SUPER SIX LEADS REEVES
By Richard Millott
No less than six teams are level at the top of Norm Reeves Shield separated only on percentage after the conclusion of an action-packed Round 5 action on Saturday.
Knoxfield jumped from third on the ladder to the top rung after a dominant display with the ball against the undefeated Lysterfield. Set a mammoth 341 last week, the Beavers were in early trouble as Josh Lindner ran rampant against the top order. The young tear-away ended the day with figures of 6/36 from his consecutive 20 overs as the match was ended just prior to tea, Lysterfield dismissed for 92 with Jake Arundell leading the charge with 31 not out. The Knights gained 0.39% from the result to jump ahead, whilst for Lysterfield the result has seen the Beavers drop from 2nd to 6th place ahead of the local derby next week against Eildon Park.
Belgrave inflicted their first blemish of the campaign against the reigning Premiers, The Basin. Belgrave set 205 last week, which was championed from the opening pairing as Scott Vozzo (36) and Blake Walter set after the target. Walter was boundary-happy, hitting 12 fours and a six as part of his 74 to take the Bears to 7/207 with 10 overs to spare. The Bears now sit third behind the Pies, having close the percentage gap.
Eildon Park saw off Ferntree Gully Footballers, dismissing the visitors for 201 to win by over 100 runs. The 313 target set by the Panthers last week proved to be too much despite the efforts of Lachlan Storey (41), Radhik Gooneratne (36) and Nick Bogar (32). Jarrod Hicks took 5/57 from 21.5 overs, combining well with Zac Clark who snared 3/50. The Panthers have hit form over the past month to be inside the top 4 prior to summer, looking to continue to build on the momentum. Meanwhile, the Griffens will be looking to close the difference to the pack, sitting in 8th place two wins behind the lead pack ahead of hosting Belgrave next round.
Knox Gardens claimed the points against Upper Ferntree Gully at Kings Park. After scoring 243 last week, the Falcons struck early to remove both opening bats and apply pressure to have the Kings at 2/23 from the opening 20 overs. The recovery didn’t eventuate as tea was served with the run chase at 6/71. Scott McInerney eventually claimed 4/27 as the Falcons left with the points, having dismissed Upper Ferntree Gully for 126.
Upwey have opened the account for the season after defeating Johnson Park. Liyan De Silva did all that was in his power to help the Sharks rein in the 272 target, De Silva eventually dismissed shy of a century for 97 whilst David Devenish added 43 towards the effort. With the ball, Cameron Wheeler claimed yet-another 5-wicket haul with figures of 5/80, whilst Kyle Snyman snared 3/28 to help the Tigers close out the opening win of the season dismissing the Sharks for 228. Upwey will be looking to continue the performance in their next outing against Knox Gardens, whilst Johnson Park will be looking to open their account in their away encounter against the Knights at Carrington Reserve next week.
In Decoite Shield, St Johns Tecoma shored up their spot in second place following a comprehensive win against Olinda. Chasing 321 from last week, the Bloods were soundly defeated as Tafadzwa Kamungozi shone brightest with 42. With the ball for the Saints, Aaron Grenda claimed 4/39 from the top of the bowling sheet to help dismiss the visitors for 174. Asking Olinda to bat again, the Bloods reached 5/78 by day’s end, with Sam Vance having joy claiming 3/34.
Ferntree Gully remain clear of the pack in Decoite Shield after their chase against Rowville. Set 139 to claim the points, the Blues held wickets in hand whilst ticking the required runs, with Josh Henry (69) and Daniel Salan (56) notching half centuries on the path to 2/147 to bank the points.
Monbulk secured their win the hard way in their match against Knox Gardens. Set 124 last week and commencing from 1/73, a straight-forward day turned into anything but as Josh McGowan gave the home side a Hawk Headache. McGowan claimed a dominant 8/40 to do all within his power to restrict the Hawks, with Jason Fraser and Udara Ravindu (both 32) seeing the visitors home to 138.
South Belgrave have entered the Top 4 after a successful chase against Mountain Gate. Commencing at 0/24 in search of the Gators 238, Daniel Cormack (64) and Mark Baker (62) reached half centuries whilst Jordan McDermott went all the way, undefeated on 102 not out as South reached 2/259 to secure the points.
Provisional Ladder – Norm Reeves Shield (After Round 5)
KNOXFIELD – 18pts (1.761)
BELGRAVE – 18pts (1.442)
THE BASIN – 18pts (1.234)
EILDON PARK – 18pts (1.209)
Knox Gardens – 18pts (1.160)
Lysterfield – 18pts (1.007)
Upwey – 6pts (0.890)
Footballers – 6pts (0.683)
Johnson Park – 0pts (0.684)
Upper FTG – 0pts (0.565)
Provisional Ladder – Decoite Shield (After Round 5)
FERNTREE GULLY – 24pts (2.482)
ST JOHNS TECOMA – 18pts (1.714)
MONBULK – 18pts (1.286)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 18pts (1.194)
Knox Gardens – 12pts (1.168)
Rowville – 6pts (0.899)
Olinda – 0pts (0.429)
Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.330)