YARRAWONGA-Mulwala has tasted defeat for the first time this season, falling to fellow heavyweight City Colts.
The Lakers, who won their first seven games, failed to start the new year in the same winning form, losing by five wickets on Saturday.
Colts’ star Kent Braden, a joint top-scorer for the winners with 37, said the win kept Colts’ top-two chances well and truly alive, heading into finals.
“It certainly keeps us in the hunt,” Braden said.
“Hopefully we can sneak into second, which would give us a home final and help us out if there’s bad weather.
“We want to finish as high as possible.”
Colts managed to restrict the premiership favourite to just 8-142 from its 40 overs, with tight bowling key to their victory.
“We probably didn’t really play our best cricket,” Braden admitted.
“But we were consistent with our areas when we were bowling and just had a really good go which restricted their run flow.
“We were positive from the start with our batting and that helped us.
Braden said the win was a timely boost for Colts’ self-belief.
The club lost its first three games but has been unbeaten since.
“They were obviously undefeated and have been playing some good cricket,” he said.
“I guess it shows we can match it with anyone.
“We lost our first three, so we’re pretty keen to make amends over the next few weeks.”
In other one-day games on Saturday, fifth-placed Corowa scored an important victory over Beechworth at home.
Nathan Rhodes starred with 80 as Corowa posted 9-193 from its 40 overs.
Captain Jarred Lane then backed up his 47 with the bat with a devastating five-wicket haul that saw the Wanderers all out for 178.
Myrtleford’s Geof Sundstrom went ballistic at Whorouly as he belted 92 from just 58 balls in the win over Whorouly-Gapsted.
The Saints mowed down the 148 runs they required to finish 8-232 from their 40 overs.
Elsewhere, Bruck crushed Wangaratta Magpies, with Jeremy Wilson and Alex Marklew in strong form with the ball.
Simon Godfrey and Ryan Nankervis both chipped in with the bat as Rovers United downed Greta by 14 runs.