By Richard Millot
The Basin have broken the hoodoo of the Division 1 premiership on their 9th time of calling, defeating Eildon Park in a dominant display at Batterham Park to seal the Norm Reeves Shield for 2018/19.
Set 218 for Premiership Honours, Blake Walter and Tom Edwards raced away from the start, 0/29 from the opening 5 overs against the Panther attack.
The Bears made it to drinks without loss before Edwards was dismissed LBW for 26 with the score at 1/64.
Joel Robertson was soon on his way after Monto Perera – shaking off injury from Day 1 – broke though at 2/67 from 24 overs.
Yet still, the ever present skill of Walter was on display, belting 15 off a Perera over to notch up his half century.
Perera broke through again with the score 3/99 as Danny Rundle was adjudged stumped, with skipper Jayden Turcinovic joining Walter to see through to the tea break at 3/121 from 46 overs.
Thoughts of the match tightening up after the interval were soon dashed as Turcinovic and Walter continued as the Panthers struggled to find answers to contain the style the duo adopted.
The Bear pair raced through the middle overs, adding 36 in a 5 window gap to further close in on the elusive premiership.
A memorable moment for the Batterham faithful as Turcinovic brought up his half century in a key captain’s knock before Walter reached triple figures soon after with a towering six that sent the stands into raptures.
The beginning of the 63rd over, Nathan Caton-Robertson signalled the end of the local season as the Bears broke through for their first ever Division 1 premiership in the FTGDCA after an unbeaten 3rd wicket stand of 119.
Walter carried the bat to 106 not out, the 8th highest contribution in the FTGDCA Final and was deservedly named the Stephen Lee Medallist.
Turcinovic left the crease unbeaten on 70 not out, skipper of a team that delivered on the efforts of so many over so long ever since their Bears made their first appearance in the inaugural FTGDCA Division 1 final in 1947/1948.
At Lakesfield Reserve, Lysterfield secured promotion into Norm Reeves Shield for Season 2019/20 after defeating South Belgrave in the Decoite Shield Final. Chasing 251, South were on the back foot early as Tim Chivers broke past Daniel Cormack and Mark Baker to be 2/22.
Tom Marks worked with Darren Ray to rebuild before falling for 25. Jordan McDermott joined Ray to see through to the tea break at 3/87, but was on his way soon after as South sat at 4/96.
Ray reached 52 before his dismissal brought a quick collapse.
Chivers teamed up with Brad Paull to cause damage to South’s chances, claiming 5/32 to wrap up a successful season for the Beavers, dismissing South Belgrave for 142.
Chivers concluded the match with figures of 5/38 from his 21 overs, whilst Paull claimed the final scalp of the season to return figures of 4/30 from 17/5 overs.
Nick McKay received the Ken Utting Medal for best afield in the final as Lysterfield taste Decoite Shield success for the first time in 11 seasons, ironically in a year where they defeated South Belgrave to the title.