By Lance Jenkinson
Hoppers Crossing has fumbled its chance to reel in the biggest fish in the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association pond.
The Cats had ladder leader Williamstown on the hook at Hogans Road Reserve on Saturday, but let it get away in a loss that could come back to bite.
Cats captain Justin Goegan rued his side’s inability to chase down a small target of 128 in the one-day game.
“Willy are the benchmark of the competition at the moment and we let that one slip,” he said.
“The first half of the day I was pretty happy with, especially against that sort of side because they’ve been making 200-plus every game, so to restrict them to 127 was pretty good.
“It’s just a bit disappointing not to chase that total down.”
Hoppers Crossing was bowled out for 94 – 33 runs short of the target.
While Williamstown is a side that believes it can win from any position, the Cats are currently the opposite.
“I think we didn’t believe we could win,” Goegan said. It is not all bad for Hoppers Crossing though.
The Cats bowling attack showed it can bring down even the best batting line-up in the competition.
They showcased their depth with seven different bowlers used. Bhaumik Jani was the standout with 3-17 off nine, while Brett Smith and Trent Said took two wickets apiece.
Smith claimed the major scalp of Williamstown captain Brent McMinn, who is averaging 91 this season.
“We’ve got six, seven, maybe even eight options,” Goegan said.
“There’s a couple of blokes that could bowl who aren’t getting a bowl at the moment purely because the other blokes are doing their job.”
It will be back to the drawing board for Hoppers Crossing when it comes to its batting.
With Twenty20 matches on Tuesday and Thursday night, the Cats will have an important net session on Wednesday to iron out some deficiencies.
Meanwhile, the annual Movember charity game between Hoppers Crossing and Werribee will take place at Hogans Road Reserve on Thursday night.
With the recent passing of Hoppers first XI player Bryce Stuart, the game will take on extra significance this season.
“It will probably be a bit of an emotional night,” Goegan said.
“Both us and Werribee, what we do for the cause is pretty good. The amount of money we’ve been raising over the past five or six years has been pretty significant.”