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By Richard Millott


Upper Ferntree Gully’s Byron Rickard scored an unbeaten century to help lead the Kings to victory in their Division 3 match against Eildon Park.


Set 143 last week, Upper Ferntree Gully were in control as Rickard scored 100*, including 13 boundaries as part of the King’s 1/165 from their 54 overs. Elsewhere, Ferntree Gully won a thriller at Fair Park. Mitch Barrington scoring 83 to set the Sharks on path to chase down 212, before opening pair Leigh Hodgson (4/47) and Ryan Evans (4/51) combined to deny Johnson Park, losing 3/6 to be dismissed for 209 – 4 runs shy of victory.


After 5 rounds, it’s The Basin (30pts) leading with a game clear to Upwey (24pts), whilst Upper Ferntree Gully, Knoxfield and Lysterfield sit on 12 points each separated by percentage.


In Division 4, Daniel Pearce claimed combined match figures of 8/44 from 25 overs to help St Johns Tecoma to a valuable outright victory over South Belgrave. Continuing on from last week, the Saints declared at 5/210 before Pearce (3/20) and Sam Vance (4/14) consigned South to be all out for 74 – 4 runs from making the Saints return to the crease. Knox Gardens proved too strong for Knox Boronia Churches, the Burras dismissed for 166 thanks to Anthony Jongen claiming 5/36 for the Falcons. Both teams find themselves at the pointy end of proceedings, Knox Gardens (30pts) being followed closely by St Johns Tecoma (28pts), with Rowville (24pts) and Knox Boronia Churches (18pts) completing the 4.


Division 5 saw the run-fest continue between Upwey and The Basin – the Tigers prevailing at 9/363 with Paul McCarrick (101 ret not out), David Dawson (80) and Quenten Wells (75) all recording solid scores. In reply, the Bears weren’t able to match the home team, however still scored an impressive 9/280 with thanks to Vito Blangiardo (76). Knox City’s Craig O’brien continued his solid form with the willow, scoring his third half-century from 4 innings to help the Tigers to a 20-run win over Eildon Park at Lewis Park Reserve. The Tigers are the only undefeated side in Division 5 (24pts), with a narrow field behind in Upwey and Ferntree Gully (both 18pts) and Lysterfield, The Basin and Knoxfield all on 2 wins apiece.


St Johns Tecoma enjoyed victory over Mountain Gate, with Bailey Elder the pick of the bowling for the Saints with 4/23, alongside Bailey Hardy - who claimed 3/0 from 7 overs - to keep the Gators to 97 in reply to St John’s 6/156. Also with the ball, Johnson Park’s Simranjit Hothi took 4/10 to run through South Belgrave, dismissing the visitors for 58 in reply to Johnson Park’s 9/168. With results still pending, Rowville lead the way in Division 6, with Knox Gardens, Olinda and Johnson Park completing the 4 marginally from St Johns Tecoma, Monbulk and Upper Ferntree Gully.


In Division 7, a Luke Myszka century was the backbone of Lysterfield’s successful chase of Knoxfield. Set 266 by the Knights, featuring a captain’s knock from Scott Faulkner (71), the Beavers continued at Benedikt Reserve to finish at 4/269. The Basin provided a strong showing against Rowville, scoring 302 with multiple starts before dismissing the Hawks for 97. The win keep the Bears atop of the ladder, with Upper Ferntree Gully, Lysterfield, Knoxfield and Ferntree Gully in close competition.


Division 8 action saw Belgrave hold on in a close result against Monbulk, the Pies claiming the points after Brad Wiseman (100 ret not out) helped Belgrave to 6/297, ultimately proving just out of reach for the Hawks who were dismissed for 287 at Morrison Reserve. Peter Bolam was the shining light for Olinda despite their loss against St Johns Tecoma, claiming 4/24 from 10 overs whilst the Saints reached 240. Olinda were dismissed for 92, with Nathan Elder with 3/11 for the Saints.  Olinda reaching 4/105 in a second innings – Bolam featuring with 43 not out. Belgrave’s win see’s the Pies clear at the top, ahead of St Johns Tecoma, Upwey and Olinda with Ferntree Gully Footballers in close company of breaking into the top 4.


In B1, it was wins to all the home teams as St Johns Tecoma accounted for Eildon Park by 8 wickets, Bayswater registered a win over Knox City by 7 wicket, whilst Lysterfield passed Johnson Park also by 7 wickets. A tight tussle has Lysterfield and Johnson Park ahead, with St Johns Tecoma, Bayswater and Knox City just one match back, whilst Eildon Park are only one and a half matches from the leaders.


In Representative Matches, Rowville’s Darren Hill had a solid start to Australia’s Over 50’s Cricket World Cup campaign in their opening match against Canada. Hill bowled tight lines as first change at Drummoyne Oval, returning 0/18 from 6 overs to keep Canada to 149. In reply, the Australians claimed a solid haul of points, finishing 2/150 within 25 overs. The win has the squad sitting a narrow second behind Pakistan, with Thursday’s match against New Zealand ensured to draw interest.


Closer to home, South East Country were defeated by a class outfit in Barwon at Bayswater Oval. Braden Taeuber (53) and Robbie Cox (53) were the highlights of the Shark’s 7/167, before Barwon’s strength with the bat showed chasing the target 1-down to claim the win in the two-match competition.


FTGDCA Squads played off against West Gippsland CA in Region 8 matches across the Association, with the Under 16s victorious at Talaskia Reserve. Keeping the visitors to 6/143, Ben Marget lead the way again with another 50 retired to secure the win. Under 14 Gold had a solid showing in their match, their 6/153 not enough against WGCA who finished on 176, whilst in Under 14 Green, it was the visitors who left victorious, dismissing FTGDCA for 149 as a reply to their 7/164. Jack Corrigan lead the way with 37. Finally, in Under 12s, Gold team were clinical in reaching 7/235 before dismissing the visitors for 75, whilst the Green Team reached 157 before claiming victory by dismissing WGCA for 91.

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