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By Richard Millott

It has taken just 2 days of play for last year’s Norm Reeves Finalists to form a break over the pack in standings as both Lysterfield and Upwey made statements in Round 3 action.

At Lakesfield, Lysterfield served a scary reminder to the competition of their batting prowess in their encounter with Johnson Park. Electing to bat first, the hosts provided a faultless display. Coming to the crease at 1/49, Nathan Walsh continued in the rich vein of form, pairing with Kyle Gwynne to put on 156 runs for the second wicket to get to 2/205. However Gwynne wasn’t done yet, reaching a maiden century for the Beavers by carrying the bat through on 111 not out as the home side set 4/267.


An early breakthrough hampered the chase in the opening overs before Steve Devenish (33) again provided a release with the willow for the Sharks. With the ball, Tim Chivers (4/14 from 8 overs) and Cam Cosstick (3/27 from 8 overs) orchestrated breakthroughs to wrap up the day early, dismissing Johnson Park for 104 in the 31st over. Lysterfield’s attention now turns to an away trip to Pickett Reserve against Ferntree Gully Footballers next week, whilst Johnson Park will be looking to open their account at home against The Basin.

Belgrave and The Basin played out a nail-biter at Batterham Park, with the hosts prevailing by 1 wicket with 3 balls remaining. Earlier, Belgrave set 6/183 from their overs thanks to Ronan Culloty unbeaten on 52, well supported by Johnathon Levell (42). In reply, Blake Walter (41) helped to springboard the run chase early on before a flurry of Magpie wickets levelled proceedings with Simon Hill claiming 3/34. Debutant Darren Spence blasted a quickfire 40 from 34 balls to put the hosts ahead at a pivotal stage, with the winning runs concluding at the 39.3 over mark. The Bears now have opened the account and will look to keep on the roll when they face Johnson Park next week, whilst for Belgrave they will look ahead to hosting Ferntree Gully at Belgrave next week.

Upwey remain undefeated after accounting for Ferntree Gully Footballers at The Dome. The Tigers elected to bat first with both Andrew Evans (49) and Jules Whetstone (36) setting the tone for the hosts. Contributions came at key moments to post 7/201 from the 40 overs. In reply, the visitors were unable to find a breakout against a restrictive bowling attack, with Ben Rawlings (31) the highlight of the scorecard for the Griffens, dismissed for 115. Upwey will look to remain unbeaten when they travel to South Belgrave, whilst for Ferntree Gully Footballers a matchup against Lysterfield at home awaits.

There were plenty of individual scores on both sides of the equation in Knox Garden’s win over South Belgrave. Batting first, South were made to chase leather for the early stages at Pete Dunlop (70) and Joe Morsello (81) put the Falcons to 1/134 to set the tone for those to follow. Not to be outdone, Matthew Young provided some late hitting with 62 from 41 balls to lead the hosts to 4/248 by innings’ end. A shakey start saw the visitors down to 4/35 before Dan Cormack (78) and Aaron Tanic (81) breathed a second wind to South’s innings. However with wickets falling and an increasing runrate, it was not to be with South Belgrave dismissed for 206 with Travis Baker (3/42) leading the way for the Falcons with the ball. Knox Gardens travel to Knoxfield next week, whilst South Belgrave play host to Upwey.

Knoxfield opened the account at the expense of Ferntree Gully at Wally Tew Reserve. The Knights started well with Clint Buckland (39) at the top of the order, before Chandima Abeykoon (40) highlighted a number of contributions towards the visitors total of 7/173. For the Blues, Josh Henry was the pick of the bowling attack, claiming 3/28. As the day wore on, the ball began to prevail over the bat, with Harry Cowling (34) leading the cause for the Blues. Matthew Plumridge (3/20) and Cory Bevan (3/21) were the focus with the ball as the hosts were dismissed with 136 on the board. Knoxfield host Knox Gardens next round, whilst Ferntree Gully will travel to Belgrave next week against the Magpies.

In Decoite Shield action, Monbulk secured early bragging rights in their mouth-watering matchup against St Johns Tecoma at Monbulk. Aaron Bermingham lead the way with the bat with 57, with several other contributions helping the hosts reach 9/210 by the break. Dean Lucas provided the best return with the pill for the Saints, netting 3/27. In reply, the Saints pushed the tally with Ben Lees (46), Kyle Grenda (41) and Brad Schimleck (32) all providing efforts in the see-sawing affair. Duncan Maher (3/36) lead the way with ball in hand to restrict the visitors, dismissed in the final over for 201. Monbulk travel down to Mountain Gate against the Gators next week at HV Jones, whilst for St Johns Tecoma it is a trip home to Talaskia to face Eildon Park.

A collective effort from Upper Ferntree Gully saw the Kings run out winners over Rowville at Dobson Park. Efforts throughout the lineup contributed, however Corey Williams (44) and Craig Bridle (61*) were key for the hosts to reach 6/197. In reply, the Hawks were curtailed by Tom Roleff (3/32) and Tom Brady (3/26) with the ball, with James Tate (37) the main contributor to the visitors’ 163 tally. The Kings will face Knox Gardens away next round, whilst for Rowville they will take on Olinda at Seebeck Oval.

Eildon Park remain unbeaten after accounting for Mountain Gate at Eildon Park Reserve. Scores from Jake Evans (56), David Smyth (51), Matthew Sutherland (40) and Brad Mitchell (39) made for a solid base of 4/207 to set as a target. In reply, skipper Mitch Goddard (30) provided runs again for the Gators however a horrific collapse of 6/14 ended any hopes of a contest. Jarrod Hicks could do no wrong with the pill, claiming 4/7 from 8 overs as the visitors were removed for 98. Eildon Park will look to make it a trio of wins when they face St Johns Tecoma, whilst Mountain Gate will come up against Monbulk at home.

Olinda capitalised on early wickets to post a solid win over Knox Gardens. The visitors elected to bat first however were ruing the decision falling to 4/9 in the early stages before mounting a comeback lead by Jay Wagner (41). Liam Humphries (3/16) and Callum Raisbeck (3/20) kept the visitors in check to remove for 112 in 26 overs. In reply, a team effort of starts saw the hosts reach 4/114 to claim the points. Olinda travel to Rowville next week for a chance to move into the Top 4, whilst Knox Gardens will aim to open their tally for the season when they come up against Upper Ferntree Gully.


Provisional Ladder – Norm Reeves Sheild (After 3 Rounds)

LYSTERFIELD – 12PTS (3.647%)
UPWEY-TECOMA – 12PTS (1.738%)
KNOXFIELD – 6PTS (1.200%)
KNOX GARDENS – 6PTS (1.093%)
Ferntree Gully – 6pts (0.907%)
FTG Footballers – 6pts (0.721%)
The Basin – 6pts (0.627%)
Sth Belgrave – 6pts (0.564%)
Belgrave – 0pts (1.092%)
Johnson Park – 0pts (0.386%)

Provisional Ladder – Decoite Shield (After 3 Rounds)

EILDON PARK – 12PTS (2.299%)
MONBULK – 12PTS (2.299%)
UPPER FTG – 6PTS (1.585%)
Rowville – 6pts (0.970%)
Olinda – 6pts (0.705%)
Knox Gardens – 0pts (0.338%)
Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.276%)

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