Panthers Pounce Back
By Richard Millott
After an opening round hiccup, Eildon Park have bounced back well to claim victory in Round 2 against Johnson Park.
The Panthers commenced from 6/125, with Jacob Evans (33*) being the notable run scorer for the home team on day 2. With the ball, Mitch Ley finished the innings having claimed 6/53 from 31 overs to knock over Eildon Park for 176. Steve Devenish (35) started the reply strongly, however Jurgen Andersen tore through the Sharks lineup, his 6/33 from 21 overs the key to the points as Johnson Park were dismissed with 128 on the board.
Lysterfield’s dream start in Norm Reeves Cup continued as they accounted for The Basin. It took just 3 balls of play on Day 2 for the Beavers to conclude the Bears innings at 179. Lysterfield commenced their chase on the front foot, however The Basin bowlers ensured the match was always able to swing back, holding the upper hand as the chase faltered at 6/88. Lachlan Dobson (34*) helped steer the lower order towards the points, claiming victory 8/180 with 10 overs in hand.
Belgrave jumped to the top of the ladder after a big win against Upper Ferntree Gully. The Pies put on another 50 runs in 10 overs before declaring, with Luke Spence reaching an unbeaten Century to join Aaron Brunner’s efforts, concluding at 135 not out as part of an unbeaten 243-run 3rd wicket partnership. In response, the Kings were well served by Corey Williams (86), combining with starts from Ben Moran (36) and Daniel Giblin (30). However whilst runs flowed for the Kings, so too did wickets for Belgrave with Jarrod McPhee (4/92) and Aaron Brunner (3/90) seeing Upper Ferntree Gully reach 261.
Knox Gardens remain undefeated after surviving a gallant run chase by Ferntree Gully Footballers. Chasing 284 for the win, the Griffens did everything right to begin with as Lachlan Storey went on a boundary bonanza, striking 13 fours and 2 sixes as part of his 86 from 88 balls. Both openers were gone with the score at 2/121, however Radhik Gooneratne (41) and Matt McKeown (37) carried the chase forward to 4/205. From there, Adam Wild took charge for the Falcons, his 4/57 orchestrating the Griffens to lose 6/54 to fall short of the target, all out for 259.
Knoxfield walked away from their matchup against Upwey with victory as the Knight’s bowling stocks took charge on Day 2. Chasing 191 to win, the Tigers chances of the required runs were boosted by Jordan Dunstone (55) and Cameron Wheeler (49), however the Knights shone bright as Chris Rumble claimed 6/63 – alongside Josh Lindner with 4/44 – to bundle the visitors out for 173.
In Decoite Shield, St Johns Tecoma enjoyed victory against Monbulk, accounting for the target of 198. The Hawks struck early again with the score 2/25, however efforts from Tyson Smith (57), Kyle Chandler (42) and Blake Hughes (37) saw the Saints to the win, passing 5/202.
Knox Gardens made it two from two against South Belgrave. Set 296 to win, South were well served by efforts across the day from Ben Cramer (54), Jordan McDermott (52) and Darren Ray (41), however Josh Gregory tormented the visiting batsmen, claiming 6/20 to dismiss South Belgrave for 222.
Ferntree Gully had a massive win against Olinda. The Blues came out of the blocks early, adding 34 runs in the 22 balls they faced before declaring the innings at 6/247. The Bloods then commenced the chase, with Tim Scott top scoring with 31. However Josh Henry (4/21) and Jason Kilby (4/13) tore through the lineup to dismiss Olinda for 89. Ferntree Gully remain entrenched on the first rung of the ladder after the opening two rounds.
Mountain Gate batted most of the day against Rowville, however fell short of claiming the points. Set 295 for victory, the Gators started well with skipper Luke Tuner (61) and Mitch Goddard (59) getting the Gators to 1/107. Several efforts helped to tick the score along however the bowling of Denath Gunasekera (4/45) and Monto Perea (4/63) helped the Hawks dismiss the visitors for 212 to claim the win.