WARRNAMBOOL believes it can bounce back from an opening defeat and rectify some "uncharacteristic" bowling on day two of the Melbourne Country Week carnival.
The Jason Mungean-coached side - back in the provincial grade after winning division two 12 months ago - fell to Geelong on its home deck on Monday, February 12, 2024.
Ferntree Gully, which tasted success on day one, will be Warrnambool's next challenge at Camberwell.
"New game, new ground. We just have to take the positives out of today," Mungean said.
Debutants Shannon Beks (63) and Theo Opperman (39) helped Warrnambool to a strong start against Geelong but Mungean lamented a lack of strong partnerships thereafter.
It posted 250 but Geelong had little trouble reeling it in with five wickets in hand and 20 overs to spare.
"A lot of them probably haven't seen a deck like this - it's better than the Princes Highway," he said.
"It was an absolute road - the ball wasn't doing a great deal.
"We were probably searching for wickets when we just needed to apply dot-ball pressure.
"There was a lot of extras, 44 I think. I don't know if I put it down to nerves but it was uncharacteristic for a few players and, to be honest, it just released the pressure and Geelong could play their shots."
Beks made a quickfire 63 from 48 deliveries opening the batting.
His innings included 12 boundaries and two sixes.
Opperman came in at first drop and adjusted to the level with aplomb.
"The two debutants had a 90-run partnership and then we couldn't get past a 20 or 30-run partnership," Mungean said.
"We just couldn't build on the start we got, probably 300 was a minimum we needed.
"They bowled well after the first drinks break and we just didn't bat smart I'd say. There was a few caught on the boundary that didn't have to be, so there are things to work on."
Beks said he was pleased to contribute in his first country week match.
"It was good to play on a wicket like that where you could get value for your shots," he said.
"I was pretty disappointed to throw it away when I did - there was still plenty of runs to be made out there- but it was a good start and hopefully I can do it again tomorrow.
"Not playing at the level before, you wonder how you're going to go so it gives me confidence I can keep doing it."
The Dennington leader praised Opperman, who plays club cricket for Merrivale, for his patience at the other end of the pitch.
"He's a good player to bat with and pretty smart about his cricket," he said.
The Cobden player made 107 from 98 deliveries to help South West to a commanding 7-339 against Bellarine Peninsula. His innings featured 14 fours.
"It was the second century I have ever made," Benallack said.
"The grounds down here are a bit different to down home. There wasn't a heap of running going on which was also good.
"It was good to get a score on the board and help the boys post a good total."
Eddie Lucas (40) opening the batting and Angus Uwland (40) down the order also made important contributions in the 141-run win.
"We had a couple of blokes get a couple of good starts and we need someone to go on with it which was me today but hopefully someone else can do the job tomorrow," Benallack said.