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By Richard Millott

Round 10 concluded in FTGDCA action on Saturday, with teams setting themselves up for a final Finals blast as the ladder remained unchanged in both Norm Reeves Shield and Decoite Shield for the first time this season.

At Knox Gardens, Joe Morsello was the lead runscorer for the day in their successful chase against a competitive Johnson Park to confirm the Falcons Finals Fixture. The visitors went about in setting a competitive total in a team effort with Steve Devenish (37), Toby Whilesmith (33) and Joe Hayes (32) all getting starts. The Sharks reached 6/197 from their 40 overs to provide the Falcons with a sizable chase. The Falcons kept up with the pace required early, with Morsello and Mitch Gregory (52) teaming up to put on 127 for the 2nd wicket before both departing 14 runs shy of the target at 3/183. Morsello’s innings of 92 was the backbone as the Falcons executed the chase perfectly to claim the points. Knox Gardens remain in 2nd place and will take on co-leaders in Lysterfield next week, whilst Johnson Park will face Upper Ferntree Gully in an equally significant matchup.

Eildon Park pulled clear late to keep their Finals hopes alive after passing Belgrave at Belgrave Reserve. The Pies, before a function celebrating a century of fielding teams of the Belgrave Cricket Club, took use of their home deck however both openers were back in the sheds at 2/16. Jarrod McPhee (36) responded through the top order, taking a boundary-first approach with 6 fours and a maximum in his 30-ball stanza. Further down, Tom Carlyle (35) all within his powers to anchor the innings late to see Belgrave with 8/155 on the board. For the Panthers, Jurgen Andersen was the pick of the bowling, claiming 4/28 from his 8 overs. In reply, the Panthers set themselves up with David Smyth (36) the instigator at 3/98. However the Pies struck back, claiming 3/3 to threaten to end the aspirations of Eildon Park as the overs ticked down, but the visitors weren’t to be outdone reaching 6/159 with 19 balls to spare. The win sees Eildon Park as the only team outside of the 4 to be able to make Finals as they play the 4th placed The Basin next round in a huge clash at Batterham Park. Meanwhile Belgrave sit in 8th place and, despite the defeat, are now confirmed for Season 2020/21. The Pies travel to Knoxfield for their penultimate round.

The Basin claimed the points in a key win over Upwey. The visitors started at the crease with Adam Masters (64) reaching a half century whilst supported by Jayden Turcinovic (47) and Shane Luck (30). Cameron Wheeler claimed 3/38 as the Bears reached 7/206. In reply, Brent Hurst (44) showed plenty of spirit to the chase, however Adam Masters (3/23) lead a team effort with the ball to dismiss the Tigers for 105. The Bears sit in 4th place, with a win next week against Eildon Park confirming their finals appearance and confirming the teams in finals. Meanwhile Upwey remain in 7th as they prepare to host Ferntree Gully Footballers – the only team the Tigers can mathematically pass in the final 2 rounds.

Lysterfield booked their finals place in convincing fashion against Ferntree Gully Footballers at Pickett Reserve. An early wicket to the Griffens sparked the Beavers to form as Nathan Walsh (47), Jake Arundell (30) and Lachlan Dobson (45) got going. Maverick Taylor scored 32 not out late to guide Lysterfield to 7/191. In reply, the Griffens lost wickets on a frequent basis which prevented the hosts from compiling the chase. Brad Paull claimed 3/24 to dismiss the Griffens for 124. Lysterfield are still ahead of the ladder on percentage against Knox Gardens who they play next round, whilst for FTG Footballers, the 7th place squad will travel to take on Upwey.

