SOME people believe an undefeated team needs a loss heading into a finals campaign.
Don't count Oakleigh players among them — the Oaks were disappointed with their efforts in their first loss of the season on Saturday.
The Oaks lost to Plenty Valley by 76 runs at AK Line Reserve, Bundoora snapping their undefeated run, which had stretched from the start of the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association season.
The Oaks fell to 3-14 in the early overs and never recovered, with the middle and lower order largely unable to form the partnerships needed to chase down Plenty's first innings score of 210.
Oaks captain Jarrod Travaglia (34) and Matthew Naughtin (14) looked a chance to form a game-changing partnership after making 39 for the fifth wicket before Naughtin's dismissal.
Justin Jaensch (4-31) and John Malkin (3-5) were the best bowlers for Plenty Valley.
Oaks coach Brendan McGuinness said his side was disappointed to lose and had some things to work on before the finals series.
"A lot of people say it's good to get a loss out of the way but I don't necessarily agree," he said.
"Winning form is just as important heading into the finals, so we need to get back to it when we face Balwyn this round."
McGuinness said he was confident his side could chase down the total at the start of the day.
"We knew we had to get off to a positive start and keep wickets in the shed.
"Unfortunately, a combination of poor shot selection and some good bowling put us on the back foot and when you're seven or eight wickets down at tea it's impossible to continue on and get the momentum needed to get that total."
McGuinness said the Oaks would go back to the drawing board this week and improve on the areas that let them down against Plenty Valley.
"We will take a lot of lessons out of this game and make sure the players know what they have to work on heading into the next few weeks."
In other matches, Mount Waverley lost to Endeavour Hills by 18 runs at Mount Waverley Reserve on Saturday.
Chasing the Eagles' 284, Mount Waverley's Navin Perera (94) looked capable of taking his side to victory but his dismissal and four run-outs, three from tail-enders, left the home side short as they were bowled out for 266.
The Oaks host Balwyn at Warrawee Park starting at 1pm this Saturday while Mount Waverley visits Ivanhoe at Ivanhoe Park.
VSDCA LADDER: Oakleigh 51 points, 1.54 per cent; Plenty Valley 45, 1.28; Brunswick 39, 1.09; Box Hill 33, 1.19; Noble Park 33, 1.04; Bayswater 31, 1.07; Preston 30, 1.01; Endeavour Hills 30, 0.81; Coburg 28, 0.76; Balwyn 27, 1.14; Kew CC 27, 1.07; Ivanhoe 24, 0.93; Mt Waverley 15, 0.75; Croydon 15, 0.70.