GRIFFENS, BEARS, TIGERS COMMENCING NEW YEAR WITH RENEWED FINALS PUSH
By Richard Millott
The back half of the season got underway in Round 8 as several teams secured their opening wins of the new decade.
Ferntree Gully Footballers helped their cause in closing the gap to the Top 4, defeating Eildon Park at Picketts Reserve. The Panthers padded up first and after an early loss David Smyth (44) combined with Josh Dowling (47) to take the score to 2/86. The scoreboard ticked along for the Panthers before Ben Rawlings (4/16 off 8 overs) helped to trigger a collapse, the visitors losing 6/14 to end up at 144. The Griffens too were off to a wobbly start as Zac Clark (3/30) ran through the top order as the home team reached 5/30 before Nick Bogar (65*) and Braydon Dobinson (43*) helped to seal the win at 5/145. The Griffens will be looking to take the momentum through in their next match against Johnson Park as they climb from 6th place just one game back. For the Panthers, the loss sees them drop out of the four, with a chance to return to the winners list coming against Knoxfield next Round.
The Basin have returned to the top four in style after accounting for Belgrave. The Magpies batted first on the home deck, with Luke Spence (61) the pick of the batsmen with solid support by Johnathon Levell helping Belgrave to 176, with Joey Hawke (4/26) the pick of the bowling for the Bears. In reply, Blake Walter lead from the top with 78 with support from Shane Luck (39) to help reel in the target at 3/177. The Bears now sit in 3rd place and will host a key match against Knox Gardens at Batterham Reserve next week, whilst for Belgrave they travel to Lysterfield next round to climb up from 8th.
Lysterfield remain on top after a key win against Knoxfield at Carrington Park. The Knights batted first with the early overs slow-going as the Knights reached 3/39 at the 15 over mark, with Luke Scanlan (44) showing resistance against the Beaver bowlers to help the Knights get to 7/149. In reply, Nathan Hicks (76) set the tone early towards victory, the Beavers reaching the target at 3/150 with 10 overs still in hand to collect the points. Lysterfield host Belgrave next round, whilst Knoxfield travel to Eildon Park to safeguard their spot in 4th.
Upwey started the year with a positive against Johnson Park at Upwey. Johnson Park were 4/44 against the Tigers before being let off the hook, with Andrew Devenish scoring 81 not out across the day as the Sharks reached 7/189 from their overs. In reply, Cameron Wheeler showed his talents with the willow, with the strike bowler reaching 93 not out as the Tigers reached 3/193. The 7th-placed Upwey will look to further their climb against Upper Ferntree Gully next round, whilst Johnson Park will seek their first win at home against Ferntree Gully Footballers.
Knox Gardens are keeping the Beavers honest at the top of the ladder after their latest win against Upper Ferntree Gully. A half-century to Josh Gregory (56) and support from Joe Morsello (49) helped the Falcons to set 7/194 from their overs before the bowlers completed the contest – Michael Casement claiming 4/33 to help skittle the Kings for 97. The Falcons travel to The Basin in a key match next round, whilst the Kings host Upwey to kickstart their tally.
In Decoite Shield, Rowville produced an upset defeating Ferntree Gully at Wally Tew Reserve. Alex Walker (45) and Brett Gatehouse (39) lead the way on the scorecard for the Hawks, whilst Pat Mastertoun (4/21) and Jake Evans (3/23) were the pick of the bowling for the Blues. The reply saw the Blues reach 1/64 before Darren Hill (4/14) and Chanaka Gunawardana (4/28) went through the Blues to dismiss the home team for 96. Rowville remain in 5th place ahead of their Round 9 match against Olinda. Meanwhile, Ferntree Gully will look to return to winning ways as they take on St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia Reserve.
Monbulk had a massive win over South Belgrave at Monbulk. Wickets were the order of the day for the Hawks with Craig Broekhof (4/15) and Braden Taeuber (3/39) denying the visitors any avenue to score runs, South dismissed with 92 on the board. In reply, the Hawks made light work of the chase, with Aaron Bermingham (34) and Jason Fraser (37*) the noted scorers in reaching 1/93 from 32 overs. Monbulk remain second with South Belgrave dropping to 4th as the duo play each other again next week at South Belgrave.
Olinda are on the board after accounting for St Johns Tecoma. Peter Dean (3/17) was the pick of the bowlers for the Bloods as the visitors struggled to score after a series of collapses with the bat dismissed the Saints for 80. Aaron Grenda was not accepting the visitors’ predicament, claiming 3/6 early to have Olinda at 3/17 in reply before Michael Hyett (32*) lead the home team to their first win of the season. Olinda face Rowville next week, whilst the 6th placed St Johns Tecoma play host to Ferntree Gully.
At HV Jones, it was a tight arm-wrestle all afternoon between Knox Gardens and Mountain Gate. A series of starts compiled the Gators forward to a decent start of 2/92 before a collapse of 4/4 let the tail take the target to 159. Josh McGowan was the pick of the bowlers for the Falcons, his 3/36 leading the way in a shared bowling effort. The reply descended into damage control for the visitors as Shaun Morris (4/19) claimed the opening 3 wickets in quick time, the Falcons sitting 3/4 before Jay Wagner (34) and Spencer Stuckey (40) helped the middle order recover and turn their fortunes towards victory, the Falcons ending at 7/161. The duo play each other again next Round, albeit at Knox Gardens Reserve.
The FTGDCA has designated Round 9 across 18 & 25 January as Fire Relief Round after the devastating bushfires in communities in eastern Victoria, with clubs to observe a minute’s silence and don black armbands. Clubs will be encouraged to undertake fundraising initiatives to help raise funds to directly help those in need. The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund serves to provide assistance directly to communities affected by the recent bushfires. More information can be found at www.gerf.org.au.
PROVISIONAL LADDER – NORM REEVES SHIELD (ROUND 8)
LYSTERFIELD – 42pts (1.490%)
KNOX GARDENS – 42pts (1.308%)
THE BASIN – 36pts (1.281%)
KNOXFIELD – 30pts (1.358%)
Eildon Park – 30pts (1.259%)
FTG Footballers – 24pts (0.968%)
Upwey – 18pts (1.056%)
Belgrave – 18pts (0.782%)
Johnson Park – 0pts (0.627%)
Upper FTG – 0pts (0.592%)
PROVISIONAL LADDER – DECOITE SHIELD (ROUND 8)
FERNTREE GULLY – 36pts (1.657%)
MONBULK – 36pts – (1.535%)
KNOX GARDENS – 30pts (1.199%)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 30pts (1.055%)
Rowville – 24pts (0.970%)
St Johns Tecoma – 18pts (0.956%)
Mountain Gate – 12pts (0.545%)
Olinda – 6pts (0.666%)