Melton South Royals in a strong position

By Tara Murray

Melton South Royals know a strong performance on the final day of the regular season of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 5 Russell Pollock Shield should seal a finals spot.

With six sides fighting for the four finals spots, a poor performance will prove costly for a couple of teams.

After day one of the final round of matches, the Royals are on top against Bellbridge.

Royals captain-coach Matthew Kozole said they were happy with where they were sitting.

“We’re pretty confident that we can get the runs needed,” he said.

“Looking at some of the other results, a win should get us into finals.

“We’ll go about our business as normal during the week. Hopefully we can get the runs.”

The Royals spinners were the ones that got the job done with the ball, able to restrict Bellbridge to 118.

Melton South
Melton South Royals’ Matthew Kozole. Photo by Damjan Janevski

PHOTO GALLERY: Melton South Royals vs Bellbridge

Kozole said had he been offered that total at the start of the day, he would have taken it.

“We rolled up and the pitch was nothing short of a road,” he said.

“Credit to the spinners, they were able to get the job done.

Matt O’Brien who came back into the team after missing three weeks with a sore back, took seven wickets.

“He’s critical to the side.” The Royals then had to face eight overs at the end of day one. T

hey will resume at 2-20.

Kozole said it would have been nice to go into day two with at least another wicket in the shed.

While fully focused on getting the points themselves, the Royals have one eye on other results.

Of interest is top side Moonee Valley, who are in trouble in their run chase, while fourth placed Sunshine YCW has already conceded first innings points against Sunbury.

The Royals need to overtake just one of those two teams to finish in the top four.

Kozole said they would just focus on what they needed to do this week.

“It’s shown how close the top six is,” he said. “We can do what we can do and get the win firstly, then worry about everything else.”

Kozole said his side’s biggest issue in the second part of the season had been consistency with their playing line-up.

There’s been a number of changes each week. He said if they make finals, they’re not there to make up the numbers.

“It will be a four horse race, any one can beat any one.”

In other matches, Sydenham-Hillside has already claimed first innings points in division 3.

The Storm bowled Point Cook out for 95, before reaching 6-116 at stumps.

In division 4, Caroline Springs has a solid chase on its hands against East Coburg.

East Coburg were bowled out for 172, with Gayashan Weerasekara taking 3-34 for the Falcons.

Caroline Springs had to face one over at the end of the day, finishing 0-4.

Melton Centrals will be after quick wickets on day two against Aberfeldie Park. Centrals were bowled out for 120. They had Aberfeldie Park 2-12 at stumps.