chances to come away with some much needed points.

The Lions won the toss and decided to bat at Canning Reserve, making 204 as they were bowled out with nine balls left in the innings.

It was a different looking Lions line up, with coach Mitch Stephens coming in and opening. He would top score with 62.

Stephens said they were reasonably happy after day one, but know they could have had a few more runs on the board.

“That is definitely a par score,” he said. “The ground was very slow and soft and got better as the day went on.

“We were aiming for 200-220 on that ground. We spoke after the game that we lost nine wickets in 40 overs after tea.

“It was pretty disappointing. In the two day format you need to look to score in the back end and catch up.

“A couple of guys were able to do that.”

As well as Stephens opening the batting, the Lions had two players make their first XI debuts, Lachlan Peterson and James Robertson.

Stephens said they both had deserved their opportunity.

“They kept knocking the door down,” he said. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them,

“We’re rapt for them.

“Lachie is only 17 and looks to have a bright future. Robertson is 26 and his first year at the club.

“Both have worked really hard off the track and the hard work is paying off.”

Now with a solid score on the board, Stephens said they were hoping to convert it to another win.

He said whichever team performs better for longer would come away with the points.

“We need to hold onto our catches, Strathmore dropped some,” he said.

“We need to take 10 chances and not have to create 15-20 catches.”

In a good sign for the future, the Lions under-15 J G Craig Shield side made it through to the semi finals of that competition.

Stephens said if they can get a lot of those players in the senior program, there would be plenty of good signs for the future,

“The last couple of years we’ve made the semi finals with Joel [Mitchener] in charge,” he said.

“There’s some good kids coming through. Last year’s captain has been playing in our twos.

“There’s others coming through and the challenge is to have more come through at senior level. Getting results early is always really good.”