FORGET about cricket and enjoy Christmas.
That’s the coach’s message to high-flying Eskdale after it maintained its undefeated start to the summer in district cricket at the weekend.
Chasing Wodonga’s 151, the ladder leader was “cruising” at 2-81 before crashing to 7-103 as the Bulldogs Ben Greer (5-28) looked set to turn the game around.
But last-wicket hero Aiden Adams was again to the fore for the Mitta Valley team, his 43 not out along with Haydon Wilson’s 20 enough to take the points.
It was Adams who was the hero with the bat when Eskdale won on the last ball of the day against Dederang earlier in the season.
Captain Jamie Baude said he believed there was a new sense of self belief in the team that only narrowly avoided the wooden spoon last year.
“Having Geoff Lowcock (coach) on board has been a bonus, the team seems to spark up and has the belief that we can win the tight games,” he said.
“No one is complaining about going into the break with a five-zip record.
“Geoff has told the boys to enjoy Christmas, forget about cricket and then focus for the last four games of the home-and-away season.
“It’s a tough run after the break with Mount Beauty, Kiewa, Yackandandah and Howlong.
“But the way we are playing makes me believe we can win those too.”
Baude said the weekend win was one for the team.
“Greer was bowling such a tight line and length — he was hard to get away and I think he bowled five maidens in a row at one stage,” he said.
“And one of the positives was we got the runs required without Clint Gilson contributing.
“We have relied on him getting a score for most of our games, so to win when he has had a rare failure is a great effort.”
Elsewhere, Dederang had to survive a hard-hitting assault from Peter Hancock as Howlong looked to run down a 240-run victory target.
“We had them nine down with still 40 runs to get and not many overs,” Dederang’s Andrew Creamer said.
“Then the tail-ender just started hitting sixes everywhere and, in the end, they could have picked up ones and twos and still won.
“But he tried another big hit and Tom Grealy got underneath it and took the catch.
“It was very tense in the last few overs, particularly knowing we needed that win to be any chance of playing in the finals.”