By Richard Millott
A year after promotion, Lysterfield are through to host the Norm Reeves Shield Final after a successful chase against Knox Gardens at Park Ridge on Sunday.
Set 9/256 by the Falcons, the Beavers were quick out of the blocks before Nathan Hicks fell for 36 putting the score at 1/53 from the first 15 overs.
Anthony Brolic joined Daniel Forster-Jennings at the crease and continued to forge on before Forster-Jennings fell prior to tea for 45 as the Beavers returned to the sheds for the break at 2/124 from 45 overs.
A tight contest against the Falcons’ bowling attack kept runs restricted to the bare minimum as Brolic notched up 53 before departing at 3/179, leaving Nathan Walsh to conclude the chase with 66 not out as the Beavers reached 6/257 with 16 balls to spare.
The Falcons will host Knoxfield in next week’s Preliminary Final after the Knights secured a 3-wicket win over The Basin at Carrington Park Reserve.
Chasing 200, the hosts started well being 1/37 before Luke Scanlan (52) teamed up with a number of Knights across the middle order to reach 4/148.
The Bears fought with the ball, taking 3/29 to keep the pressure on as the overs ticked past with Adam Masters claiming three wickets to lead the attack, however Knoxfield kept its season alive reaching 7/203 with just under two overs to spare.
In DeCoite Shield, Ferntree Gully will host the final at Wally Tew after defeating Monbulk.
With 253 the target, the Hawks lost an early wicket before Jason Fraser and Shane Cosstick struck up an 82-run partnership.
Cosstick departed for 41, with Fraser returning to the sheds for 77 with the board reading 5/172.
With the ball, the Blues turned to Nick Woods (4/49) and Josh Henry (4/75) to claim breakthroughs, eventually dismissing the hosts for 213.
It will be a battle of the Hawks at Monbulk after Rowville defeated Knox Gardens.
Being 0/26 overnight chasing 132, the Falcons started Day 2 up and about, claiming the opening three wickets early on to have the Hawks at 3/36.
The Hawks saw through to drinks break before losing wickets either side to be 5/65 before Glenn Neven (40*) and Monto Perera (37*) combined for a 70-run stand lasting most of the afternoon to book Rowville a trip up to Monbulk next weekend.
In Division 3, Upwey will host the final after defeating Eildon Park.
Chasing 145, the Panthers lost a steady stream of wickets to be behind the eight ball with the score at 5/24.
Wickets were shared around, with Stephen Capon leading the charge with 3/18 from 16 overs. The Panthers were unable to rebuild, eventually dismissed for 63.
Meanwhile, Ferntree Gully booked its place in the decider after chasing down The Basin.
A target of 196 was bankrolled by Ben Pearce (77), with key support from Daniel Sharp (42) and Gavin Kalisperis (35) despite the Bears’ attack of Alex Winters (4/47) and Jarryd Debernardi (3/53) claiming wickets. The Blues reached the total with 4 overs to spare at 7/196.
In Division 4 St John Tecoma progressed into the Grand Final after victory over Knox City at Lewis Park while Monbulk proved to have enough on the board to see off Rowville.
Division 5 action saw Morgan Arundell star for Eildon Park in a big win over Ferntree Gully and in the other Semi Final, The Basin progressed over Monbulk.
Olinda reached the Division 6 Grand Final after defeating Belgrave and so too did Lysterfield after claiming victory over St Johns Tecoma in a tight-scoring finish.
The Basin and Ferntree Gully Footballers will face off for Division 7 honours after both won their respective Semi Finals.
A close finish up at Silvan saw the hosts prevail over Upper Ferntree Gully in the Division 8 Semi Final.
The Grand Final will see Silvan take on Johnson Park, who won through on Saturday.