FALCONS BACK IN 4 AFTER LAST BALL WIN, WALSH’S WONDER SEES BEAVERS OVER PANTHERS
By Richard Millott
Knox Gardens swooped on the final ball of their match against Upwey to claim points as Round 5 concluded on Saturday.
Set 244 from last week by the Tigers, the Falcons led from the top with Peter Dunlop reaching 60 to put the score at 2/91 in the 30th over, with the visitors reaching 3/118 at the Tea break . Josh Gregory (42) and Mitch Gregory (30) teamed up well to continue the chase, with Steve Gannell leading the charge with the ball claiming 4/62 for the Tigers. The chase tightened with the visitors needing 11 from the final over as the scoreboard ticked down, with just a single required from the final ball as Josh McGowan finished the match with a boundary to claim the points at 9/248. The win sets the Falcons up nicely, now into third place separated only on percentage ahead of Sunday’s T20 match against Johnson Park. Meanwhile Upwey will look to add to the account against The Basin to lift from 8th place.
Lysterfield returned to the winners list with victory over Eildon Park. Set 207 to claim the points, Nathan Walsh came to the crease at 2/20 with the Beavers at the cross-roads later at 4/84 as Jurgen Andersen (3/88 from 33.1 overs) affected the scorecard with wickets. But Walsh was not going to follow the script, teaming up with Josh Bundy to successfully chase the target, concluding at 5/210. Walsh finished the innings unbeaten on 102 not out, including 13 fours and a six, whilst Bundy finished at 43 not out. The win leaves the Beavers inside the Top 4 again with their next match a T20 against Ferntree Gully Footballers, whilst Eildon Park will look to claim points and ladder position this weekend against Belgrave.
Aaron Brunner returned to form with yet another century for the collection, however the effort couldn’t help Belgrave over the line as Ferntree Gully Footballers claimed the points. In a surprise to absolutely nobody, Brunner lead from the top in a clinical display combining with Jarrod McPhee (54) for a 138-run opening stand in chase of the Griffens mammoth 5/296. However Nick Bogar found a way with the ball to maintain the Griffens in the game, his 3/47 helping to restrict the Pies to 9/233 by day’s end. Brunner was dismissed for 116, reflective of an impressive start to the season which has returned 509 runs (including 4 centuries) at an average of 127.25 with half the season still to play. The Magpies will look to bounce back against the Panthers on Sunday, whilst Ferntree Gully Footballers will take on the Beavers at Lakesfield Reserve.
Johnson Park came close to causing a big upset against Knoxfield, with the Knights winning with 1 wicket in hand. The Knights set out after the Sharks’ 204, falling to 2/24 early before Luke Scanlan (68) and Trent Scholfield (48) took charge of adding the required runs. With both back in the rooms at 4/146, the Sharks struck back to claim 3 quick wickets and stall the chase. Another wicket-taking spree created an exciting finish with scores tied with one wicket in hand before the Knights wrapped up the match with 2 overs to spare. Panduka Paranamanage led the way with the ball, his 4/61 the highlight with the ball as the Knights reached 9/208. Knoxfield remain on top and will face Upper Ferntree Gully in the Beyond Blue match, whilst Johnson Park will look to open their account as they host Knox Gardens.
The Basin jumped into second with a comprehensive win against Upper Ferntree Gully. The Bears set 9/207 last week, with Matt Beyer leading the way in the chase with the bat with 45, supported by Sajana De Silva (32). However the quality Bears bowling unit swung into gear, with Joey Hawke claiming 5/34 and Nick Freeling 3/18. The Kings were unable to find a way to re-enter the contest as the hosts were dismissed for 125. The Bears will look to close the weekend with a win in their encounter with Upwey, whilst for the Kings they will look to open the account on a big day for the club hosting the Beyond Blue match against Knoxfield.
In Decoite Shield, Mountain Gate held on in a nail-biting affair against Olinda to register the opening win of the campaign. The Bloods held advantage heading into Day 2, being 0/15 in chase of the Gator’s 193. The hosts were on their way at 2/83 before the bowlers struck back, with Russell Wilson (4/44) stalling the Bloods to lose 5/14 across either side of the Tea Break. Ted Box wrestled the match back towards the Bloods, his lower-order 47 recovering Olinda towards the target. However with victory in sight, the last twist of the match struck as Box was dismissed with 5 runs required for victory and the Gators securing the opening win shortly after with the score at 189 – 4 runs short. Mountain Gate will travel to St Johns Tecoma for the T20, whilst Olinda will head out to Rowville.
Ferntree Gully are now 2 matches clear on top after accounting for Monbulk. Set 7/282 last week, the Hawks struggled against the quality attack as only Shane Cosstick (40) could get a start. The Blues shared the wickets around and a restrictive fielding effort ensured the hosts could not get near the target, the end score being 7/176. Monbulk drop out of the 4 however will look to change that against Knox Gardens, whilst Ferntree Gully will travel to South Belgrave for their T20 replay.
Knox Gardens jump into 3rd after seeing off St Johns Tecoma. The Saints were looking to reach the 234 target, however the Falcon bowling took a liking to the conditions, with Josh Curnow (3/25) and Nixon Adcock (3/31) restricting runscoring opportunities. Jake Sali and Kyle Chandler (both 33) were the only batsmen to affect the scoreboard in a disappointing 101 total. St Johns Tecoma will take on Mountain Gate at Talaskia on Sunday, whilst Knox Gardens will travel up the hill to Monbulk.
Rowville have claimed their second win of the season against South Belgrave. Chasing 202, South started well with Mark Baker (40) and Daniel Cormack (41) ensuring a solid start. However Skipper Monto Perera put the Batsmen into a spin, his 4/59 combining with Darren Hill (4/28) to help the Hawks to the points. The win will be encouraging to the Hawks who are now a game behind the Top 4 and in form ahead of the T20 against Olinda. South Belgrave hold onto 4th place ahead of Monbulk and will look to rejoin the winners list against the undefeated Ferntree Gully.
PROVISIONAL LADDER – NORM REEVES SHIELD (AFTER ROUND 6)
Knoxfield – 24pts (1.598%)
The Basin – 24pts (1.318%)
Knox Gardens – 24pts (1.153%)
Lysterfield – 24pts (1.128%)
Belgrave – 18pts (1.147%)
Eildon Park – 18pts (1.050%)
FTG Footballers – 12pts (0.849%)
Upwey – 6pts (0.888%)
Johnson Park – 0pts (0.720%)
Upper FTG – 0pts (0.572%)
PROVISIONAL LADDER – DECOITE SHIELD (AFTER ROUND 6)
Ferntree Gully – 30pts (2.289%)
St Johns Tecoma – 18pts (1.357%)
Knox Gardens – 18pts (1.308%)
South Belgrave – 18pts (1.099%)
Monbulk – 18pts (1.085%)
Rowville - 12pts (0.967%)
Mountain Gate – 6pts (0.438%)
Olinda – 0pts (0.508%)