TIGERS, SOUTH JUMP HOSTS TO PROGRESS TO FINALS
By Richard Millott
Upwey Tecoma have secured hosting rights for the Norm Reeves Final after seeing off minor premiers Lysterfield.
The Beavers won the toss and elected to bat first, however breakthroughs through the top order kept the visitors on top. Anthony Brolic dug in against the Tiger bowlers, eventually removed at 4/98. From there, the experience of Jay Collee came to the fore – claiming 4/17 from 7.5 overs to dismiss the hosts with 137 on the board. In reply, the Tigers paced the chase with the Beavers making breakthroughs at intervals. Jackson Waters held his nerve for the visitors, ending the day on 57 not out with Upwey-Tecoma booking in a home Grand Final at 4/138 in the 36th over.
The Basin live to fight another day after defeating Ferntree Gully in their Elimination Final. The Bears took first use of the crease at Wally Tew, with Blake Walter the standout nothing 69 as the visitors posted 6/209 from their overs. The Blues held their form well in the arm wrestle, starting the chase well before the visitors broke through claiming 4/12 across the top order. Paul Jefimenko lead the way for the hosts with a well compiled 47, but Nick Freeling (3/12) lead the attack to dismiss the Blues, ending the Season with 188 runs on the board. The Basin now travel to Lysterfield next week to play off for the right to face Upwey-Tecoma in the decider.
In Decoite Shield, South Belgrave turned the tables on St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia Reserve by 17 runs. South Belgrave visited the crease first with Darren Ray (34) recovering the score from an early wicket to be 2/88. Daniel Cormack then changed gears on the visitors’ innings, smacking 62 from just 43 balls including 8 fours and 3 sixes to reach 4/192. South Belgrave ended the innings at 8/250, with Kyle Grenda the best of the Saints bowlers claiming 4/58. The response from the hosts was equally matched, with Jake Sali’s 56 the anchor of the top innings in recovering from 3/36 into 4/129. Mark Baker (3/45) got amongst the wickets to slow the scoring down, however Marc Hardy had other ideas – blasting a quickfire 53 from just 32 balls. However it wasn’t to be for the minor premiers, falling 17 runs shy of a home Decoite Shield Grand Final dismissed for 233.
In the Elimination Final, Knox Gardens keep the season alive after a comprehensive win over Rowville. Jackson Marget reached 49 not out over the innings with a number of starts contributing to the Falcon scoreline of 6/163, with Monto Perera (3/26) the best of the Hawks’ bowlers. The Hawks chase was stalled early, slumping to 3/19 before Chanaka Gunawardana spent time at the crease to recover the score. However a middle-order slip put paid to the Hawks’ season, dismissed for 75. Travis Mulder was the pick with the ball in hand for the Falcons, his 4/28 from 8 overs pivotal to building pressure and creating – and taking – wicket opportunities. The Falcons will now face St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia Reserve, with the winner progressing to face South Belgrave.