By Richard Millott
Lysterfield were able to turn the script on the Qualifying Final result against Upwey-Tecoma, becoming back-to-back Premiers of Norm Reeves Shield for Season 2020/21.
After a wet Saturday morning saw the decider pushed to the reserve day on Sunday, Matt Mulcahy won the toss for the home team and elected to take first use of the crease.
Andrew Evans led from the top with 42 to help the Tigers to 2/110 with a top order surrounded with starts.
However, the Beaver bowling attack then swung into their stride, with wickets to Tim Chivers (4/17), Adam Kinniburgh (3/21) and Harrison Carter (3/37) constraining the hosts with 152 on the board.
Nathan Hicks had a day out behind the stumps, with the Lysterfield gloveman snaring five in the mitts over the innings.
Set 153 for the Premiership, the Tiger attack struck early with Cam Wheeler’s opening spell 1/1 from four overs and having the Beavers pinned down early in the chase.
However, eventual Stephen Lee Medalist Nathan Walsh combined with Lachlan Dobson for a 68-run partnership before Dobson was dismissed for a 40-ball 46 with the score 3/115.
Walsh stuck to the end, ending on 60 not out as the Beavers posted 4/153 to end the season and continue their stay as the top team in Norm Reeves Shield.
South Belgrave will play Division 1 cricket next season after winning the Decoite Shield over St Johns Tecoma by 48 runs.
South were able to gain the advantage in hosting the Saints earlier in the Finals campaign, deciding to attempt the double by batting first against the visiting attack.
The Saints started well claiming the first two wickets quickly to have South Belgrave 2/25, bringing Daniel Cormack to the crease.
Cormack proved to be the pillar to the hosts’ innings, notching 72 amongst several starts across the batting sheet to help push South Belgrave to 8/192 from the 40 overs.
Kyle Grenda led the way with the ball for the Saints, claiming 3/38 from his eight overs.
In response, St Johns struggled to get going with several starts littering the top order.
The visitors continued on their chase towards the flag, however the South bowlers shared the load around as they attacked the Saints’ middle order.
Marc Hardy once again shone brightest with the bat with 29 not out, however it was to no avail as South Belgrave dismissed the visitors for 144 to win through to Norm Reeves Shield action next season.
Daniel Cormack’s innings saw him win the Ken Utting Medal for best on ground.