Fitzroy Doncaster still have some work to do to assure themselves of a finals berth after day one of the final round of Victorian Premier League cricket. With the game in the balance the Lions need 227 next Saturday to see their season extended. When tea was taken the Lions had the Camberwell Magpies on the ropes at 5-97. Chief destroyer was allrounder Peter Dickson who had just clean bowled Magpie's Tasmanian recruit, Brendan Drew, and they could sniff the play-offs.
Dickson was on fire, as well as Drew, he had Magpie's skipper and dangerman, Simon Hill, out trapped in front for 40, much to the disgust of Hill, prior to tea. Shortly after the players return to the field, Dickson struck again, removing Adam McDermott and James Bett, to have the Pies shaking at at 7-117.
If the finals were a sniff at tea, they were now sitting down to dinner in the prelims! However, the game changed when Thomas Rickarby (43), combined with Simon O'Brien and James Pearson, both 29, in two partnerships which thwarted the Lions attack until just before stumps.
Fitzroy Doncaster's Steven Duckworth send Pie's batsman Thomas Russ packing.
The Pies took their score from 117 to be all out for 226 thanks to the efforts of the aforementioned trio. At the close of play Fitzroy Doncaster are five without loss. Dickson was superb with the ball, finishing with career best figures of 7-42 from 25.3 overs. His accuracy proving lethal and difficult to score from, something for which the Camberwell batsmen never managed to handle.
Fitzroy Doncaster players celebrate one of Peter Dickson's seven wickets against the Camberwell Magpies.
Apart from Rickarby, O'Brien and Pearson showing fight down the order, Hill looked in good touch for his forty. His was the scalp the Lions celebrated the most. Removing Drew on the brink of tea was a bonus. With Carlton and Dandenong breathing down Fitzroy Doncaster's neck, the match on the picturesque Camberwell oval is poised for a tight finish.