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After having to wait an extra week for cricket to arrive again due to torrential rains last weekend, cricketers around the Yarra Ranges were champing at the bit to resume the cut and thrust of the season.
With two-day games being cut down to one day in the competition’s top grades, victories would prove crucial in establishing ladder positions.
The game of the round in DJ Strachan Shield had to be between the top two performing teams this season, Mount Evelyn and Yarra Junction, and the game didn’t fail to deliver.
On their home deck, Mount Evelyn batted first, and it was in-form opener Daniel Giblin (51) who set the pace for the home team.
With Nick Bark (2/26) removing his partner in crime, Jesse Fraser, in a brilliant spell of bowling, Giblin set about the task giving his team the best part possible.
A 62-run partnership with Gareth Fraser had the Mounters humming along nicely.
Jesse Cook (3/52) and Terry Ottrey combined for an excellent partnership of bowling that netted three wickets and put the brakes on the Mount Evelyn innings.
Mount Evelyn captain Kane Jones (32) threatened, but the remainder of the batting line-up had to scratch and scrape for their runs and eventually their innings was closed at 7/157, a decent total, but one that was very much attainable.
Yarra Junction made a brisk start courtesy of openers Andy Wear and Andy Taylor, and they were able to maintain their momentum despite some tidy bowling from the home side.
Brad and Kane Jones were able to keep things tight, but Wear stood firm on his way to a half century.
The innings proved to be a real arm wrestle as Yarra Junction stood firm against some disciplined bowling.
With a dash for the total on the horizon, Wear lost his wicket, and the Eagles gradually slipped off the required rate, courtesy of some well executed late bowling from Chad Witherdin (4/29) and Gareth Fraser.
The Eagles were still within reach of the total late into the innings, but just couldn’t muster the big over required to break the Mounters’ back.
In the end, they fell agonisingly nine runs short in a brilliant contest.
Yarra Glen and Healesville also played out a close game at Queen’s Park.
DJ Strachan Shield and RA Finger Trophy
Mount Evelyn 7/157 (D. Giblin 51, K. Jones 32, J. Cook 3/52, N. Bark 2/26) d Yarra Junction 8/148 (A. Wear 50, K. Bomford 23no, C. Witherdin 4/29)
C Grade
Mount Evelyn 8/185 (A. Giblin 61 A. Whiting 30 L. Faulkingham 3/25 S. Thompson 3/20) d Powelltown 8/170 (L. Long 51 A. Giblin 3/27)
D Grade
Mount Evelyn 7/72 (L. Cook 15no, D. Henderson 14, W. Cooney 4/9) d Healesville 67 (S. Fawdry 9, P. Heaphy 5/10).
Under 16s
Mount Evelyn v Healesville 7/171 (Z. Fawdry 54no, L. Chandler 31, B. Westaway 2/18)
Under 14s
Mount Evelyn/Launching Place v Healesville 3/161 (S. Gebert 40no, M. Hirst 34no, B. Jones 1/19, G. Parker 1/20, O. Powell 1/23)
Under 12s
Mount Evelyn v bye

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