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By Richard Millott

The penultimate round of the Season saw a number of close results, proving pivotal to the fortunes of Clubs as the finish line to the Home and Away season rapidly approaches.

At Pickett Reserve, Nick Bogar went big in Ferntree Gully Footballers win over Upper Ferntree Gully. Bogar smashed an unbeaten 141 across the innings, with Liam Hunt (57) also featuring on the scorecard as the hosts posted 4/221. The Kings made a valiant effort with Sajana De Silva (32*) leading the chase. However Sam Cuthbert (3/19) and Ben Rawlings (3/31) struck with the ball to put paid to the visitors chase, the Kings posting 9/163 from their overs.

The Basin jump into the last finals position after a dominant display against Johnson Park. The Bears reached 7/146, with Tom Edwards (55*) and Adam Masters (36) impacting the scoreboard for the visitors, whilst Mitch Ley (3/20) was the lead of the bowling attack. However in response the Sharks were unable to gain any traction, with Masters snaring 5/14 to have the hosts in all sorts in a day where they could only post 9/56. The win keeps the Bears ahead of Knoxfield by percentage, whilst the Sharks head up a 4-way fight to remain in Norm Reeves Shield next season ahead of a crucial match against Belgrave.

Lysterfield held on by the narrowest of margins against Knox Gardens. Nathan Walsh once again took charge of the batting effort, his 83 coming alongside Kyle Gwynne (4) to reach 9/200. With the ball, Jarrod Butcher had the visitors in a spin taking 5/42. Butcher again backed up his efforts with bat in hand with 57, whilst Kyle Gwynne (3/27) and Tim Chivers (3/35) did enough with the ball to see the Falcons dismissed 2 runs shy on 198.

Eildon Park entered the last-chance saloon to stay up, with a key win over Monbulk. The Hawks were kept quiet in their stay at the crease, with only Aaron Powell (36) starting whilst Nathan Caton (3/17) ensured the hosts didn’t progress beyond 9/98. The Panthers too were hampered by the loss of wickets with Jordan Wilkinson (3/27) the main culprit. But Jake Pollard stood strong, his 43* ensured the visitors passed the target at 7/99. Belgrave’s win now sees Monbulk drop into the bottom 3, the Hawks looking for a final win for their campaign.

Belgrave provided a shock of the round against the fancied Knoxfield. The Knights were dismissed for 122, with Nathan Rowe (3/8) being frugal in the Magpie bowling attack. Aaron Brunner once again showed his class, his unbeaten 74 not out steering the Pies to 2/123 and a vital 6 points that now sees them clear of the dropzone by percentage.

In a finals preview, Upwey-Tecoma held on by the slimmest of margins against Ferntree Gully. The Tigers were hampered by the quality bowling efforts of Pat Mastertoun (3/16) and Nick Woods (3/18) to post 106. However not to be outdone, Cameron Wheeler (4/33) and Steve Collard (3/18) combined to save the game for the hosts, Ferntree Gully falling an agonizingly 2 runs short on 104. Upwey-Tecoma are now confirmed to come up against Lysterfield in the Qualifying Final, whilst the shuffle for the Elimination Final is wide open.

In Decoite Shield, the result came down to the final ball before South Belgrave saw off Mountain Gate. Mark Baker got the hosts towards 6/198, his 42 being the cornerstone whilst with the ball Daniel Shaw (3/36) lead the attack. The Gator chase was clinical with efforts all around with Luke Turner (47), Kallum Croxford (42) and Daniel Shaw (39) all pitching in towards their first win. But it wasn’t to be though – needing 4 to tie off the final ball and 6 to win, South held their nerve to deny the Gators by 3 runs.

St Johns Tecoma logged yet another win of the season, this time at the expense of Knox Gardens. The Falcons were dismissed for 109, with Marc Hardy claiming 3/22 as the lead of the attack. In reply, Jake Sali (35) made sure of the result, reaching 3/110 in the 25th over.

Rowville claimed the points after their matchup against Olinda. The Bloods hit 6/139 with Tom Gelbert (33) the lead effort towards the target. The Hawks paced their chase well, with James Tate (54*), Chanaka Gunawardana (35) and Monto Perera (30*) seeing the hosts to victory.



UPWEY-TECOMA – 72PTS (1.58%)
THE BASIN – 54PTS (1.23%)
Knoxfield – 54pts (1.02%)
Knox Gardens – 45pts (1.35%)
FTG Footballers – 39pts (0.95%)
Johnson Park – 27pts (0.75%)
Belgrave – 27pts (0.65%)
Monbulk – 24pts (0.91%)
Eildon Park – 24pts (0.67%)
Upper FTG – 9pts (0.63%)


STH BELGRAVE – 54PTS (1.10%)
ROWVILLE – 51PTS (0.95%)
KNOX GARDENS – 48PTS (0.92%)
Olinda – 30pts (0.91%)
Mt Gate – 3pts (0.58%

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