Montmorency gritted its teeth to accumulate its highest score of the season against Lower Eltham. Daniel Leahy (38) and Trent Groom (29) gave the Magpies the upper hand at 3/124 before Dananjaya Fernando erupted through the middle order to finish with 5/35 and have the match on an even keel at 9/153.
Diamond Creek ended the first day of its heavyweight clash with Riverside in a commanding position. Riverside elected to bat first and rattled along to 1/60 before Jacob Ramsey (4/12) kick started a massive middle order collapse that the Creek maintained to claim the final wicket at 122. Although it would be foolhardy to forget the recent clutch performances of Riverside’s bowling attack, the status of Barclay barometer is within Diamond Creek’s reach.
Rain limited Macleod’s innings to just 56 overs as only opener Rob Wise (46) got on top of Rosanna’s bowling. Nathan Pietsch snared three wickets including the vital scalp of Tim Wise to leave the Eagles in a predicament over whether to declare next Saturday or push on for a further 12 overs.
Bundoora had to navigate a career-best bowling performance from Rob Tinsley to record 138 against Epping. Tinsley bowled nearly all day to finish with 7/44 off 30 overs.
Dylan Forster carried North Eltham’s batting and was cruelly denied a maiden career century by Plenty’s Mitchell Johnson. The second drop’s 98 made up more than half of the Wanderers’ 8/188 against the Power in an innings where none of his teammates passed 15 whilst Mitch Johnson, Kenroy Peters, Chris Barclay and Daniel Cocking were all keeping the pressure on with two wickets apiece.
Having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Eltham, Lower Plenty breathed fire against Mernda to claim first innings points and set up a 30-run lead. Heath Jenkins (6/39) turned in an irresistible performance across 18 overs with Nick Rowe taking three wickets to skittle the Demons for 126 in the 47th over. From there, Josh Henkel (48 not out) and Brad Wright (42) batted fearlessly to put the Lions at 3/156 at stumps.
Another vintage batting performance from the ageless Mark Minney saw Eltham hold its own against undefeated ladder leaders Old Paradians. It looked as if Minney (78) would run out of partners when the Panthers fell to 6/70 but Sean Sceney (36) and Michael Hogg (23) proved superb foils as their side advanced to 8/203 at stumps.
Banyule’s Mick Hannan instigated the mother of all collapses against Mill Park to set the Bears on course for a first day victory. The Tigers lost their last seven wickets without adding a single run to their tally, falling from a steady 3/102 to 102 all out with Hannan taking 6/16. James Aleksandrov then did the duties with the bat as Banyule reached the win – gallingly for the Tigers, by the same seven wickets they had lost in the collapse.
Greensborough will start next Saturday needing 54 runs to not only complete a boilover against fourth-placed Bundoora United but claim its first ever win in Money Shield. Cory Davies and Chris Cotsopoulos combined for seven wickets as the Bulldogs were rolled for 104. The Borough hardly did it easy in its 26 overs before stumps as it lost three wickets – nonetheless, finishing the day with a win in reach.
The top four clash between Lalor Stars and Heidelberg at WA Smith Reserve lived up to its billing. Heidelberg’s Brad Nihill (57) and the Stars’ Adam Hall (6/44) went head-to-head in a thrilling duel that ended with Heidelberg setting the Stars 190 to win next week.
All matches we washed out and revert to one day fixtures next Saturday.