KNIGHTS TAKE KINGS
By Steve Brown & Ian Harley.
Knoxfield Knights have won back to back Norm Reeves Shields, their fifth premiership in the FTGDCA, in convincing style against the Upper Ferntree Gully Kings. After winning the toss, Knoxfield skipper Tom Boxell elected to bat in front of a large home crowd with openers Adith Sundaresh and Ben Gerloff batting cautiously against a strong Kings attack. When both openers were in the sheds with the score on 33, the Kings were on top. The departures of the experienced Trent Scholfield and gun batsman Jack Taylor saw the Knights slump to 4/68 in the thirty third over which brought Matthew Train to the crease with skipper Boxell who was digging in for the day.
The pair combined to add a match winning 194 runs for the fifth wicket until Richmond premiership player, Boxell was caught for a majestic 108 in the second last over of the day. Train remained unbeaten on 84 and was equally as impressive as his captain. Evergreen Jay Colee bowled valiantly to claim 2/87 from 26 overs.
Stephen Lee Medalist - Knoxfield's Tom Boxell
Ironically it was Boxell and Train who were the catalysts in last season’s premiership after top scoring in the final against The Basin.
Upper Gully’s run chase started positively with Peter Dunlop and Jay Windross moving the score to 32 before Dunlop was run out, and then the remainder of the day belonged to Knoxfield as the Kings lost wickets steadily to be bundled out after tea for just 114. Only Dunlop and Windross (49) reached double figures. Left armer Trent Evans claimed 4/28 for the Knights however it was Boxell who was awarded the Stephen Lee Medal for man of the match. Evans was undoubtable the player of the finals after taking 5/10 in the qualifying final, also against the Kings.
Upper Gully captain Peter Dunlop praised his team for reaching the final after being promoted from Decoite Shield, whilst Boxell was elated that the Knights were victorious once again having lost only one match during the season.
Johnson Park has overcome Lysterfield in an epic DeCoite Shield final to win their way back into Norm Reeves Shield. The game was decided in the last over of the day as Lysterfield fell a devastating 15 runs short. Only 9 runs separated the two sides when they last met at the same venue. Opener Daniel Forster-Jennings was the ninth wicket to fall being dismissed for a well compiled 108 in the 79th over. He combined with Nathan Hicks (24) to get the Beavers off to a flyer with the partnership yielding 55 runs of the first 15 overs.
It was the introduction of Steve Devenish (3/68 off 29) in the 20th over in conjunction with Ben Stallworthy (3/64 off 19) and Adam Clark (2/30 off 13) that saw the Beavers restricted to 41 runs in the next 26 overs.
Looking to accelerate after tea Lysterfield lost 2 wickets for 7 runs including the vital wicket of Nathan Walsh. A number of small partnerships got the Beavers to 7/173 in the 73 over before lusty hitting from Adam Kinniburgh(27) almost got them back in the game. Requiring 25 off the last 3 overs, with 2 wickets in hand, Johnson Park turned the screws to take the flag. It was Steve Devenish’s combined efforts in the game that won him the Ken Utting Medal.
Day One saw Andrew Devenish made the right call at the toss and Johnson Park sent Lysterfield out to field. At 84 without loss the Sharks were in a strong position with Ben Stallworthy(37) and Steve Devenish (44)doing their job. Nathan Walsh brought himself on and had both openers back in the pavilion, and Andrew Devenish departed the Sharks had lost 3 wickets for the addition of 9 runs and were suddenly on the back foot.
Lysterfield toiled away after tea to have Bryn Gaunt and Tyson Barrington back in the shed with the score on 5/135. Liyan DeSilva (53*) then joined David Devenish (44) adding 90 runs in 20 overs to ensure Johnson Park set a winning total of 7/238.
Norm Reeves Shield
Knoxfield 5/275 (Boxell 108 Train 84* Sundaresh 17 Colee 2/87) def Upper F/tree Gully 114 (Windross 49, Evans 4/28)
Stephen Lee Medalist: Tom Boxell
Umpires Baker & Sevior
RJ DeCoite Shield
Johnson Park 7/238 cc (Stallworthy 37, S. Devenish 44, D. Devenish 44, DeSilva 53*, Walsh 2/50, Chivers 2/50) def Lysterfield 9/223 (Forster-Jennings 108, Stallworthy3/64, S. Devenish 3/68)
Ken Utting Medalist: Steven Devenish
Umpires Webb & Walters