CROYDON'S best batting performance of the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association season wasn't enough to beat top team Oakleigh on Saturday, but it has given the side confidence it can notch more wins in the coming matches.
The Cockies scored 9-221 from their 45 overs at a lightning-fast Warrawee Park but were unable to hold the Oaks, who rode key performances from top-order stars Brendan McGuinness and Jarrod Travaglia to make 4-222 in reply.
Cockies captain-coach Hagan Shakespeare said his side had shown promise with the bat and needed to consolidate that form in the coming two-day matches.
"We just need to stay confident and build on our form," he said.
"If we can build a few more totals like today and put scores around 250 on the board in the two-dayers we will be in a good position.
"If we keep positive, we can win a couple of games."
Opening batsman Andrew Hurley anchored the Cockies' innings, making 71 and batting for much of the innings before being run out, while Shakespeare added 73 in the middle order.
With McGuinness and Travaglia batting through the middle part of the innings, the Oaks looked likely to cruise to victory, but McGuinness skied a ball from Steven Wright to be dismissed with the score on 2-163.
Again the Oaks looked comfortable until Travaglia went out with the end in sight at 218.
The Cockies were able to slow down the Oaks' chase in the final few overs, but Sam Jones and Brent Warren were able to get their side over the line, running four runs to earn victory.
Shakespeare said his bowlers had given away a few too many runs but would learn from facing the Oaks' strong batsmen.
"Oakleigh is on top for a reason and they showed that with the bat," he said.
"I said to the boys after the game that we probably bowled too many no balls and wides early and just that one or two too many boundary balls. If we can cut out those boundary balls, whether we're on a fast deck like out there or not, it will go a long way towards us winning matches.
"One of the great things all year has been the fight with the ball. We are definitely a very spirited team and there is always that fight in the field."
The Cockies visit Bayswater at Bayswater Oval for the first day of a two-day clash this Saturday, starting 1pm.
■ Ringwood fell short against Melbourne University in its Premier Cricket one-day clash on Saturday.
The Rams batted first and made 9-208 with Brendan Walsh (50 not out) and Joe Loorham (47) leading the way.
But with the ball the Rams were unable to defend their total as Uni passed them on 8-209 from 48.5 overs.
Blair Allan, David King and Ian Holland all took two wickets for the Rams, who host Footscray-Edgewater at Jubilee Park, Ringwood, this Saturday starting at noon.