By Richard Millott
Round 10 concluded in Ferntree Gully and District Cricket Association action on Saturday as the ladder remained unchanged in both Norm Reeves Shield and Decoite Shield for the first time this season.
At Knox Gardens, Joe Morsello was the lead run scorer in his sides’ successful chase against a competitive Johnson Park.
Johnson Park went about setting a competitive total with Steve Devenish (37), Toby Whilesmith (33) and Joe Hayes (32) all getting starts.
The Sharks reached 6/197 from their 40 overs to provide the Falcons with a sizable chase.
The Falcons kept up with the pace required early, as Morsello and Mitch Gregory (52) teamed up to put on 127 for the second wicket before both departing 14 runs shy of the target at 3/183.
Morsello’s innings of 92 was the backbone as the Falcons executed the chase perfectly to claim the points.
The result saw Knox Gardens remain in second place – and confirms its finals fixture – while Johnson Park sits in ninth.
Eildon Park pulled clear late to keep its finals hopes alive after passing Belgrave at Belgrave Reserve.
The Pies, before a function celebrating a century of fielding teams of the Belgrave Cricket Club, took use of their home deck however both openers were back in the sheds at 2/16.
Jarrod McPhee (36) responded through the top order, taking a boundary-first approach with six fours and a maximum in his 30-ball stanza.
Tom Carlyle (35) was also influential as Belgrave secured 8/155 on the board.
For the Panthers Jurgen Andersen was the pick of the bowling claiming 4/28 from his eight overs.
In reply, the Panthers set themselves up with David Smyth (36) the instigator at 3/98.
However, the Pies struck back claiming 3/3 to threaten to end the aspirations of Eildon Park as the overs ticked down.
But the visitors weren’t to be outdone reaching 6/159 with 19 balls to spare.
The win sees Eildon Park as the only team outside of the four able to make finals.
The side will take on fourth placed The Basin next round in a huge clash at Batterham Park.
The Basin claimed the points in a key win over Upwey.
The visitors started at the crease with Adam Masters (64) reaching a half century while supported by Jayden Turcinovic (47) and Shane Luck (30).
Cameron Wheeler claimed 3/38 as the Bears reached 7/206.
In reply, Brent Hurst (44) showed plenty of spirit to the chase, however Adam Masters (3/23) led a team effort with the ball to dismiss the Tigers for 105.
Lysterfield booked its place in finals with a convincing win over Ferntree Gully Footballers at Pickett Reserve.
An early wicket to the Griffens sparked the Beavers as Nathan Walsh (47), Jake Arundell (30) and Lachlan Dobson (45) got going.
Maverick Taylor scored 32 not out late to guide Lysterfield to 7/191.
In reply, the Griffens lost wickets on a frequent basis which prevented the hosts from compiling the chase.
Brad Paull claimed 3/24 to dismiss the Griffens for 124.
Lysterfield are still ahead of the ladder on percentage against Knox Gardens who they play next round, while the seventh placed Ferntree Gully Footballers will travel to take on Upwey.
Knoxfield was comprehensive in its encounter with Upper Ferntree Gully.
A 76-run opening stand came to an end with Adith Sundaresh (35), bringing Zac Wilson to the crease within two overs.
Wilson teamed up with Luke Scanlan (59) to put on 68 runs before Scanlan departed, however the Knights skipper continued on reaching 77 not out from 68 balls at the end of the innings to reach 3/240.
In reply, the Kings were in early trouble as the hosts found wickets and denied the batsmen starts.
Zac Wilson claimed 3/17 as the pick of the bowlers as Upper Ferntree Gully saw out play at 9/110.
In Decoite Shield, Jayden Bradbury returned to form with an unbeaten century as Ferntree Gully returned to form against South Belgrave.
Bradbury ended the day on 107 not out, with support from Harrison Brown with 74 to put the Blues at 3/222.
South was well served by the bat also, with Daniel Cormack (66) and Ben Sidney-Jones (46) helping reach 179, despite the efforts with the ball from Harry Cowling (3/32) and Jason Kilby (3/40).
Meanwhile up at Monbulk, Shane Cosstick also joined the centurion club in the Hawks match against Rowville.
Monbulk took to the crease first with Jason Fraser doing the early damage before Shane Cosstick came to the crease.
The duo put on 169 runs for the second wicket, with Cosstick reaching 103 not out from 106 balls, including six fours and three sixes.
Not to be outdone, Jason Fraser carried the bat through the innings to reach 66 not out as Monbulk ended at 2/196.
Rowville’s reply became an arm wrestle as the bowlers toiled just as hard for a breakthrough moment.
Craig Broekhof broke through over the afternoon to take 4/31 as Rowville couldn’t get a start with the bat, dismissed for 122.
In other games, Mountain Gate (149) claimed its third win of the season against St Johns Tecoma (145) while Knox Gardens (146) defeated Olinda (145).