By Richard Millott
Knoxfield went big in their clash against Ferntree Gully Footballers, with the Knights hitting over 7 an over as a target.
Batting first, the Knights blasted off with Clint Buckland reaching a quick-fire 96, whilst Adam Maloney (64*), Jake Balfour (63) and Josh Lindner (40*) all amongst the runs to put 5/296 on the board. Sam Cuthbert was the best with the ball for the Griffens with 3/62). In reply, Lachlan Storey (61) and Cohen McElroy (52) both reached half-century contributions, however Josh Lindner claimed 5/32 for the Knights alongside Chris Rumble (3/38) to seal a big win to the Knights.
Johnson Park enjoyed an eight-wicket win over Upper Ferntree Gully. The Kings reached 9/156 from their overs, with Corey Williams (36) the standout with the bat, whilst for the Sharks Udara Ranasingha (3/25) was the pick of the bowling attack. The reply saw the ever-reliable Steve Devenish hit 78, along with Liyan De Silva (42) to reach the target at 2/157 in the 26th over to log a much-needed win to keep clear of the drop zone.
The Basin continue to keep the pressure on the Top 4 after a convincing win over Belgrave. Jayden Turcinovic (65) and Blake Walter (51) were the highlights of the Bear’s efforts with the bat, hitting 8/216 from the 40 overs as the Magpies shared wickets around. In response, Luke Spence (37) got a start however it was Trent Phillips who had a day out, claiming 6/29 to send the Pies all out for 140. The Bears now jump up to 5th place and will look at the next 2 weeks to break their way back into the Finals positions.
Upwey claimed the points in a crucial matchup against Knox Gardens. The Falcons batted first, with Joe Morsello (40) leading well from the top before Cam Wheeler put on another masterclass, claiming 5/7 as the Falcons were dismissed with 139 on the board. Jackson Waters (51) lead the way with the willow however Jack Taylor (3/37) ensured the close match in the billing. In the end, Upwey reached the target, ending the day at 5/141 in the 36th over. The win now assures the Tigers a Finals position, and will look towards ensuring that this becomes a Qualifying Finals berth.
Ferntree Gully continued on their winning ways, this time at the expense of Monbulk. The Hawks were well serviced by Aaron Bermingham, reaching 75 not out alongside Aaron Powell (31*) to put 5/154 as a target. However Jason Kilby (47) and Harry Cowling (33) were both up for the task as the Blues defied the Hawks, chasing down the target by 2 wickets at 8/156 with 10 balls remaining. For the Hawks, Jordan Wilkinson claimed 4/36 as the best of the bowlers. The Blues continue to hold onto 3rd place and will look to secure their place in Finals next week with another win.
Lysterfield continue to lead proceedings, chasing down Eildon Park. Only Jake Pollard (44) got going for the Panthers as the Beavers shared the wickets around to dismiss Eildon Park for 133. Anthony Brolic (46*) got going in the chase to spearhead the efforts, the Beavers getting the Finals-confirming points at 4/134.
In Decoite Shield, St Johns Tecoma had a huge win over South Belgrave. South struck frequently with the ball, with only Jake Sali (38) passing a start in an innings affected by the bowling of Ohlsson D’Sylva (3/33) to keep the Saints to 159. However the joy was short lived as the Saints’ bowlers went to work – Andrew Wilson (3/10) and Dean Lucas (3/13) the main culprits in consigning South to dismissal for 58 in the 19th over.
Knox Gardens dashed the hopes of the Olinda faithful, registering the 6 points. The Falcons set 151 as a target, with plenty of contributions with both bat and ball. In reply, Matt Young (3/19) stood up for the hosts as the visitors were dismissed for 108 in response.
Mountain Gate came agonizingly close to opening the account against Rowville, the visitors holding on as two wicket victors. The Gators were again supported with Mitch Goddard (49) the lead contributor as Hasitha Goonewardaena (3/27) lead the charge with ball in hand to keep the hosts to 7/117. However the Gators were just as restrictive with the ball, with Kevin Atacador claiming 4/14 in the see-sawing affair. Alex Walker (31*) ensured the middle and lower orders did enough to secure the win, reaching 8/118 in the 37th over.
NORM REEVES SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 13 ROUNDS)
LYSTERFIELD – 69PTS (1.514%)
UPWEY-TECOMA – 66PTS (1.641%)
FERNTREE GULLY – 54PTS (1.427%)
KNOXFIELD – 54PTS (1.117%)
The Basin – 48pts (1.143%)
Knox Gardens – 45pts (1.420%)
FTG Footballers – 33pts (0.869%)
Johnson Park – 27pts (0.792%)
Monbulk – 24pts (0.930%)
Belgrave – 21pts (0.560%)
Eildon Park – 18pts (0.634%)
Upper FTG – 9pts (0.658%)
DECOITE SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 13 ROUNDS)
ST JOHNS TECOMA – 60PTS (1.903%)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 48PTS (1.094%)
KNOX GARDENS – 48PTS (0.981%)
ROWVILLE – 45PTS (0.925%)
Olinda – 30pts (0.924%)
Mountain Gate – 3pts (0.563%)