PIES FLY HIGH IN BIG WIN OVER BLUES, BEARS TAMED BY PANTHERS
By Richard Millott
Belgrave produced an unbeaten 211-run stand between Aaron Brunner and Johnathon Levell to power to a 10-wicket win over Ferntree Gully
Chasing the Blues’ target of 207 from last week, Brunner scored 109 not out, whilst down the other end of the Belgrave pitch, Levell provided the definition of perfect support with 76 not out. The win comes as a huge boost for the Pies, who until yesterday were at the foot of the Norm Reeves Shield ladder. The 6 points to the tally sees them jump to 8th place, whilst Ferntree Gully take 10th place narrowly missing out on 9th place to Upper Ferntree Gully on percentage.
Eildon Park have inflicted The Basin with their first loss of the season, constructing a well-rounded chase of the Bear’s 217. Josh Dowling (79) and Jake Pollard (65*) were the livewires at the crease for the home team to help the Panthers reach 5/220, with the win helping to lift Eildon Park to 5th place and now just a game outside of the Top 4 whilst having superior percentage. For The Basin, they remain clear on top by a match.
Cameron Wheeler brought his A-Game with the ball yet again as a low Upwey target combined with Wheeler’s efforts proved a bridge too far for Upper Ferntree Gully. Set off in chase of Upwey’s 186, the Kings found out soon enough that Wheeler was on, eventually claiming 6/53 with the ball. Craig Bridle was the sole light for Upper, his 41 not out being the backbone of the King’s 96. The win sees the Tigers remain in 4th- albeit with improved percentage – to keep the pressure on Ferntree Gully Footballers, whilst Upper Ferntree Gully finds itself in a battle with their cross-town rivals for the final 2 placings – the Kings ahead by 0.004%.
With the Tigers looking to move up, Ferntree Gully Footballers required victory against Knox Gardens, with the top order firing to ensure they remain in 3rd place. The Griffens were looking to overhaul the Falcon’s 213, which was well helped by Cohen McElroy’s unbeaten century (102*), whilst having Radhik Gooneratne (56*) and Ben Rawlings (51) in support. The Griffens are now well entrenched in finals equations, whilst for Knox Gardens they slip to 7th.
Knoxfield accounted for Johnson Park, batting past the target of 142 to reach 283 by day’s end. Adam Maloney lead the way with 86 for the Knights, whilst Sam Shearer toiled hard for the Sharks with the ball, finishing with 3/73. Knoxfield are now in second - a game behind and a game clear – whilst Johnson Park now sit 6th following Eildon Park’s victory.
In Decoite Shield, Knox Gardens showed talented depth to pass Rowville for the points. The Falcon’s scored the required 5/232, surpassing the Hawks 230 from last week. Dylan Wylde (79) was the best with the blade, whilst Adam Wylde (42*) and Matt Young (37) ensured the momentum continued through to claim the points. The Falcons are 2 matches clear of 5th place, whilst for Rowville they now slip to 7th on the ladder.
South Belgrave took the points home following an interesting match at HV Jones Reserve against Mountain Gate. Set 183 to win, the Gators started well being 2/79 at the tea break. Dale Kline lead the way with 41, however a late collapse saw the points travel, Mountain Gate dismissed for 139. South Belgrave remain in 3rd place and are now level with Monbulk on points, whilst for the Gators the result now sees them slip 2 matches behind finals calculations in 5th place.
At the battle of the top 2 teams, it was Lysterfield who continue on their ways, now 2 matches clear of Monbulk. Reaching 285 last week, the Hawks batted all day to be close, with Braden Taeuber (88), Tom Watson (46) and Jason Fraser (34) all contributing towards 8/242. For the Beavers, Lachlan Dobson lead the way claiming 3/57.
St Johns Tecoma jump to 6th place following a successful chase of Olinda’s 272 from last week. The Saints had a number of contributors in the team effort, notably Trent Pitts (52), Jake Sali (41) and Luke Hands (36) to reach 8/276. Olinda’s Taf Kamungzi was the pick of the bowling, sending down 39.1 overs from the one end of Talaskia Reserve for a return of 4/111.