By Richard Millott
Upper Ferntree Gully got 2021 off to the perfect start, notching up their first win over Belgrave on Saturday 9 January.
After sending the visitors in, the Kings had a perfect start to leave the Pies reeling at 4/10 with Cody Law (3/17) and Jarryd Healey-Rotheram (3/30) leading the attack.
Only Jarrod McPhee (32) featured on the Belgrave scorecard as the Pies were dismissed for 101.
Leading the chase, Sajana De Silva (37) and Tom Roleff (30*) saw the Kings through for their first points of the year.
Upper Ferntree Gully will be looking to replicate the performance against Eildon Park next week, whilst Belgrave will be looking to bounce back against Monbulk.
Ferntree Gully are now in the top four after a three-wicket win over Knox Gardens.
Pete Dunlop (60), Jarrod Butcher (42) and Jack Taylor (33) all featured for the Falcons in setting a target over the Blues, posting 7/179 by the innings’ end.
In reply, the Blues were well up for the challenge, keeping pace with the target score with efforts from Josh Henry (30), Liam Dunkinson (40) and Harry Cowling (30*).
Jarrod Butcher lead the way with the ball for the Falcons claiming 4/39, however the hosts claimed the points with an over to spare.
The Blues face Ferntree Gully Footballers in a fourth vs fifth showdown, while Knox Gardens host Johnson Park at Knox Gardens Reserve.
Upwey continue to sit on top of the ladder after a commanding win over Knoxfield at Carrington Park.
Andrew Evans was the mainstay of the Tigers’ innings, his 78 combining with Matt Mulchay’s 47 as the visitors knocked 5/201 from their 40 overs.
In response, the Tigers restricted the Knights with ball in hand to dismiss the hosts for 99, with Daniel Wiles the pick claiming 3/26.
Upwey host Lysterfield next week in a massive match at the Dome, whilst Knoxfield travel to The Basin to commence the new year on their terms.
Liam Hunt was the chief destroyer at Pickett Reserve, claiming a bag in Ferntree Gully Footballer’s win over Johnson Park.
Hunt claimed 6/28 from his 8 overs to give the Sharks headaches, however Andrew Devenish saluted again for the visitors, 54 runs the key to Johnson Park’s total of 127.
Ben Rawlings (33) and Liam Hunt (39) combined on the scorecard to get the Griffen’s home, reaching 3/128 in the 27th over.
Ferntree Gully Footballers will be looking to jump back into the top four against neighbours Ferntree Gully next week, while Johnson Park will be looking for vital points in their encounter with Knox Gardens.
Lysterfield got the job done over Monbulk at Lakesfield Reserve to keep pressure on the top of the table.
Batting first, it was familiar names for the Beavers as Anthony Brolic (45) and Nathan Walsh (43) were a feature in a total of 8/168, with Connor Haworth-Hooker (3/38) the best of the Hawks bowling attack.
In response, the Hawks were unable to get a start against the balanced attack, reaching 9/126 by day’s end with both runs and wickets shared.
Lysterfield will look to jump to the top of the ladder against Upwey next week, whilst Monbulk will play host to Belgrave.
The Basin tasted success over Eildon Park to keep their lead on a swarm of teams shaping up for finals. The Panthers batted first, with David Smyth (66) leading from the top.
However, Marcus Baxter (3/43) had other ideas with the ball, keeping the batsmen at bay to dismiss for 149.
In reply, the Bears’ top order got starts towards the target, before Scott Vozzo found the boundaries in a 53-ball 67 to bring the points home for the visitors.
The Basin host Knoxfield next week, whilst Eildon Park will be looking to return to the winners’ list against Upper Ferntree Gully.
In Decoite Shield, South Belgrave found the winning formula against St Johns Tecoma with the hosts recording a 6-wicket win.
The Saints found runs tricky to score, with Alex Fergusson (40) leading the way towards 7/137 from 40 overs.
South took time to ensure the win, however Jordon McDermott (33) ensured that the hosts would secure the six points to go level at the top of the table.
St Johns Tecoma travel back to Talaskia to host Knox Gardens, whilst South Belgrave will look to continue the run against Rowville at Seebeck Oval.
Knox Gardens closed the gap on the top four with victory over Olinda. The Falcons were in early trouble at 3/29 before innings from Jackson Marget (37), Hayden Morrison (55) and a rapid Dylan Wylde (73 off 48 balls) took the hosts to 8/217.
Efforts from Michael Hyatt (47) and Tim Scott (48) had the visitors on track, before Jackson Marget claimed 3/15 to facilitate the hosts keeping Olinda to 191 in reply.
The Falcons come up against St Johns Tecoma next round, whilst Olinda will host Mountain Gate.
Rowville fought back to defend a low target against Mountain Gate to claim the points.
The Hawks were flying at 3/91 with scores from Luke Guest (31) and Monto Perera (32), however the Gators swung into life with the ball – Aiden Whitfield (3/12 off 7.3) and Kevin Atacador (3/26) helping to roll the Hawks for 125.
In response, the hosts lost early wickets throughout the top order thanks to Darren Hill (4/13 off 8) and Monto Perera (3/18) – a position they didn’t recover from to be dismissed for 71.
Rowville host South Belgrave next week, whilst for Mountain Gate the search for opening points travels to Olinda.
NORM REEVES SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 7 ROUNDS)
UPWEY-TECOMA – 39PTS (1.778%)
LYSTEFIELD – 36PTS (1.393%)
THE BASIN – 27PTS (1.284%)
FERNTREE GULLY – 27PTS (1.201%)
FTG Footballers – 24pts (1.146%)
Monbulk – 21pts (1.017%)
Knoxfield – 21pts (0.677%)
Knox Gardens – 18pts (1.461%)
Johnson Park – 18pts (0.827%)
Eildon Park – 9pts (0.711%)
Upper FTG – 6pts (0.804%)
Belgrave – 6pts (0.401%)
DECOITE SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 7 ROUNDS)
ST JOHNS TECOMA – 33PTS (2.198%)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 33PTS (1.353%)
ROWVILLE – 24PTS (0.976%)
OLINDA – 21PTS (1.048%)
Knox Gardens – 15pts (0.763%)
Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.450%)