Montmorency’s captain Jack Taylor dug deep to deliver an innings of 61 to set his besieged side a defensible total against Macleod. Supported by Daniel Leahy’s and Ruwinda Shaman’s steadying foil-playing, Taylor led the bottom-placed Magpies to a first innings total of 9/189.
Riverside set about a return to the top four with a strong bowling performance against Lower Eltham. Andrew Villani (6/32) led a bowling attack with a point to prove following two consecutive defeats as Lower Eltham managed just 137 with Andrew Hone (36) once again top-scoring.
Tom McLean’s second century for the season launched Diamond Creek into an increasingly familiar position of strength, this time against Epping. The Creek amassed 3/247 on their home deck of Coventry Oval and will push to continue its unbeaten run next Saturday.
Bundoora clawed its way to 8/205 against North Eltham with Narinder Sharma (81) top-scoring with one of his finest knocks. With Bundoora’s top four spot on the line and the Wanderers needing to win to stay in the mix for top four, next Saturday promises to be an engrossing contest.
Plenty’s resurgence is showing no signs of slowing down as the Power hit 251 against Rosanna. Gordon Zull (64), Jack Sacchetta (44) and Darren Connelly (37) formed a dynamic top order that gave Plenty every chance of extending its winning run.
Lower Plenty has raised the red flag of pushing for an outright victory against Mill Park. Josh Henkel (93 not out), Nathan Gardiner (81) and Daniel Fielding (76) led the Lions to 5/314 before Henkel declared to give his in-form bowlers 18 overs at the Tigers. It proved a winning gamble as Nick Rowe (3/20) had Mill Park reeling at 4/40 come stumps.
The Lalor Stars’ middle and lower order responded magnificently to a dire situation against Mernda to lead the ladder-leaders back into control come stumps. At 4/33, it seemed Mernda had bounced back from its outright loss to Lower Plenty but Jordan Steele (75), Ricky Mittica (66), Steven Kemp (56) and Wayne Dow (45) pushed the Stars’ total to 298.
Bundoora United made good of its push to climb back up the ladder by rolling Heidelberg for 134. Scott Barnett took a haul of four wickets as Heidelberg was skittled in 71 overs before the Bulldogs wiped 25 runs off the chase without a loss of wicket.
Determined to return to the winners’ list after its unbeaten run was ended by Eltham, Old Paradians gained the upper hand against Greensborough. Considering that Udara Ranasinghe took 5/43 with Rob Thomas taking 4/28, the Borough’s effort of 153 was above par. However, there was no denying the trouble the Borough is in with the Paradians advancing to 0/26.
An inspired stand between Andrew Clapton and Jeremy Hannan put Banyule right back in the fight against Eltham after a wobbly start. Banyule was struggling to keep its head above the water with Lucas Wilson backing up his six-wicket haul against Old Paradians with another five. Clapton (73) and Hannon put on 82 for the ninth wicket to give the Bears 187 to defend against the red-hot Panthers.
Panton Hill slowly worked its way to 9/182 against South Morang with Mitch Selleck (32) and Austin McCrabb (29) top-scoring on an unyielding deck at Mill Park Lakes as Karl Heckmann (3/16) and Ryan Bonnici delivered plucky performances with the ball.
Hurstbridge’s Kusal Edussooryia established himself as the premier batsman of Mash Shield with his second century of the season against Thomastown. With its place in the top four under threat from South Morang and Laurimar, the ’Bridgers hit 279 to set Thomastown an improbable run chase next Saturday.
Thomastown United had a wretched day against a Research Eltham Collegians side intent on using the Kookaburras as a percentage buffet. With Siva Velagala (5/10) and Anthony Cooper (3/3) in imperious touch, Thomastown United collapsed to 57 all out. The Collegians had first innings points and a 114-run lead by stumps.
Whittlesea’s woes are continuing with Laurimar taking first innings points at Laurimar Town Park. Josh Deans-Draper took three wickets as the Eagles were dismissed in 43 overs while still scoring at a steady rate to reach 134 but it was with the bat that Laurimar dominated: Jake Zarella (47), Rian Boddy (45), Andrew Nicholls (39) and Ash Williams (37) scored freely to push the lead out to 51.