Knoxfield were comprehensive in their encounter with Upper Ferntree Gully. A 76-run opening stand came to an end with Adith Sundaresh (35), bringing Zac Wilson to the crease within 2 overs. Wilson teamed up with Luke Scanlan (59) to put on 68 runs before Scanlan departed, however the Knights skipper continued on reaching 77 not out from 68 balls at the end of the innings to reach 3/240. In reply, the Kings were in early trouble as the hosts found wickets and denied the batsmen starts. Zac Wilson claimed 3/17 as the pick of the bowlers as Upper Ferntree Gully saw out play at 9/110. Knoxfield sit in 3rd place and will look to secure their finals spot against Belgrave next round, whilst Upper Ferntree Gully host Johnson Park in a big matchup.

In Decoite Shield, Jayden Bradbury returned to form with an unbeaten century as Ferntree Gully returned to form against South Belgrave. Bradbury ended the day on 107 not out, with support from Harrison Brown with 74 to put the Blues at 3/222. South were well served by the bat also, with Daniel Cormack (66) and Ben Sidney-Jones (46) helping reach 179, despite the efforts with the ball from Harry Cowling (3/32) and Jason Kilby (3/40). Ferntree Gully remain in 2nd and will host Olinda next week, whilst South Belgrave remain in 4th place after results, and will look to return to the winner’s list against Knox Gardens next round.

Meanwhile up at Monbulk, Shane Cosstick also joined the centurion club in the Hawks match against Rowville. Monbulk took to the crease first with Jason Fraser doing the early damage before Shane Cosstick came to the crease. The duo put on 169 runs for the 2nd wicket, with Cosstick reaching 103 not out from 106 balls, including 6 fours and 3 sixes. Not to be outdone, Jason Fraser carried the bat through the innings to reach 66 not out as Monbulk ended at 2/196. Rowville’s reply became an arm wrestle as the bowlers toiled just as hard for a breakthrough moment. Craig Broekhof broke through over the afternoon to take 4/31 as Rowville couldn’t get a start with the bat, dismissed for 122. Monbulk remain in top position a match clear as they host St Johns Tecoma next round, whilst Rowville return to Seebeck Oval against Mountain Gate looking to jump ahead from 5th place.

Mountain Gate claimed their third win of the season against St Johns Tecoma at HV Jones Reserve. The Saints won the toss and elected to bat first, with only Jake Sali (31) and Marc Hardy (30*) getting starts against the Gator bowling attack to put 7/145 on the board. In reply, the Gators fell at the top order to 4/37 before Sanitha De Mel teamed up with Luke Turner to put on 79 runs together and turn the match around. De Mel finished not out on 67 as the hosts reached 6/149 with an over to spare. The win sees Mountain Gate closer to the teams above and will aim to add another scalp against Rowville. Meanwhile for St Johns, they remain in 6th place and will look to break into the 4 against Monbulk next round.

Knox Gardens continue to string solid performances together, their latest coming against Olinda. The Bloods tried to slow the early wickets as Michael Hyett (43) provided both stability and runs. With the ball, the Falcons struck with Spencer Stuckey (3/24) and Adam Metherell (3/40) helping to bundle out their hosts for 145. In reply, the Falcons top order got starts with Callum O’Connor (31) and Jackson Marget (38) notable in reaching 4/146. Knox Gardens can secure their finals place next week against South Belgrave, whilst Olinda travel to Ferntree Gully.



LYSTERFIELD – 54pts (1.569%)
KNOX GARDENS – 54pts (1.388%)
KNOXFIELD – 42pts (1.435%)
THE BASIN – 42pts (1.229%)
Eildon Park – 36pts (1.135%)
FTG Footballers – 24pts (0.811%)
Upwey – 18pts (0.930%)
Belgrave – 18pts (0.753%)
Johnson Park – 6pts (0.723%)
Upper Ferntree Gully – 6pts (0.578%)


MONBULK – 48pts (1.672%)
FERNTREE GULLY – 42pts (1.532%)
KNOX GARDENS – 42pts (1.436%)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 30pts (0.905%)
Rowville – 30pts (0.868%)
St Johns Tecoma – 24pts (1.039%)
Mountain Gate – 18pts (0.524%)
Olinda – 6pts (0.653%)

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