GEELONG DOWNS ESSENDON IN 44-RUN WIN AT WINDY HILL
LACHIE YOUNG, Geelong Advertiser
February 11, 2018 6:52pm
A stunning turnaround in form with the ball enabled Geelong to claim a 44-run win over Essendon at Windy Hill on Sunday.
Having made the call to continue batting after going to stumps on day one at 7-273, the Cats finished their innings on 293, thanks largely to the efforts of Mitchell Reid (72) and Brenton McDonald (54).
The Bombers started their chase poorly but recovered to be 3-164 and were cruising at tea, but a middle-order collapse on the back of a superb spell from McDonald (4-54) made the equation far tougher, and after falling to 7-215 it was all but over for the home side.
Geelong coach Andre Borovec said it was one his team’s most inspiring victories of the season.
“It was a great win, and it was done the hard way because all three results were possible heading into the last session,” Borovec said.
“We thought about it overnight regarding what our plan of attack would be and once it looked like (the weather) would be clear we decided to make a few more, to try to get to 300 and get off the ground.
“It doesn’t always go straight to plan because our bowling in the first session — even though we took three wickets — was poor, so we had to work really, really hard and execute well (in the second session), and it just came together.
“I’m very, very proud and the boys certainly understand the significance of the victory.”
McDonald’s spell after tea produced four maidens, which helped put pressure on Essendon’s batsmen, who had until that point looked comfortable at the crease.
Borovec praised the leg-spinner’s calm approach and ability to deliver when it mattered.
“Brenton McDonald’s four wickets came at a critical time in the game and he’s a bowler at the moment who, you’d struggle to find a grade cricketer in the county bowling as well as he is
“He has pure control of his craft and he can hold, bowl wicket-taking balls and just apply pressure when it really matters, so he was a big reason for us getting the ten wickets
“Also, young Brody Couch (2-53) in his second game got 44 with the bat and bowled a really impressive spell of reverse swing in the middle session, so he struck at important times.”
Geelong will now host St-Kilda in a two-day clash this weekend.