STARS FIRING AHEAD OF FINALS, DECOITE SHIELD DRAMA
By Richard Millott
Two new teams shall face off in the Qualifying Final in Norm Reeves, whilst old foes take part in a sudden death playoff as Norm Reeves Shield action concluded for Season 2019/20.
Lysterfield celebrated their promotion season by claiming the minor premiership in a performance over Upper Ferntree Gully at Park Ridge. With the Beavers batting first, it was Anthony Brolic (44) and Nathan Walsh (80) who lifted the home team into a strong position with 210 on the board, despite Tom Roleff claiming 3/28 for the Kings. In reply, Corey Williams (45) and Jay Collee (40) were the key contributors for the Kings however the dominance of Harrison Carter, claiming 5/17 to dismiss Upper Ferntree Gully for 167. Lysterfield will now host the Qualifying Final against Knox Gardens next week, whilst for Upper Ferntree Gully their season is over as they prepare to play in Decoite Shield next season.
Knox Gardens made a bold statement ahead of the finals, securing the double chance in convincing style against Belgrave after a Pete Dunlop century. Earlier, the Association’s leading runscorer Aaron Brunner returned to the scoresheet in a big way for the Pies, reaching 108 and his 5th century for the season to help Belgrave to 6/187. Brunner ends the year on 702 runs at an average of 70.20. In reply, Pete Dunlop was the main man for the Falcons notching up 103 not out alongside Matthew Bell (59*) as the visitors chased their way to a 9 wicket victory at 1/188.
Knoxfield ensured they would be hosting next week’s Elimination Final following victory over Ferntree Gully Footballers at Picketts Reserve. The Griffens won the toss and elected to bat first, starting well before a flurry of wickets left the home team at 3/39. Liam Hunt was able to reignite the middle order, carding 11 fours and a six on his way to 81 as the Griffens posted 8/185. The Knights started well with Adith Sundaresh (44) starting the innings well before skipper Zac Wilson hit a 59-ball 69 which included 4 fours and 5 sixes on the way to the Knights winning score of 5/186.
It was a batting type of day at Batterham Park as The Basin secured the points over Johnson Park in a close finish. Asked to bat first, the Bears well steered well by Scott Vozzo (70) at the top of the order, with a number of starts guiding The Basin to 9/220. The Sharks were able to provide plenty of fight, with Steve Devenish (43) and Liyan De Silva (45) took them to 2/92. Andrew Devenish (40) continued at the top of the order, however the Bears were to fight back with the ball to deny the Sharks, with Joey Hawke (3/47) the pick as Johnson Park were dismissed for 213.
Eildon Park have prevailed in a relatively low-scoring affair against Upwey at Eildon Parade. Kyle Snyman (3/15 off 8 overs) claimed wickets as part of a resolute Tiger effort, restricting runs to put the Panthers at 5/44. Wickets were shared around whilst keeping the home team at bay, dismissing them for 126 in the 38th over. Early breakthroughs had the visitors on the back foot early at 2/3, before Jarrod Hicks chucked a spanner into the mix for the Tigers hopes, claiming 5/14 from 7.1 overs to bundle the visitors out for 82 to end the season.
It was a day of high drama in DeCoite Shield, with Rowville pipping South Belgrave at the line to claim the last Finals spot right at the finish.
At HV Jones, Mountain Gate’s late season resurgence claimed another victim with South Belgrave in early trouble at 3/10. A brief fightback from the visitors got them to 3/52 before Shaun Morris asserted the Gators control of the match, claiming 5/11 from his 7.4 overs to trigger South to fall with just 69 runs on the board. The low total saw the Gators pass during the 23rd over, with South gaining some crucial wickets beforehand at 4/75.
Concurrently, Rowville’s finals chances were on the line with events at HV Jones, with the Hawks needing to win and make up 0.08% in their encounter with St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia Reserve. Alex Walker (34) and Jai Van Der Wert (45) were away early with the score at 3/89, before some late innings scoring from Chanaka Gunawardana (41) and Monto Perera (35) took the score to 8/222 at the innings change – Aaron Grenda the pick of the Saints bowlers with 3/55. The Saints were right in the mix early with Kyle Chandler (34) and Jake Sali (45) bringing the Saints to 2/131 in reply, with Tyson Smith (45) adding further towards the scorecard. However Alex Walker bowled the Hawks into the finals, claiming 5/28 to dismiss the Saints for 193. The result was significant, with the percentage built up compounded by results at HV Jones saw Rowville into the finals by 0.03%.
Positions remained unchanged between Ferntree Gully and Knox Gardens after both teams played out a tie at Knox Gardens Reserve. The ball triumphed over the bat during Ferntree Gully’s innings, with Spencer Stuckey (3/14) and Matthew Young (3/28) the pick of the bowling for the Falcons to dismiss the visitors for 109. In reply, the Falcons were away at 0/30 from 8 overs before Nick Woods (3/17) helped the Blues start with the ball. The match teetered on the edge with the Falcons at 9/94, before some lower-order heroics edged the score towards the target. With the scores level, the Blues struck again, with Knox Gardens finishing at 109 also. The result sees Ferntree Gully confirm the double chance, whilst for Knox Gardens they will return next week to host the Elimination Final.
Meanwhile, Monbulk secured the minor premiership with a win over Olinda. Asked to bat first, the Hawks started well with the score at 1/68. Justin Creed teamed up with Braden Taeuber for a 113-run partnership, with Creed dismissed for 105. Some late-innings runs came to Taeuber, ending at 53 not out with the Hawks at 4/203. In reply, Josh Langer (47) again was the lead for the Bloods, however performances from Craig Broekhof (5/25 from 8 overs) and Shane Cosstick (3/9 from 5.2 overs) saw the Hawks dismiss the hosts for 130.
Norm Reeves Shield – Ladder after Round 12 (Provisional)
LYSTERFIELD – 66pts (1.593%)
KNOX GARDENS – 60pts (1.291%)
KNOXFIELD – 54pts (1.561%)
THE BASIN – 54pts (1.252%)
Eildon Park – 42pts (1.085%
Upwey – 24pts (0.949%)
FTG Footballers – 24pts (0.789%)
Belgrave – 18pts (0.656%)
Johnson Park – 12pts (0.770%)
Upper FTG – 6pts (0.605%)
DeCoite Shield – Ladder after Round 12 (Provisional)
MONBULK – 60pts (1.786%)
FERNTREE GULLY – 51pts (1.739%)
KNOX GARDENS – 45pts (1.344%)
ROWVILLE – 36pts (0.883%)
South Belgrave – 36pts (0.857%)
Mountain Gate – 30pts (0.651%)
St Johns Tecoma – 24pts (0.951%)
Olinda – 6pts (0.587%)