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By Richard Millott

With just 3 rounds remaining in Norm Reeves Shield and Decoite Shield, it is action a-plenty as we map out the scenarios that await the clubs on the run towards the end of summer.

Norm Reeves Shield

LYSTERFIELD – 1st (8W, 1L, 48pts, 1.522%)

vs FTG Footballers (Picketts)
vs Knox Gardens (Knox Gardens Reserve)
vs Upper FTG (Lakesfield)

In their first season back up, the men from Lakesfield need only a win to secure a finals appearance (barring any unexpected outrights which have not looked likely all season). Victories in their next 2 starts, including against Knox Gardens in the Top-of-the-Table matchup in Round 11, would likely seal a minor premiership and a home Qualifying Final prior to the final round.

KNOX GARDENS – 2nd (8W, 1L, 48pts, 1.370%)

vs Johnson Park (Knox Gardens Reserve)
vs Lysterfield (Knox Gardens Reserve)
vs Belgrave (Belgrave Reserve)

The Falcons are flying high with additional depth below in Decoite Shield. A win will secure a finals appearance, and matches against Johnson Park (9th) and Belgrave (8th) will allow them to potentially gain on percentage. The Round 11 clash against Lysterfield will determine the makeup of their finals – win and they jump the Beavers, lose and they may end up in an Elimination Final pending results.

KNOXFIELD – 3rd (6W, 3L, 36pts, 1.262 %)

vs Upper Ferntree Gully (Carrington)
vs Belgrave (Carrington)
vs FTG Footballers (Picketts)

The Knights are back on the winner’s list however lead a 3-way battle pack that is chasing 2 Finals spots. Strong performances against Upper Ferntree Gully and Belgrave would pull the Knights clear and into either an Elimination Final or – pending results – an away Qualifying Final.

THE BASIN – 4th (6W, 3L, 36pts, 1.134%)

vs Upwey (Upwey)
vs Eildon Park (Batterham)
vs Johnson Park (Fair Park)

Last season’s premiers have hovered around the mark all season long, with some key performances as well as matches of being outplayed. The journey home is not too easy despite their position however win the next 2 – including against 5th placed Eildon Park – and an Elimination Final should beckon to continue their campaign into March.

EILDON PARK – 5th (5W, 4L, 30pts, 1.113%)

vs Belgrave (Belgrave)
vs The Basin (Batterham)
vs Upwey (Eildon Park)

Last season’s finalists currently sit a match behind the Top 4 however the Round 11 match against The Basin will define the season if they can make up the points difference. Belgrave next round is a must-win to keep the pressure on to force their way in. Comparable percentage to The Basin will keep the Panthers in check should they gain 6 points on the Bears.

FTG FOOTBALLERS – 6th (4W, 5L, 24pts, 0.860%)

vs Lysterfield (Picketts)
vs Upwey (Upwey)
vs Knoxfield (Picketts)

An 8-wicket loss last round to Johnson Park saw a hefty chunk of percentage lost when the Griffens could ill afford to. Suddenly the run home is almost impossibly complicated to make finals from here – although taking points off teams already in the top 4 could bring the Griffens to the pack..

UPWEY – 7th (3W, 6L, 18pts, 1.019%)

vs The Basin (Upwey)
vs FTG Footballers (Upwey)
vs Eildon Park (Eildon Park)

The last-start loss to Upper Ferntree Gully essentially puts a line through the Tigers’ campaign for 2019/20, however matches against aspirants The Basin and Eildon Park could significantly change the composition of the Finals series. A healthy percentage shows how competitive the Tigers have been despite being on the wrong side of the result more often than not.

BELGRAVE – 8th (3W, 6L, 18pts, 0.756%)

vs Eildon Park (Belgrave)
vs Knoxfield (Carrington)
vs Knox Gardens (Belgrave)

The Pies have struggled to find wins since the early part of the season after leading the table in November, and the outlook does not improve as they tackle teams in 5th, 3rd and 2nd positions respectively. Looking below, a two-game margin should be enough. Should.


JOHNSON PARK – 9th (1W, 8L, 6pts, 0.783%)

vs Knox Gardens (Knox Gardens)
vs Upper Ferntree Gully (Kings Park)
vs The Basin (Fair Park)

The Sharks had a huge win over the Griffens last start to boost their percentage by 0.156, however the pressure is still not off as Upper Ferntree Gully also registered a vital win. A Round 11 showdown with Upper Ferntree Gully might just be the determining factor of who remains next year, barring any surprise results.

