By Lance Jenkinson
The wooden spoon is heading to Taylors Lakes.
The Lions are locked in the cellar of the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association south-west group with one round to go and there is not a thing they can do about it.
Taylors Lakes’ last-place finish was confirmed in a first innings defeat to Brighton at Beach Oval on Saturday.
The Lions were on the back foot from the first ball to the last as they succumbed easier than they would have hoped.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Taylors Lakes when it posted a meagre 145 off 67.4 overs.
Too much was left to too few for the Lions, with Lachlan Marr leading the way with 44.
Wicketkeeper Marr has been the bright spot in the Lions’ batting line-up with three consecutive scores in the 40s.
Jason Denny (24) and captain Jarrod Wakeling (19 not out) also fought hard for the Lions, but could not go on with their starts.
Brighton was relatively comfortable in its run chase.
Led by 90 not out from opener Ben Johns, the home side coasted past the target two down.
Wakeling (2-69 off 20 overs) and Samuel Clark (1-29) gave the Brighton batsmen something to think about, but it was a thankless task trying to defend such a small total.
Sitting just three points outside the top six, an outright result was highly desired by Brighton, so they got a wriggle on.
After reaching 3-207, the home side opted to declare and chase an outright.
A shaky start from Taylors Lakes boosted Brighton’s spirits. The Lions were in trouble on 2-2 and staring a 60-run deficit in the face.
But the Lions found a way to stave off a dreaded outright defeat. Denny (20) and Marr (47) dug in to erase the deficit and chew up important time and overs.
Wakeling (30 not out) and Dilshan Kanchana (26) guided Taylors Lakes to safety, ensuring there would be no outright and leaving Brighton three spots outside the top six.
It was not enough for Taylors Lakes to avoid the wooden spoon though.
The Lions are nine points behind second-last Malvern with only six points on offer when those two sides meet in this Saturday’s final round one-day game at Lionheart Reserve.
After a promising first two seasons in sub-district cricket, the alarm bells will be ringing for Taylors Lakes this off season.
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