BEAVERS JUMP TIGERS, LADDER TAKES SHAPE
By Richard Millott
Lysterfield have taken over top spot in Norm Reeves Shield after victory over Upwey Tecoma in the top-of-the-table battle, with other results proving crucial across the round.
In a rain-affected affair, Upwey-Tecoma batted first with Jackson Waters (37) holding the fort to get Upwey to 2/54. However Cam Cosstick reeked havoc amongst the middle order, claiming 5/14 from his 4 overs to put the Tigers into a spin. Andrew Evans blasted a quick-fire 41 to help the hosts reach 129. In response, Jake Arundell (40) continued his fine form, with contributions over the top order seeing Lysterfield reach 4/130 with 10 balls to spare to claim the points to leapfrog the Tigers in proceedings. Lysterfield return to Lakesfield next week to host Upper Ferntree Gully, whilst Upwey-Tecoma head up the hill against Monbulk.
Adam Maloney had a day to remember in Knoxfield’s big win over The Basin. Batting first, the Knights were served up and down the top and middle orders with contributions, before Maloney (30) and James Petrovski (42*) took the hosts to 5/185 from their overs. The Bears struggled to get the response going, falling to 3/34 after Chris Rumble (3/13) made inroads on the top order. Maloney continued his afternoon out, claiming 4/7 from 3.5 overs to skittle the visitors for 97 in the 32nd over. The win sees the Knights draw level with the Bears, the latter holding 4th spot on percentage. Knoxfield travel to Eildon Park for their next assignment, whilst for the Bears they return to Batterham Reserve to face Ferntree Gully Footballers.
Ferntree Gully continue to entrench themselves within the Top 4 with a big win over Ferntree Gully Footballers. The Griffens lost early wickets before a half century to Cohen McElroy (52) helped towards a target to bowl at, ending at 157. Jake Evans was the pick of the bowlers for the Blues, claiming 3/18. In reply, the Blues could do no wrong with the bat in hand, with Josh Henry (68*) and Paul Jefimenko (48) taking the visitors to a 9-wicket win at 1/159. Ferntree Gully travel to face Johnson Park next week, whilst for the 7th-placed Griffens they will be looking to bounce back against The Basin.
Knox Gardens continued their climb up the ladder with another win, this time over Johnson Park despite a Steve Devenish masterclass. The Sharks batted first, with Devenish being the mainstay of the innings – belting 109 from 112 balls, including 11 fours and 3 sixes. Jarrod Butcher continued his form with the ball, claiming 3/36 from his 8 overs to keep the Sharks to 8/191. The Falcons got off to a solid start with Joe Morsello (30), before Mitch Gregory (54*) and Adam Wylde (45*) posting a 101-run partnership to bring the hosts home at 3/193. Knox Gardens now sit 6th in proceedings just half a match out of the Top 4 and will look to keep the momentum going when they travel to Belgrave, whilst Johnson Park will host Ferntree Gully.
Upper Ferntree Gully almost claimed their second scalp in as many weeks, however Eildon Park held their nerve to post the win. Jurgen Andersen (36) was the feature of the Panther batting card, reaching 147 in the final over. In response, the Kings were travelling well at 2/67, with Corey Williams (55*) posting a key innings to keep the chase alive. But Jarrod Hicks had other ideas, claiming 3/32 to help dismiss the hosts for 125. Eildon Park now draw up on the pack in 9th place and will look to jump up against Knoxfield next round, whilst for Upper Ferntree Gully they travel to Lysterfield.
Belgrave claimed the points over Monbulk to gain ground also. The ever-reliable Jason Fraser continued in form, hitting 46 before Jordan Wilkinson (35) helped propel the Hawks to 9/148. In reply, Jarrod McPhee (68) and Jordon King (45*) gave the Magpies the perfect platform to claim the points, hitting 3/152. The Pies host Knox Gardens, whilst for Monbulk their next assignment is a crunch match against Upwey-Tecoma.
In Decoite Shield, Knox Gardens successfully chased St Johns Tecoma at Talaskia Reserve to close within a match of the Finals. The Saints batted first with Jake Sali (57) and Kyle Grenda (60) both posting half-centuries. However Josh Curnow starred with the ball, claiming 5/41 to dismiss the hosts for 203. In reply, the Falcons had a number of contributions, punctuated by Hayden Morrison (33) and Dylan Wylde (39). The Falcons hit the winning runs with 5 balls to spare, and will now look forward to hosting Mountain Gate. Meanwhile, the Saints will look ahead to their matchup against Rowville at Talaskia Reserve.
Rowville’s resurgence up the ladder sees them half a game off the top after defeating South Belgrave. Daniel Cormack (60) was the highlight of the batting for South on their way to 9/150 from their overs, with the Hawks attack sharing the wickets around. In reply, Chanaka Gunawardana (34) and Alex Walker (41) helped guide the Hawks towards the total despite the efforts of Ohlsson D’Sylva (3/21). The hosts reached 6/151 and will have eyes on the top when they travel to St Johns Tecoma next week, whilst South Belgrave will seek top billing against Olinda at South Belgrave.
A spirited performance with the ball wasn’t enough to get Mountain Gate home against Olinda at Fiorelli Packing Oval. Josh Langer was an anchor at the top of the scorecard for the hosts, but breakthroughs from Luke Turner (4/18 off 6.1) and Mitch Goddard (3/24) gave the Gators a great opportunity, dismissing Olinda for 113. But the opportunity was short lived as the visitors were 2/0 after just 3 balls as Taf Kamungozi (3/11 off 8 overs) and Liam Humphries (3/21 off 8 overs) lead the way with the ball. The Gators were dismissed for 82 and will travel to Knox Gardens again for a chance to open the account, whilst Olinda will take on South Belgrave looking to safeguard their position within the four.
NORM REEVES SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 8 ROUNDS)
LYSTERFIELD – 42PTS (1.482%)
UPWEY-TECOMA – 39PTS (1.507%)
FERNTREE GULLY – 33PTS (1.398%)
THE BASIN – 27PTS (1.061%)
Knoxfield – 27pts (0.844%)
Knox Gardens – 24pts (1.545%)
FTG Footballers – 24pts (0.972%)
Monbulk – 21pts (0.915%)
Johnson Park – 18pts (0.775%)
Eildon Park – 15pts (0.762%)
Belgrave – 12pts (0.516%)
Upper FTG – 6pts (0.809%)
DECOITE SHIELD – PROVISIONAL LADDER (AFTER 8 ROUNDS)
ST JOHNS TECOMA – 33PTS (1.909%)
SOUTH BELGRAVE – 33PTS (1.227%)
ROWVILLE – 30PTS (1.023%)
OLINDA – 27PTS (1.067%)
Knox Gardens – 21pts (0.807%)
Mountain Gate – 0pts (0.481%)