UPPER FERNTREE GULLY – 10th (1W, 8L, 6pts, 0.676%)

vs Knoxfield (Carrington)
vs Johnson Park (Kings Park)
vs Lysterfield (Lakesfield)

A win over Upwey last round negated Johnson Park’s success with the duo now on a collision course in Round 11. Ironically both teams play teams currently in the top 4, making the result of Round 11 significant, or the ability to not lose percentage in Rounds 10 and 12 should Round 11 be a washout. That said, the Kings nearly pulled off victory against the Knights last time they played in the Round 3 Replay…



Decoite Shield

MONBULK – 1st (7W, 2L, 42pts, 1.483%)

vs Rowville (Monbulk)
vs St Johns Tecoma (Monbulk)
vs Olinda (Fiorelli Packing Oval)

The Hawks take over the lead after results last week, and continue with their consistent approach. The run home includes all 3 matches against teams outside of the Top 4 currently, meaning consistent wins will maintain the gap and lock in a home Qualifying Final.

FERNTREE GULLY – 2nd (6W, 3L, 36pts 1.406%)

vs South Belgrave (Wally Tew)
vs Olinda (Wally Tew)
vs Knox Gardens (Knox Gardens)

The loss last weekend has dislodged the Blues from atop the ladder for the first time this season, however will fancy their chances against fellow-Top 4 teams in South Belgrave and Knox Gardens to secure a Qualifying Final spot. Should the Hawks slip, the Blues are waiting…

KNOX GARDENS – 3rd (6W, 3L, 36pts, 1.374%)

vs Olinda (Fiorelli Packing Oval)
vs South Belgrave (Belgrave South)
vs Ferntree Gully (Knox Gardens)

The Falcons’ chargers have held themselves in good stead across the season and will be the makers of their own fate in the final 3 weeks of the Home and Away fixture playing teams within the same pecking order. Wins against South Belgrave and Ferntree Gully could have the Falcons as high as 2nd come season’s end.

SOUTH BELGRAVE – 4th (5W, 4L, 30pts, 1.022%)

vs Ferntree Gully (Wally Tew)
vs Knox Gardens (Belgrave South)
vs Mountain Gate (HV Jones)

South hold on in the Top 4 by a narrow margin and need to hold on to their 0.018% margin over Rowville with a tricky 2 rounds coming up. Snag a win in either of those matches, however, and finals prospects suddenly improve dramatically.

ROWVILLE – 5th (5W, 4L, 30pts, 1.004%)

vs Monbulk (Monbulk)
vs Mountain Gate (Seebeck)
vs St Johns Tecoma (Talaskia)

Not withstanding wickets, the Hawks are currently about 30 runs outside of bumping South Belgrave out of the Top 4. An away trip to ladder-leading Monbulk will need the Hawks in scary form. From there, the Hawks would fancy themselves against the Gators, before concluding the final round against St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia in one-day mode – the perfect mix for a final-round percentage boost should they go on to win…

ST JOHNS TECOMA – 6th (4W, 5L, 24pts, 1.052%)

vs Mountain Gate (HV Jones)
vs Monbulk (Monbulk)
vs Rowville (Talaskia)

The Saints would like the last 3 rounds to have come out differently however the run home is not impossible, being only one match back with a percentage that is superior to teams above up to 4th. The Saints must defeat Mountain Gate as a key, before either pinching a win over Monbulk or to not lose too much percentage should they lose. If the preceding results line up, the Final-Round encounter with Rowville could potentially be the Elimination Final to make the Elimination Final…

MOUNTAIN GATE – 7th (2W, 7L, 12pts, 0.484%)

vs St Johns Tecoma (HV Jones)
vs Rowville (Seebeck)
vs South Belgrave (HV Jones)

Nothing but pride to play for for the guys at HV Jones Reserve, however playing teams in 4th, 5th and 6th will mean the Gators will be arguably one of the key players in deciding who plays finals, especially if the Brown and Gold add a 3rd win to the season.

OLINDA – 8th (1W, 8L, 6pts, 0.676%)

vs Knox Gardens (Fiorelli Packing Oval)
vs Ferntree Gully (Wally Tew)
vs Monbulk (Fiorelli Packing Oval)

Just like Mountain Gate above, pride is the name of the game at Fiorelli Packing Oval however a desire to gain one more place will drive the Bloods to perform given their superior percentage should they gain another win. Olinda will also play a part in who finishes as Minor Premiers, with the final 3 matches against the current top 3.

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