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By Richard Millott


The Basin’s Sean Ewart, Knoxfield’s Matt Plumridge and Upper Gully’s Ryan Carter all shone with the bat in Division 3 showing clear intent as the second half of the season recommenced.


Ewart’s 122 formed the bulk of The Basin’s 302 in their match against Eildon Park, who were dismissed for 185 with thanks to Matt Davey’s 66. The Bear’s Liam Walter halted the match as a contest, claiming 6/43 from 19 overs. At Carrington Reserve, an unbeaten Matt Plumridge century helped the Knights to an Outright victory against Johnson Park. The visitors were dismissed for 116 in the first innings, before Knoxfield reached 3/202 before declaring another crack at the Sharks batsmen, who reached 98 in response. Trent Evans starred with the ball over the 2 innings, claiming 5 wickets in the second innings to have combined match figures of 9/59 off 24 overs. The Knights wrapped up full points 4 overs later, reaching 1/17. A Ryan Carter Century was the highlight of Upper Ferntree Gully’s innings, setting 8/201 against Upwey at Upwey. However the Tiger batsmen, lead by Brenton Hurst with 78, returned on Day 2 to chase down the target score, reaching 6/204.


The Basin still leads proceedings whilst Knoxfield is now just 2 points behind thanks to a full allotment of points from their win. Upwey move 2 matches clear from Upper Ferntree Gully, who lead Ferntree Gully on percentage to close out the top 4.


Knox-Boronia Churches posted a mammoth score in their Division 4 encounter with Monbulk, the Burra’s putting 378 on the board with Rowan Walker reaching 111 aided by Jarrod Walker (65) and Steve Beckwith (61) striking well in the closing overs. Keelan Storey lead the Hawks’ charge, with a number of starts seeing Monbulk reach 262. Up at Olinda, a Chris Brown century saw an inspired effort against St Johns Tecoma, with the Saints prevailing by 9 runs. Set 232 from the visitors, the Swans looked on track before Daniel Pearce ensured the points would be going back to Talaskia Reserve, claiming 4/41 to help dismiss Olinda for 223. Meanwhile, 5 wickets to Knox Gardens’ Nixon Adcock saw them home against Rowville. The Falcons continue to rule the roost of the Division 4 ladder, 8 points clear from St Johns Tecoma, with Rowville and Knox-Boronia Churches in pursuit.


After an extended break, Division 5 resumed with Lysterfield posting a dominant outright win against Knox-Boronia Churches. Josh Leehane was the pick of the bowling, claiming 3/9 from nearly 10 overs bowled, with 3 wickets each to Nathan Young (3/17) and Daniel Halls (3/31) seeing the Burra’s all out for 123. The Beavers reached 4/217 from their 35 overs, lead by Simon Grimston with 85. Batting a second innings, Matt Lima claimed 4/8 from 4.4 overs, alongside Daniel Halls (3/13 from 9 overs including 5 maidens) to claim the victory, the visitors reaching 53. At Upwey’s back oval, the usual run-fest resumed with over 600 runs scored in the match in a close result. Eildon Park reached 6/312 with twin centuries to Paul Kallista and Jason McPherson. The Tigers had several starts across the innings with Matt Anderson fairing best with 56 before the home team fell for 303. Knox City remain on top following their latest win, a game clear of Upwey and Knoxfield. Lysterfield sit 2 points behind the pair with the Beavers 10 points clear of Eildon Park.


In Division 6, Monbulk have moved to within 1 point of top of the ladder following their second Outright of the season, this time coming against South Belgrave. The Hawks bowling attack enjoyed wickets at frequent intervals with David Jackson leading the way with 3/15 to dismissed South for 67.  Jason Simmonds reached 59 to help the Hawks to 7/184 before the declaration with the Hawks bowlers again striking to dismiss for 74, featuring restrictive efforts from Craig Heppell (3/4 from 7 overs, including 6 maidens) and Chris Defina (3/6 off 12.1 overs including 7 maidens). At King’s Park, Terry Gibbs put on a masterclass, claiming 6/15 to help restrict Upper Ferntree Gully to 134, before scoring 55*  to lead the Swans to 1/136. The Kings now find themselves out of a tight group vying for the Top 4 following St Johns Tecoma defeating Knox Gardens. Rowville (39pts) lead from Monbulk (38pts) with Olinda and St Johns (30pts) leading from Upper Gully (27pts) and Knox Gardens (24pts).


