RUN HOME LIVENS UP AS KNIGHTS, FALCONS KEEP PRESSURE ON
By Richard Millott
Knoxfield and Knox Gardens continue to stalk the Top 4, with Round 10 action in the books as the finals makeup begins to take shape.
At Carrington, the Knights won a tight match over Monbulk to continue their momentum to snare a spot in the Top 4. The Hawks took to the crease first with Udara Ravindu (42) and Tom Taylor (38) helping to steady the ship after the visitors were in all sorts of early trouble at 3/3, with Chris Rumble taking 3/16 across the day as the visitors posted 138 on the board. However the chase was far from simple for the hosts, with Craig Broekhof giving the Hawks the upper hand taking 5/36. Clint Buckland (38) lead the scoring in the chase, the Knights succeeding by just 1 wicket with 5 balls remaining at 9/140. Knoxfield sit 5th on percentage and will look to break in against Upper Ferntree Gully, whilst for Monbulk they come up against Knox Gardens in a must-win clash.
Knox Gardens are within 3 points of the pack after notching victory over Ferntree Gully Footballers. The Griffens batted first, with Cohen McElroy (44) and Liam Hunt (44) adding to the visitors tally of 168 over the innings, with Jarrod Butcher taking 3/27 with the ball. In reply, Joe Morsello held the order from the top, his 70 a highlight of the run-chase as the hosts hit 3/169 to claim the points. The Falcons now come up against Monbulk next week, whilst for Ferntree Gully Footballers they will host Belgrave.
The Basin had an early day after a strong showing against Upper Ferntree Gully. The Kings were 1/64 before the Bears’ bowling attack begun to hit their strides, with Nick Freeling taking 4/2 from his 5 overs to send the hosts packing for 93. In response, Trent Phillips (38) and Jayden Turcinovic (33*) ensured The Basin’s position in the Top 4 was strengthened, the visitors hitting 2/95 from 18 overs to bank the points and a percentage boost. The Kings will regroup to take on Knoxfield next week, whilst The Basin will have a crunch match against Upwey-Tecoma.
Upwey Tecoma continue to sit in second spot after a narrow 5-run win over Johnson Park. Jules Whetsone (54) and Andrew Evans (47) were the features of a batting scorecard with contributions, posting 8/197 for the Tigers from 40 overs, despite the efforts of Liyan De Silva (3/30). Andrew Devenish (42) again lead the way for the Sharks batting effort, aptly supported by Gerard Petrie (35) amongst others to give the visitors a crack at victory. However the ball would cruely deny the visitors with Jay Colee (4/37) and Cam Wheeler (3/36) seeing off the chase to dismiss at 192. The Tigers – thanks to other results – are now two games clear of 3rd place and will look towards cementing a finals berth when they host The Basin, whilst Johnson Park will look for points when they host Lysterfield.
Aaron Brunner had a day out in Belgrave’s big win over Eildon Park. The Panthers were served well with an unbeaten half-century from Jacob Evans (52*), with runs and wickets shared between the two sides as the Panthers reached 8/149 from their overs. The Pies sensed an opportunity at an important 6 points, an opportunity too good to pass up as Jarrod McPhee (50) and Aaron Brunner (79*) both registered half centuries in the 9-wicket win, reaching 1/150 in the 33rd over. Belgrave now jump Eildon Park to sit 10th and crucially now are only within the bottom 3 on percentage only and will look to leap further when they take on Ferntree Gully Footballers. Meanwhile, Eildon Park will focus on Ferntree Gully to gain forward momentum on the back end of the year.
For the second week in a row, Lysterfield have been victorious in a T20 fixture, seeing off Ferntree Gully by 26 runs. After Friday’s rainfall meant a shortened contest between the Top 4 combatants, the Beavers hit 7/142 from the 20 overs, with Anthony Brolic (50) and Nathan Walsh (38) once again on the Beaver scorecard. In reply, the Blues gave it their all however with Cam Cosstick claiming 3/20, the hosts were dismissed for 116 in the final over of the day. Lysterfield continue to lead the standings with just 5 rounds remaining and will aim to maintain that against Johnson Park next round, whilst Ferntree Gully sit in 3rd as the leaders of the pack – again aiming to stay there as they encounter Eildon Park.
After a string of solid performances, Knox Gardens have forced their way into 4th spot on the Decoite Ladder after their trip to Mountain Gate. The Gators elected to bat first on the slow HV Jones surface, with positive batting from the top order in Kallum Croxford (48) and Mitch Goddard (58) to reach 9/145 at innings end, with Josh Curnow (4/57) and Adam Wild (3/18) showing the way with the ball for the Falcons. The Gator bowlers were unable to get breakthroughs against the visitors, with Lachlan Stuckey (56) and Tyler Voulanos (45*) converting their stays at the crease to see the Falcons reach the target of 4/146 with 11 balls to spare. The Falcons now sit in 4th place a game clear and have the potential to jump as high as 2nd should they win over Rowville. Whilst for Mountain Gate, they will be looking for a late-season scalp in St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia.
St Johns Tecoma’s stay at the top of the ladder continues, bumping Olinda out of the Top 4 as a result. The Saints had a gluttony of contributors on the scorecard, with Aaron Grenda (48) and Callum Craigie (30) the leaders amongst others to post 8/198 as a target. Adrian Willoughby (60) was the scorer of note for the hosts as the Saints bowling attack shared the wickets around to keep the chase to 9/157. The Saints will host Mountain Gate next week, whilst Olinda will look to regain their 4th place when they take on South Belgrave.
Rowville produced a key result in their clash with South Belgrave, claiming the points in a tight Top 4 tussle. Todd Burley (46) lead the way for South as the Hawk bowlers shared the wickets around, with the visitors concluding their innings with 9/162 on the board. Alex Walker (48) and Darren Hill (36*) denied the visitors of the points, reaching the target of 6/163 with 5 balls in hand. Rowville will take on Knox Gardens with the victor to hold 3rd place, whilst South Belgrave will take on Olinda to hold onto 2nd place in a tight competition.
NORM REEVES SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 10 ROUNDS)
LYSTERFIELD – 54PTS (1.475%)
UPWEY-TECOMA – 51PTS (1.517%)
FERNTREE GULLY – 39PTS (1.384%)
THE BASIN – 39PTS (1.224%)
Knoxfield – 39pts (0.901%)
Knox Gardens – 36pts (1.710%)
FTG Footballers – 24pts (0.863%)
Monbulk – 21pts (0.853%)
Johnson Park – 18pts (0.711%)
Belgrave – 18pts (0.611%)
Eildon Park – 15pts (0.723%)
Upper FTG – 6pts (0.737%)
DECOITE SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 10 ROUNDS)
ST JOHNS TECOMA – 45PTS (1.960%)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 39PTS (1.156%)
ROWVILLE – 36PTS (0.968%)
KNOX GARDENS – 33PTS (0.909%)
Olinda – 27pts (0.974%)
Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.514%)