Saturday March 23, 2019
Macleod defeated Diamond Creek by 147 runs in the Barclay Shield Grand Final and in doing so won a premiership that seemed destined for the Creek even in the home and away season. After stunning the unbeaten Creek with a whirlwind batting effort of 7/275, the Eagles ground their way through an increasingly desperate batting line up to claim victory on the stroke of the 60 over mark. Following his epic 93 on the first day, Rob Wise completed arguably the finest all-round match of a prolific career with a bag of five wickets. Macleod knew the deed was done with the removal of Creek anchor Justin Benney for 50 to leave the score at 7/83.
Heidelberg has avenged its 2018 Grand Final loss to Plenty with a premiership win over Lower Plenty. After a gutsy 86 from Brad Nihill had left the match hanging in the balance with the Lions set to chase 207, Heidelberg’s relentless pressure proved pivotal in the season decider. Jack Ridewood followed up his career-best semi-final performance of 7/35 against Banyule with 2/27 off 21 overs while Andrew Fotinopoulos made the crucial breakthroughs of Lions captain Josh Henkel and Nathan Gardiner. When Nick Rowe was removed by Callum Gogerly at the end of the 70th over, Heidelberg celebrated a 74-run win.
There were no second day hiccups for the Research Eltham Collegians, who cantered their way to a six-wicket win over Laurimar. Capitalising on a dominant first day that saw them start at 0/53 in pursuit of 146, Dale Lander (40), Phil Zumbo (33) and captain Josh Turner (30 not out) erased the lion’s share of the runs needed. After two relegations in as many seasons, the new-look Collegians have set their course forward once again.