Saturday February 2, 2019
Macleod moved back into the top four and put Bundoora’s finals chances in danger with a six-wicket win over the Bulls at Macleod Park. Opener Shaun Lumsden ground out 59 while the returning Richard Johnson finished unbeaten on 33 as the Eagles overhauled their target of 170.
Riverside’s chances of defending its title are over after Rosanna crushed the reigning premiers out for 111. It seemed that whoever was thrown the ball by captain Nick Carlton delivered for Rosanna, who had six different wicket-takers with Carlton himself finishing with the figures of 3/16 to bring his side one step closer to a finals berth.
Montmorency fought tooth-and-nail to salvage its pride in its massive run chase against Diamond Creek. Ruwinda Shaman (54) and John Greenwood (50) raised the bat as the Magpies reached stumps at 7/172, nonetheless 152 runs short of the unbeaten Creek’s total.
After finishing a game away from relegation in 2018, Lower Eltham is still in with a red-hot chance for a finals berth after chasing down 218 against Plenty. Andrew Hone (60 not out) and Jarrod Curtis (39 not out) came together at 5/147 and delivered a season-saving stand of 74 to have the Roos just percentage out of the top four.
Epping is still a game clear in second position after chasing down North Eltham’s total of 93 to win by four wickets. With Rosanna and Riverside to come in their final two matches, the Pingers need to hold their nerve to hold a finals place.
Lower Plenty had just enough runs in the bank to emerge victorious in its clash with top-of-the-table Banyule. The Lions’ defence of 233 came down to the final over with the Bears needing 21 to win with one wicket in hand. The match hung in the balance before Lower Plenty prevailed by just five runs.
A four-wicket haul from Mitch Komen helped Mernda dismiss Greensborough for 135, claim a 56-run win and break a four-match losing streak. Komen and sidekick Josh Delaney (3/24) tore through the Greensborough middle order to give the Demons their third win of the season.
It was a resurgent Lalor Stars who defeated Old Paradians by 33 runs to return to the top of the Money Shield mountain. Defending a merely competitive total of 204 against a team desperate to keep its finals chances alive, Udara Ranasinghe came out all guns blazing as he smashed 80 off 43 balls to set OP's up. Cruising at 4/171 the Stars then took a staggering 6/1 to seal an unlikely victory. Paul Higgins (4/40) and Jamie Scott (3/33) combined for seven wickets to get their side back on the winners’ list.
Heidelberg have the coveted fourth place on the ladder at the end of Round 9 after receiving a handsome percentage boost by dismissing Mill Park for 137. Still 187 runs short of Heidelberg’s first innings tally, the Tigers were forced to bat again but were never in danger of the outright.
Eltham came up trumps by four wickets in an Australia Day shoot-out against Bundoora United. The Bulldogs fought their way to 205 with Conlan Gunn (60) and Matt Ross (56) enjoying their time in the middle but could only watch on in horror as the Panthers snuck home with nine balls to spare. Lloyd Mash (89) and Andrew Lamont (36) top-scored in a win that will have Eltham mixing for the top four by the end of the round.
It took Research Eltham Collegians just over half a day to defeat Thomastown United and reaffirm first position on the Mash Shield ladder. Jack Sassella (4/17) and Siva Velagala (4/21) polished off United for just 59 before openers Brixton Timewell and Ben Davies erased the target at a run a ball.
Thomastown pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Mash Shield’s history with a four-wicket win over second-placed Hurstbridge. A first innings arm wrestle left Thomastown chasing 137 for victory; the crossroads moment came when the score sank to 5/91. Shanak Kethbevilage (30) and Lukas Fellows (21) carried their side to the finish line where upon Kethbevilage finished the job to give Thomastown its third win of the season and vault clear of Thomastown United.
A whirlwind 106 from Karl Heckmann saw South Morang do the unthinkable and claim its first win in five matches against Panton Hill. Heckmann and Mitch Dickson (56) blew the Lions’ total out to 215 and, try as they might, the Redbacks could get no closer than eight runs from their target.
Laurimar all but guaranteed its maiden Mash Shield finals appearance with a six-wicket win over Whittlesea. The Eagles batted first and were snuffed out for just 104, a tally that Jake Zerella (37) and Rian Boddy (29) erased in less than 30 overs.