Rowville won the Division 7 Derby against Eildon Park, the Hawks reaching 4/316 featuring Glenn Neven’s 103 retired. The Panthers toiled hard towards the target before being dismissed for 117, with Luke Gatehouse thwarting the efforts by claiming 4/14. Following on, the Panthers hit 2/101 at stumps. At Benedikt Reserve, Ferntree Gully jumped past Knoxfield on the ladder as the Blues defeated the Knights. Michael Pitt hit 56 as part of the Knights total of 210, with Luke Parker claiming 4/41 for Ferntree Gully. The Blues were in all sorts early, being 4/14 before a Gavin Kalisperis 103* steered the visitors to the points. The Basin sit a match clear, with Lysterfield, Ferntree Gully (both 30pts), Knoxfield (28pts) and Upper Ferntree Gully (24pts) competing for 3 places in close company.


Upwey were dominant in their Division 8 match against Monbulk, with Paul Bunning reaching triple figures alongside Sam Brown (66) for an unbeaten 100-run 8th wicket stand as part of the Tigers’ 7/301. Jake Fisher was ruthless with the ball as the chase commenced, snaring 5/16 to ruin the Hawks chase, which concluded at 101. In the other match played, Ferntree Gully Footballers proved too good for St Johns Tecoma. The Saints had balanced contributors to put 249 on the board, before the Griffens reached 7/252 in reply with Jacob Paterson reaching 100*. Belgrave remain on top despite the Bye, with Upwey, Ferntree Gully Footballers and Olinda following.


In B1 One Day, Brayden Ryan took 4/22 to help Eildon Park in their match against Bayswater. The Panthers hit 8/125 with Tom Blanche leading the way with 41. In reply, Bayswater reached 106 from 34 overs faced. Meanwhile at St Josephs College, Johnson Park ran out winners in the top-of-the-table clash over St Johns Tecoma. Fifties to Dharmesh Hirani and Chirag Pindoriya, as well as 44 to Dinesh Hirani saw the Sharks post 5/217 from 40 overs. St Johns were 6/52 in reply before a lower-order revival, lead by Brett Smith with 52*, saw the Saints reach 9/192. Johnson Park are now 2 matches clear of St Johns Tecoma, who head Knox City in third place by percentage. Bayswater hold onto 4th place, with Lysterfield behind on Percentage and Eildon Park 3 points behind the pair.


In Representative Duties, Braden Taeuber (Monbulk), Tom Gelbert (Olinda) and Liam Hunt (Upwey) have all been selected as part of the VCCL Under 21 team to take on the VMCU in the annual match. The 3 talented players were the sole representatives from the South East Region, who will take part on Sunday 10th February at Bulleen’s Koonung Park from 10am.


At a booming time during the success of women’s cricket in the FTGDCA, Knox Garden’s Tess Flintoff continues her rise on the High-Performance pathway, playing a key part of the Victoria Metro U18 squad at the Cricket Australia National Championships. Now deeply entrenched as opening bat for Vic Metro, Flintoff has scored 155 runs across the Championships to date, including 60 runs off 55 balls against eventual-T20 Champions Tasmania in Round 2, with the southern state defeating Vic Metro in the T20 Final. The Championships now complete the Round Robin 50-over matches, ahead of Thursday’s Finals.


Meanwhile, keeping the Victorian theme, Ferntree Gully Footballers’ young gun Kody Taylor was on hand to be presented with his Gold Medal following the School Sports Australia Under 12 National Championships. Taylor’s Victorian teammates defeated the ACT in the final in Bunbury, Western Australia earlier in December to claim the National Championship to go undefeated through the championships. They were presented to the crowd as champions prior to Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India.

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