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By Richard Millott

The Basin overcame Knoxfield in a thrilling chase to conclude the Opening Round of FTGDCA action.  Set 189 by the Knights the week before, the Bears were 1/61 before the Knights bowlers swung into action, claiming 5/23 to have the advantage with the score at 6/84. New acquisition Trent Atkinson sent down 21 overs for a return of 5/46 to pressure the Premiers. However Joey Hawke (42) and Jason Lee (30*) steered the Bears clear the required target, the day concluding at 8/190. The Basin travel to Lysterfield for next week’s match, whilst Knoxfield shall host Upwey at Carrington Reserve.

Knox Gardens sit atop the ladder after Round 1 after closing out their encounter with Eildon Park. With 7/276 on the board already the Panthers steadily went about their business against the Falcon attack, however Scott McInerney proved to be the thorn in the side for the Panther batsmen, claiming 5/53 as Eildon Park were dismissed for 236. Eildon Park will be looking to strike against Johnson Park next round, whilst Knox Gardens will be aiming to double the tally against Ferntree Gully Footballers.

Lysterfield celebrated their return to Norm Reeves Shield with victory against Upwey. Set 148 as a target, the Beavers commenced from 3/38 with Nathan Walsh returning into the runs. Walsh’s 57 lifted the Beavers to the target, reaching 7/148 to bank the 6 points despite Cameron Wheeler claiming 4/65 for the Tigers. Lysterfield will take on The Basin next week, whilst Upwey will travel to Knoxfield in search of the opening win.

Belgrave completed their opening assignment against Johnson Park, with Luke Manion staring with the ball. With 255 on the board, the Magpie bowlers went to work again having the Sharks at 2/23 before Andrew and Steven Devenish teamed up to build the innings. Andrew Devenish struck 63 to lead the way, however the bowlers influenced the day to dismiss Johnson Park for 178. Luke Manion claimed 5/35 to heavily restrict the middle order. Belgrave hosts Upper Ferntree Gully next week, whilst for Johnson Park it is Eildon Park who await them.

Ferntree Gully Footballers held off Upper Ferntree Gully for opening round honours, dismissing the Kings 44 runs short. Early going was tough for the Kings with the Griffens on top with the ball as the hosts slumped to 4/22 before Matt Beyer (47) and later Byron Rickard (42*) restored the score line. Ben Rawlings (3/28) and Ashen Abeykoon (3/37) were the main contributors for the Griffens, who dismissed the Kings for 220. Ferntree Gully Footballers will welcome Knox Gardens next week, whilst Upper Ferntree Gully pays a visit to Belgrave.

In Decoite Shield, a Jayden Bradbury century helped guide Ferntree Gully to a strong win against Mountain Gate at Wally Tew Reserve. Set 217 by the Gators, an early wicket was replaced by one-way traffic as Bradbury joined Josh Henry (86) and later Harry Cowling (60*) to close out the match at 4/309, Bradbury ending up on 125*. The Blues travel to Olinda next round, whilst Mountain Gate will host Rowville.

Knox Gardens prevailed in a tight encounter with Rowville, claiming points by just 4 runs. Set 165 as a target, the Falcons were tight with bowling to have the Hawks at 2/37 from 15 overs. The Hawks were able to create runs, with Brett Gatehouse leading the charge with 30 as Rowville looked the goods to win going in at tea 3/104 from 48 overs. However after the break, the Falcons fought back tightening the scores more with the Hawks requiring 15 runs off 10 overs without loss for the win. It ran right to the wire as the Falcons claimed the final wicket at 160, Nixon Adcock claiming 4/29. Knox Gardens host South Belgrave next round, whilst Rowville travel to Mountain Gate for their next match.

Monbulk claimed bragging rights in their local derby with Olinda. Set 242 for the win, Olinda were in early trouble at 3/25 before Hunter Greenall steadied the ship. Greenall produced an innings for the bloods lasting over 3 hours for his 41, however in vain as the Hawk bowlers suppressed the chase. Aaron Powell (4/19) and Chris Martin (3/29) were economical in their returns, helping to keep the chase to 112. Monbulk travels to take on St Johns Tecoma, whilst Olinda host Ferntree Gully.

Meanwhile, South Belgrave declared their stumps score in an attempt at maximum points against St Johns Tecoma. With the result already determined, South went on the attack however a much improved Saints response saw them post 1/166 across the afternoon before play came to a halt, with Jake Sali (62*), Tyson Smith (54) and Kyle Chandler (41) all making contributions. South will take on Knox Gardens next round, whilst St Johns Tecoma are at Home against Monbulk.



Knox Gardens – 6pts (1.671%)

Lysterfield – 6pts (1.438%)

Belgrave – 6pts (1.433%)

The Basin – 6pts (1.257%)

FTG Footballers – 6pts (1.200%)

Upper FTG – 0pts (0.833%)

Knoxfield – 0pts (0.796%)

Johnson Park – 0pts (0.698%)

Upwey – 0pts (0.695%)

Eildon Park – 0pts (0.599%)



Ferntree Gully – 6pts (3.204%)

Monbulk – 6pts (2.152%)

Knox Gardens – 6pts (1.025%)

South Belgrave – 6pts (0.866%)

St Johns Tecoma – 0pts (1.155%)

Rowville – 0pts (0.976%)

Olinda – 0pts (0.465%)

Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.312%)

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