OAKLEIGH wants to seal home ground advantage for the upcoming Victorian Sub District Cricket Association finals in its last two matches of the season.
The Oaks scored an impressive 158-run win over Balwyn at Warrawee Park Oval on Saturday. The home side bowled out the Tigers for 114 after making 9-272cc on the first day.
The Oaks also took the chance to give some batting time to their middle order batsmen, making 1-58 from the final 14 overs of play. Matthew Naughtin (30 not out) and Jarrad Dowling (21 not out) enjoyed some extra time at the crease.
Oaks playing coach Brendan McGuinness said his side was very keen to finish on top of the ladder and secure home advantage, especially since second-placed Plenty Valley and third-placed Brunswick have had plenty of success on their stomping grounds.
"It's really important we get to play on our home paddock. A win this round should cement top spot for us.
"We know how to play on our ground and how to defend on it. Plus it would make a difference to play in front of our own supporters."
McGuinness said he was excited with his side's performance against Balwyn and believed his side was peaking at the right time of the season.
"The boys bowled really, really well. They stuck to our plans and we backed our bowlers up in the field and held our catches.
"It was a solid all-round performance."
The Oaks got outstanding support from all bowlers: Michael Splatt, Jeremy Devlin, Andrew Splatt and Joe McRoberts all took two wickets each. "We only have two more games left in the season — two big games to play — and our form is good. It's an exciting time."
Mt Waverley showed it was fighting out the season, scoring an away win over Ivanhoe at Ivanhoe Park on Saturday.
After making 209 on the first day, Mt Waverley opening bowler Alex Deuchar took 5-42 to lead his side as it bowled out Ivanhoe for 150. Andrew Ternes took 2-27.
VSDCA LADDER: Oakleigh 57 points, 1.64 per cent; Plenty Valley 51, 1.25; Brunswick 39, 1.01; Preston 36, 0.99; Endeavour Hills 36, 0.88; Coburg 34, 0.82; Box Hill 33, 1.10; Noble Park 33, 0.98; Bayswater 31, 1.06; Kew 27, 1.07; Balwyn 27, 1.01; Ivanhoe 24, 0.91; Mt Waverley 21, 0.80; Croydon 21, 0.76.