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By Richard Millott

Belgrave’s Aaron Brunner is in red hot form this summer, scoring his third century this season in as many starts in their win against Upwey.

The Pies took first use of the home pitch, with Brunner and Jordon King (70) combining to send the Tigers attack around the ground. Brunner was dismissed shortly after bringing up his 94-ball hundred with the score at 2/173 – an innings which included 8 fours and 5 sixes. Contributions continued to push the score along before concluding at 6/241. Steve Gannell was the pick of the bowling for the Tigers, claiming 3/64 from 8 overs.

In response, the Upwey top order rose to the challenge, with Dain Howe (42), Cameron Wheeler (69) and Matt Mulchay (40) seeing the visitors tracking for an exciting finish. Jordon Dunstone (30) also helped push the score along in the later stages but Jarrod McPhee (3/31) claimed key wickets during the chase to see Upwey fall 6 runs short at 8/235. Belgrave remain atop the ladder following the win, whilst Upwey sit in 8th position.

Lysterfield’s unbeaten return into Norm Reeves Shield continued after claiming the points against Johnson Park. Daniel Forster-Jennings lead from the top scoring 86 to start the Beavers’ innings on the right tone, with help coming from Anthony Brolic (34) and Nathan Walsh (67) to reach 5/233 from their overs. Joe Hayes lead the reply with 76, alongside the ever-reliable Andrew Devenish with 62. However the Sharks were to be thwarted by the bowling efforts of Lachlan Dobson (3/31) and Nathan Walsh (3/36), helping restrict the chase to 198 and claim the points. Lysterfield sit second as the only other undefeated team, whilst Johnson Park sit 9th in search of opening points for the season.

At Knox Gardens, it was the Zac Wilson show as Knoxfield defeated the Falcons. The Knights batted first however were undone with quick wickets leaving the score at 3/46. Luke Scanlan (55*) and Wilson partnered up to put on a key partnership, putting on 148 runs for the 4th wicket before Wilson was dismissed for 96 in the latter stages to have the visitors at 5/197. In reply, Mitch Gregory was the only contributor with the bat with 30 as the Knights bowling asserted themselves on the chase. Zac Wilson’s 4/16 and Trent Atkinson’s 3/24 made breakthroughs whilst restricting runs to dismiss Knox Gardens for 127. The win now sees the Knights jump into the Top 4 into 3rd position, whilst Knox Gardens slip into 5th.

The Basin have also entered the Top 4 after accounting for Ferntree Gully Footballers at Batterham Reserve. Blake Walter (44) and Scott Vozzo (64) put on a century before the Griffens broke through, with contributions through the innings further highlighted by Joel Robertson (46) to reach 6/215. In reply, the Bears bowling stifled the chase from start as Adam Masters ran through the top order claiming 4/28, with Liam Hunt providing some lower-order hitting to reach 55 as the Griffens fell short at 9/191. The Basin sit 4th whilst for the Griffens sit in 6th place.

Eildon Park completed a successful chase against Upper Ferntree Gully. The Visitors chose to bat first with Corey Williams the highlight with 65. However the Panthers pounced to claim wickets around him, the Kings losing 5/8 with Zac Clark claiming 3/27. The Kings reached 7/147 as a target, one that the Panthers fancied from the start as Jarrod Hicks (36) made a positive start. Not to be outdone, the Kings bowlers bowled well to turn the match into a low-scoring contest, however the Panthers had enough to pass the total, the match ending at 5/148. Eildon Park are now sitting 6th by percentage, whilst Upper Ferntree Gully continue to search for a win to open the account.

In Decoite Shield, St Johns Tecoma jumped to 2nd on the ladder after a successful chase against Rowville. Brett Gatehouse (36) and Surad Uduman (38) lead the way for the Hawks, however Andrew Wilson (3/29) helped negate the starts as the visitors reached 8/190. An unbeaten Jake Sali century from the top of the innings was the highlight of the chase with contributions around helping to reach the required 5/194. Sali’s innings included 7 fours and 6 sixes in the 104-ball affair.

Monbulk returned into the top 4 after an away win at Mountain Gate. Udara Ravindu (36) started well but it was Jason Fraser again that people were talking about, continuing onto yet another century at 118. Justin Creed (44) scored late to further propel the score, concluding at 4/254. Mitch Goddard batted positively from the start for the Gators, his 68 the cornerstone of the home innings. Sanitha De Mel (38) contributed also however the Hawks proved too strong with the match over at 9/208.

Ferntree Gully is now a match clear after a tight match against Knox Gardens. It was hard going early for the Falcons as the Blues started well with Josh Henry (70) and Jason Kilby (44) got things underway, but the Falcon bowlers struck back, the pick being Nav Singh (3/23) as the Blues were dismissed for 214. Adam Wylde (80) and Josh Gregory (42) lead the way for the Falcons however Harry Cowling (3/25) helped restrict the score when things got tight. Needing 10 runs off the final over, the Falcons battled on – needing 5 from the final ball to win, the Blues claimed the final wicket to secure the points in a classic One Day match.

South Belgrave accounted for Olinda in their matchup. With South batting first, contributions from Mark Baker (42), Darren Ray (34), Jordan McDermott (58) and Harley McDermott (35) took the home team to 6/230 from their overs. In reply, Josh Langer (32) and Jonty Scott (36) were the contributors for the Bloods, but Shane Seamer’s 4/47 saw the score fall short – Olinda concluding at 8/208.

Meanwhile, former Knoxfield Premiership Player Mitch Perry added his name to the echelons of local cricket graduates, playing in a Cricket Australia squad against the touring Pakistan team in Perth. Perry opened the bowling for Australia, ending at 0/48 from his 13 overs including 3 maidens and was also involved in dismissing Imam Ul-Haq. Perry concluding the match not out with the bat, scoring 22* from 34 balls including 4 fours.


Provisional Ladder – Norm Reeves Shield

Belgrave – 18pts (1.872%)
Lysterfield – 18pts (1.606%)
Knoxfield – 12pts (1.371%)
The Basin – 12pts (1.173%)
Knox Gardens – 12pts (1.022%)
Eildon Park – 12pts (0.990%)
Ferntree Gully Footballers – 6pts (0.744%)
Upwey – 0pts (0.787%)
Johnson Park – 0pts (0.633%)
Upper FTG – 0pts (0.544%)

Provisional Ladder – Decoite Shield

Ferntree Gully – 18pts (2.164%)
St Johns Tecoma – 12pts (1.404%)
Monbulk – 12pts (1.328%)
Knox Gardens – 12pts (1.247%)
South Belgrave – 12pts (0.869%)
Rowville – 6pts (1.224%)
Olinda – 0pts (0.448%)
Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.372%)

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