COACH Ross Corbett was a disappointed man after Nestles lost to West Warrnambool in a thriller last weekend.
But he’ll be more frustrated if his players don’t respond to the lessons from the two-wicket defeat.
Nestles meets Dennington in a Merri conference match as part of round seven of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association season.
The two-day match is a must-win for the Factory if it wants to remain in touch with the Panthers and Dogs, the conference pacesetters.
Corbett said Nestles didn’t capitalise when it had West Warrnambool on the ropes at 6-109 in pursuit of 172 last Saturday.
Instead, Michael Threlfall (61) and Simon Johnson (15 not out) put on a match-defining 43 for the seventh wicket to turn the match.
“At 6-109 that’s when you put your foot on the accelerator and roll them over but we didn’t have the ability to do that,” Corbett said.
“Whilst myself and the playing group were disappointed, the guys know what it takes to beat a top team and West are a top team.
“The upside was we learnt you can’t get teams six out and think we’re going to win the game.
“We’ve spoken to the bowlers this week about what their job is and the batsmen, we only had to make another 10 runs and it would’ve been enough.”
Corbett said Nestles had to heed the lessons when it started its match against Dennington. The Dogs enter the match after thrashing Nirranda.
“We’ll find out what they learnt if they replicate the mistakes this weekend. I was very disappointed,” Corbett said.
“The proof will be if we get a team in a position like that again, we don’t take our foot off the pedal.
Corbett said the Factory could still take positives out of the loss.
The tail added 20 runs in four overs on day two while the fielding was solid.
“West aren’t on top through good luck or fluking,” Corbett said.
“They’re on top because they’re a good team.
“That’s what I said to the playing group during the week, we almost beat the top team that is five and zip and we’re not far away.”
In other Merri conference matches, Wesley-CBC faces a stern test to stay in touch with the top two against West Warrnambool at Davidson Oval.
The Beavers had lost just once by Christmas but suffered an outright defeat against Port Fairy to put their finals aspirations in jeopardy.
By contrast, Port Fairy hopes that win can be the catalyst of a resurgence. The Pirates host Nirranda at Avery’s Paddock.
In the Hopkins conference, Allansford faces a major test against Merrivale at Uebergang Oval as it seeks to avenge a poor start to January.
Brierly-Christ Church welcomes Woodford to Brierly in a crucial match in the race for a top-two spot.
And Russells Creek will start favourite against East Warrnambool-YCW at Jetty Flat having broken through for its first win last weekend.
WDCA clubs and umpires will observe a minute’s silence to honour the life of former WDCA chairman Robert Haberfield, who died on Tuesday, aged 53.