By Richard Millott
Belgrave’s Aaron Brunner is in red hot form, scoring his third century this season in his sides’ win against Upwey.
The Pies took first use of the home pitch, with Brunner and Jordon King (70) combining to send the Tigers’ attack around the ground.
Brunner was dismissed shortly after his 94-ball hundred with the score at 2/173 – an innings which included eight fours and five sixes.
Contributions continued to push the score along before concluding at 6/241.
Steve Gannell was the pick of the bowling for the Tigers, claiming 3/64 from eight overs.
In response, the Upwey top order rose to the challenge with Dain Howe (42), Cameron Wheeler (69) and Matt Mulchay (40) seeing the visitors track for an exciting finish.
Jordon Dunstone (30) also helped push the score along in the later stages but Jarrod McPhee (3/31) claimed key wickets to see Upwey fall six runs short at 8/235.
Belgrave remain top of the ladder following the win, whilst Upwey sit in eigth position.
Lysterfield’s unbeaten return to Norm Reeves Shield continued after it claimed the points against Johnson Park.
Daniel Forster-Jennings lead from the top scoring 86 to start the Beavers’ innings on the right tone.
Help came from Anthony Brolic (34) and Nathan Walsh (67) to reach 5/233 from their overs.
Joe Hayes lead the reply with 76, alongside the ever-reliable Andrew Devenish with 62.
However the Sharks were to be thwarted by the bowling efforts of Lachlan Dobson (3/31) and Nathan Walsh (3/36).
They were influential as Lysterfield restricted the chase to 198 and claimed the points.
Lysterfield sit second as the only other undefeated team, whilst Johnson Park sit ninth, still in search of opening points for the season.
At Knox Gardens, it was the Zac Wilson show as Knoxfield defeated the Falcons.
The Knights batted first however were undone with quick wickets leaving the score at 3/46.
Luke Scanlan (55*) and Wilson put on a key partnership, with 148 runs for the fourth wicket before Wilson was dismissed for 96 to have the visitors at 5/197.
In reply, Mitch Gregory was the only batting contributor with 30 as the Knights bowling asserted themselves on the
Zac Wilson’s 4/16 and Trent Atkinson’s 3/15 made breakthroughs while restricting runs to dismiss Knox Gardens for 127.
The win sees the Knights jump into the top four, while Knox Gardens slip into fifth.
In other games, The Basin also entered the top four after accounting for Ferntree Gully Footballers 6/215 to 9/191.
Eildon Park (5/148) also completed a successful chase against Upper Ferntree Gully (7/147).
In Decoite Shield, St Johns Tecoma jumped to second on the ladder after a successful chase against Rowville.
Brett Gatehouse (36) and Surad Uduman (38) lead the way for the Hawks, however Andrew Wilson (3/29) helped negate the start as the visitors reached 8/190.
An unbeaten Jake Sali century from the top of the innings was the highlight of the chase with all round contributions helping to reach the required 5/194.
Sali’s innings included seven fours and six sixes in the 104-ball affair.
Monbulk returned into the top four after an away win at Mountain Gate.
Udara Ravindu (36) started well but it was Jason Fraser that people talked about once again.
He continued yet another century at 118.
Justin Creed (44) scored late to propel the score, concluding at 4/254.
Mitch Goddard batted positively from the start for the Gators, his 68 the cornerstone of the home innings.
Sanitha De Mel (38) contributed also, however the Hawks proved too strong with the match over at 9/208.
Ferntree Gully is now a match clear after a tight battle against Knox Gardens.
The Blues started well with Josh Henry (70) and Jason Kilby (44) getting things underway, but the Falcon bowlers struck back, the pick being Nav Singh (3/23) as the Blues were dismissed for 214.
Adam Wylde (80) and Josh Gregory (42) lead the way for the Falcons, however Harry Cowling (3/25) helped restrict the score when things got tight.
Needing 10 runs off the final over, the Falcons battled on – needing five from the final ball to win, the Blues claimed the final wicket to secure the points in a classic one day match.
South Belgrave accounted for Olinda in their matchup.
With South batting first, contributions from Mark Baker (42), Darren Ray (34), Jordan McDermott (58) and Harley McDermott (35) took the home team to 6/230 from their overs.
In reply, Josh Langer (32) and Jonty Scott (36) were the
contributors for the Bloods, but Shane Seamer’s 4/47 saw the score fall short – Olinda concluding at 8/208.
Meanwhile, former Knoxfield Premiership Player Mitch Perry added his name to the echelons of local cricket graduates, playing in a Cricket Australia squad against the touring Pakistan team in Perth.