Melton moves into the six

Jake Charge celebrates one of his wickets. (Damjan Janevski)

By Tara Murray

Melton has its finals hopes in its own hands in Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association east-west competition.

With 11 teams still in the mix for a finals berth, the Lions’ win against Noble Park on Saturday moved them to fifth spot ahead of a final round clash against third-placed Yarraville.

Win against Yarraville and the Lions play finals, a loss means they will have to rely on other results to go their way.

Lions director of coaching Anthony Gale said winning was key for keeping their season alive.

“A win next week and we play finals and you can’t ask for much more.

“It’s a really even competition. If we can beat a side in the top six in the final round, we deserve to play finals.

“It will be a good test and we’re looking forward to it.”

Gale said they put together a polished all-round performance to seal the win against Noble Park at the weekend.

Noble Park batted first and was bowled out for 149. Gale said he thought it was a par score on their home ground.

“It’s a slow ground and we struggled to chase down 116 a couple of weeks ago,” he said.

“We bowled and fielded really well.”

Melton’s Dilshan Kanchana. Picture Damjan Janevski

PHOTO GALLERY: Melton vs Noble Park

Jake Charge was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-22, as four bowlers took wickets.

Melton started off slowly in the run chase and lost some early wickets.

It was dealt a further blow when Ben MacRae had to retire due to illness.

Gale said he was unsure how MacRae had even played to begin with.

Nathan Taylor and Brad Jones stood strong in the middle order and guided the side to victory in the 43rd over.

Melton finished 2-150 with Taylor finishing 65 not out and Jones making 49 not out. Jones promoted himself up the order and it proved to be the right move.

“We’ve spoken about our batting line-up being a bit fragile, but it was an all round polished performance,” Gale said.

“We had to be patient and play smart cricket. We were able to build partnerships and didn’t lose clumps of wickets.

“The skipper stepped up in a surprisingly high spot for him. “He’s always been a good batter, he is a nice sweet timer of the ball. The two boys got it done.”

The Lions’ second XI has already sealed its finals spot heading into the final round.

The last time the second XI played finals was 2013-14. Gale thinks he is the only player currently playing to have played finals at the club.

“We were really keen to play finals,” he said.

“Damien [Costigan], who has led them, has had to do it a bit tough the first few years, so it’s good for them to make finals.

“Hopefully we can go in and get a finals win which would be good.”