Tuesday October 8, 2019
Plenty had to grind its way back to even-keel after Epping got off to a scorching start with the bat at Epping Recreation Reserve. Anthony Licovski (51) and Andrew Bennett (44) amassed 105 for the first wicket and were ably supported by Tom Emmins (30) and Lower Plenty recruit Josh Henkel (31). For the Power, Kenroy Peters whirred through 25 overs and claimed four wickets as Epping went from the commanding position of 2/150 to 222 come stumps.
Reigning Money Shield premier Heidelberg ended its first day’s play since its promotion to Barclay with the upper hand against Riverside. Jack Ridewood and Callum Gogerly bagged four wickets each as the ’Siders clawed their way to 8/165. Xavier Youngman (45) started his season strongly with his side’s highest score.
Diamond Creek was the benchmark for the majority of 2018/19 and its Grand Final loss to Macleod will doubtless provide a fiery spark this season. The Creek kick-started 2019/20 by slashing its way to a ten-wicket first-day victory against Bundoora. There was no respite for the Bulls as Ryan Tolley (3/4 off six overs), Dale Campbell (3/11 off eight) and Dylan Bedurke (2/13 off eight) reduced the total to just 76. Dan Gilbert (45 not out) and Callum Dean (29 not out) ensured the Creek had the points in hand by stumps.
Macleod’s premiership defence is off to a rude start with Rosanna bundling the Eagles out for just 208. Scott Shelton and Nick Carlton bagged three wickets apiece and Lower Plenty recruit Nick Rowe chipped in with two. Rosanna will resume next Saturday requiring a further 163 for its first win after Carlton and Nick Horsford wiped 46 off the target before stumps.
Lachie McLeod’s highest senior score and a 50 on debut from Dilasri Lokubandara guided North Eltham to 251 against Lower Eltham. McLeod came to the crease at 4/106 and delivered a knock of 69 to give the Wanderers a highly defensible total.
Bundoora United had play going its way against Banyule until a gutsy 74-run seventh-wicket stand between Adam Samad (49) and Andrew Clapton (43) wrested the Bears to safer ground. Ricky Lee (4/40) was causing havoc early as Banyule sank to 6/66 before Samad and Clapton’s fightback pushed the total to 172.
Montmorency batted itself to a strong position upon its return Money Shield after a wooden spoon Barclay finish in 2018/19. Usual suspects Ruwinda Shaman (55) and captain Jack Taylor (36) led the way against Mill Park but they were supported by Jeremy Hansen (39) and Ryan Siede, the number nine whose unbeaten 45 took the Magpies to 234 all out.
Old Paradians’ Jason Berthet single-handedly pitted himself against Eltham as his side struggled to 177 all out. The Paradians’ opener fought for hours for his 74 and was the second-last man to fall. The Panthers will resume the chase next week at 1/25 after losing Andrew Lamont at the hands of Rob Thomas.
Mernda was able to weather the storm of a middle order collapse and bat out its overs against the Lalor Stars. The Demons stumbled from 1/69 to 5/90 as the Stars’ new recruit reigning Duckworth-Turner Medallist Karl Heckmann procured three wickets. Stuart Wright played a steadying hand for Mernda with a middle order knock of 59 to see his side to 215 all out in the final over.
Lower Plenty finished just shy of 200 against Money Shield returnees Research Eltham Collegians. Bill Jenkin, the last Lion from the 2018/19 Grand Final side, led the way with a resounding 92 as his side compiled 9/199. Siva Velagala took four wickets across 18 overs for the Collegians while Jack Sassella claimed a pair.
Bundoora Park has kicked open the saloon doors upon its DVCA entry with a powerful batting display of 385 against Whittlesea. Ramindu Nekeshala (115) feasted upon the Eagles as he combined with Ryan Miller for a 169-run third wicket partnership and then poured salt to the wound by adding 74 with Thilina Herath.
A prolific lower-order performance gave Panton Hill a defensible total against Thomastown. Although Josh Barton top-scored with 50, it was Jackson Mill and Steven Tung’s unbeaten ninth-wicket stand worth 40 that made the difference in the Redbacks’ score of 8/201.
Hurstbridge gave Greensborough an unfriendly welcome back into Mash Shield as Kusal Edussoryia took 4/26 to whittle the Borough out for just 147 with only Chris Voce (63) passing 30. The Bridgers will need another 132 runs with all 10 wickets in hand upon resumption of hostilities next Saturday.
After storming into its first finals series last year, Laurimar has sent a warning shot to Mash Shield with a hefty 300-run day against South Morang. The top order hit the ground running with new recruit Ray Kelsey battering his way to 83, Daniel Roberts hitting 75 and Rian Boddy and Jake Zerella both falling just short of half-centuries.
Diamond Creek had a mixed day on their Mash Shield debut against Thomastown United at Coventry Oval. After winning the toss and deciding to bat, besides from a 50 run 2nd wicket partnership their innings never got going to be all out for 121 in the 55th over. New recruit Dulanga Lakmal the pick of the United bowlers snaring 4/24 in his debut game. After seemingly cruising at 1/50 Thomastown United lost 4 late wickets to be 5/73 at stumps still requiring 49 runs for victory. Bradley Shallard incredibly taking all five wickets (5/34) for Diamond Creek. The first hour on day 2 will be crucial to see who takes their first points of the season.