By Richard Millott
Ferntree Gully avoided Melbourne’s fickle weather to register its first win of the season over Eildon Park.
The chase started on the back foot, with the Panthers having their hosts 2/16 before skipper Jayden Bradbury (31) and Ben Pearce (30) teamed up to take control of the chase.
Adrian Catalano then proved to be the backbone of the Blues’ effort with 62* to reach 7/181 and claim the points.
For the Panthers, Nathan Caton-Robertson took 4/35 to take his tally of wickets to 12 for the season.
Knox Gardens re-entered the top four after a 111-run victory against Upwey. Chasing the Falcons’ 4/296, Julian Whetstone provided for the Tigers with 80, however it was Scott McInerney who helped deny a home win claiming 3/33 to dismiss Upwey for 185.
The Tigers now sit just outside the top four as the second team of three on 24 points.
Ferntree Gully Footballers jumped to second after sealing the result at Picketts Reserve against Belgrave.
Chasing 170, the Griffins had a number of starts to propel towards the target, with Lachlan Storey (33) setting the tone before Cohen McElroy (44*) and Braydon Dobinson (41*) teamed up to finish the match at 4/174, leaping to second place on percentage.
The Pies now find themselves at the foot of the ladder following Ferntree Gully’s win across town.
The Basin made it seven-from-seven after Johnson Park was unable to reach the huge 380-run target.
Liyan De Silva (40) helped to start the Sharks to be 2/65, with efforts from Steve Devenish (34) and Andrew Devenish (44) thwarted by the Bears’ bowling – notably Jake Sherriff (3/39) and Blake Walter (4/27) – to seal the win to remain undefeated.
Knoxfield sits third ahead of the T20 round into Christmas after accounting for Upper Ferntree Gully.
Set 184 for victory, the Knights started well with Adith Sundaresh holding sway at the top of the order before being dismissed for 75 with the score at 3/122.
Tom Boxell (45) and Zac Wilson (31) made starts against the bowling attack, with a late rally from the Kings claiming 4/5 around the time the victorious runs were scored by Knoxfield.
In Decoite Shield action, Shane Cosstick enjoyed Knox Gardens Reserve, scoring an unbeaten 102 as part of Monbulk’s nine-wicket victory over the Falcons. Chasing 176, the Hawks looked comfortable with Aaron Bermingham (30) teaming with Cosstick on the scoresheet to register 1/187 and keep the pressure on Lysterfield at the top of the ladder.
Olinda produced its first win of the campaign, successfully defending 302 against South Belgrave.
Daniel Cormack was the sole resistance for South with a well-made 76 as part of the visitors’ 202.
Despite the loss, South still sits third, albeit two matches back from the leaders.
St Johns Tecoma pressed the issue at HV Jones Reserve against Mountain Gate, with the home team defending against an outright loss.
Having already claimed first innings points last week, the Saints continued until a declaration at 9/195 concluded the innings.
Luke Hands reached 58* with the willow, while with the ball Kevin Atacador claimed 5/52.
Returning to the crease, the Gators were in trouble early with the top order in single digits, before Brad Croxford provided solidity for the home team with 36 as the Gators batted out the day to reach 9/128.
Luke Hands was again the headache for the Gator batsmen, claiming 5/34 in the second innings to go with his 4/30 from the first innings.
Lysterfield stays on top of proceedings after a Derby win against neighbours Rowville.
Set 152 by the Hawks, the Beavers reached the target three-down with Daniel Forster-Jennings setting the example with 64* to reach 3/156 after 52 overs.
Norm Reeves Shield
Provisional ladder after seven rounds
The Basin – 42 points (2.076 per cent)
Ferntree Gully Footballers – 30 (1.384)
Knoxfield – 30 (1.306)
Knox Gardens – 24 (1.441)
Upwey – 24 (0.986)
Johnson Park – 24 (0.905)
Eildon Park – 18 (0.879)
Ferntree Gully – 6 (0.648)
Upper Ferntree Gully – 6 (0.588)
Belgrave – 6 (0.586)
Provisional ladder after seven rounds
Lysterfield – 36 points (2.125 per cent)
Monbulk – 36 (1.540)
South Belgrave – 24 (0.885)
Knox Gardens – 24 (0.805)
Rowville – 18 (0.990)
St Johns Tecoma – 12 (0.939)
Mountain Gate – 12 (0.880)
Olinda – 6 (0.602)