Keira captain Kyle Connor is confident his side can keep their slim finals hopes alive after they took a commanding position in their clash with Wollongong.
After winning the toss and opting to bowl, the Lions tore through a Wollongong batting lineup that offered very little resistance.
Lachlan Maddinson was the lone bright spot, the batsman scoring a fine 97 as his team was bowled out for 186.
Teenager Hugo Ikeda was the key man with the ball for Keira, the fast bowler claiming 5-28 from 14 overs.
The Lions had a late stumble with the bat, Maddinson taking two wickets to see the side reach 3-64 at stumps.
The 2019 runners-up currently sit in eighth on the ladder, eight points outside the top four and Connor is confident they can secure a much-needed win when the match resumes next Saturday.
"We lost a couple of late ones, but I would have taken this at the toss," Connor said. "To bowl them out for 180 and be a third of the way there and only three down is very positive.
"The game is still in the balance, they can bowl well and take wickets, so we need to bat well to get the win.
"I've sat down for hours trying to work out the finals possibilities. We've got to focus on winning this game then trying to beat Port Kembla."
While the the Lighthouse Keepers currently sit in fourth position, their place in the finals is far from assured.
With their season hanging in the balance, captain Duncan Maddinson was disappointed with the way his batsman performed on Saturday.
Maddinson was pleased, however, with the way the side finished the day and he's hoping they will take some momentum into next week's play.
"We fought hard with the ball at the end of the day, but I was a little bit disappointed with our batting effort," Maddinson said.
"Against a pretty average bowling attack, no one really looked to be scoring any big runs apart from Lachlan Maddinson.
"This match is really important for us. They've got to win to make the four and we're in the four but in that jumble of teams within a few points of each other.
"We know we need to get a result next weekend to keep ourselves away from that danger zone of finishing in fifth or sixth."
Keira's fine bowling performance came on an intriguing day of Cricket Illawarra action.
Defending premiers Balgownie continued their late-season resurgence, the Magpies reaching 2-59 at stumps after bowling Helensburgh out for 101 earlier in the day.
Dapto's top-four hopes look to be in jeopardy, University's Hugh Britton taking five wickets to skittle the Canaries for 107. Uni are 0-34 in response.
Competition leaders Northern Districts wrapped up first-innings points in their clash with Port Kembla, the Butchers bowling the Blacks out for 124 before reaching 3-128.
Finally Corrimal will chase 191 next weekend after bowling Wests out for 190.
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