Heidelberg was tested but ultimately proved itself in its first Barclay Shield match against Riverside. Chasing 166, the newcomers hung in to win by two wickets with Pawan Edirisinghe (51) providing the highest score and Zach Pett hitting a crucial, stabilising knock of 27 in the lower order. That captain and 2018/19 leading run-scorer Justin Whitcher scored just one made Heidelberg’s win all the more significant.
Lower Eltham held its nerve to pull off a one-wicket win over North Eltham in a wildly fluctuating contest. Chasing 252 for victory, Roo batsmen Jarrod Curtis (54), Anthony McFarland (48) and Rishan Kavinga (44) got the better of the Wanderers bowlers as their side strode to 1/163. Still at the crease was fifth batsmen Andrew Hone, whose role became ever more crucial as the wickets began to tumble with Conor O’Leary and Travis Baker disrupting the middle order. Hone and Luke Burgoyne came together at 9/234 and forged a match winning tenth-wicket stand.
Epping had all the answers on the second day’s play en route to a massive 141-run win over Plenty. The ’Pingers stormed through the Power with Rob Tinsley and Marcus Murphy bagging three wickets apiece. Josh Henkel capped a strong debut in the blue with the wickets of Karendeep Singh and Daniel Cocking as Plenty was bowled out for just 81.
After securing first-innings points, Diamond Creek put Banyule to the sword on the second day to claim an outright victory and first position on the ladder. The Creek declared at 2/155 with Dan Gilbert’s unbeaten 86 bankrolling the innings, whereupon Mark Keenan seized his chance to take the limelight. Keenan took 5/14 as Bundoora crumpled for 101. It took Gilbert and Jacob Ramsey just four overs to lead their sight to a massive win.
Rosanna landed a Round 1 blow against reigning premiers and crosstown rivals Macleod, sneaking home by a single wicket in its chase of 208. Nick Horsford and Steve Ryan (both 46) left it up to the middle order but it was Matt Simpson’s unbeaten 42 that saved Rosanna after a late collapse from 6/196 to 9/196 left it teetering on the edge of a loss.
Eltham defeated Old Paradians by three wickets with Sean Sceney (44 not out) coming up trumps with the bat just when his side needed it most. The sixth-drop Panther came in at 6/97 with his side chasing 178 and added 45 with Ben Rowe before he and Michael Hogg finished the job.
Montmorency’s total of 234 was never threatened by Mill Park, who ground to a stop at 153. Leigh Snelson proved the game-breaker for the Magpies with a haul of 4/12.
Bundoora United powered through Banyule’s bowling to reach the target of 173 for the loss of just four wickets. The Bulldogs’ top order all contributed - Nilanka Rukshitha hit 39, Scott Barnett an unbeaten 38, Corey Cogan 36 and Conlan Gunn an unbeaten 29. The six-wicket win pushes Bundoora United to top of the Money Shield ladder.
Research Eltham Collegians marked its return to Money Shield with a five-wicket win over Lower Plenty. In their first match back at Research Park since 2017/18, the Collegians were well served by Brixton Timewell (56), Phil Zumbo (41), Ben Davies (35) and captain Josh Turner (34 not out) as they cruised to the Lions’ total of 199 in just 64 overs.
A 114-run 4th wicket stand between Steven Kemp (74) and Josh Nixon (60) broke Mernda and guided the Lalor Stars to a four-wicket win at Waterview Reserve. Kemp and Nixon took the score from 3/45 to 4/159 to ensure that their side was untroubled to overhaul Mernda’s total of 215.
Thomastown fell short in its chase of Panton Hill’s 201 by 62 runs. Going into the match with one batsman short after Tristan Paterson’s injury the previous Saturday, Thusith Abulage (55) and Nick Fellows (33) were running the show but once they fell, the Redbacks steadily ground their way to a victory, engineering three run-outs.
Whittlesea gritted its teeth and fought hard in a massive run chase against Bundoora Park and at least managed to bat out its 80 overs in a 184-run loss. After the DVCA newcomers set the Eagles 386 to win, Rajitha Mendis (54) and Brayden Avola (43) buckled down to top-score for their side. Daniel Fox (3/44) took the best-figures in his side’s first Mash Shield match.
Hurstbridge welcomed Greensborough back to Mash Shield with a seven-wicket loss. After the Borough had been held to just 147 on the first day, Steve Corcoran (62) led the way with Lachlan McLellan offering firm support with an unbeaten 32.
Laurimar dominated from start to finish against South Morang and were just a wicket away from an outright victory. After setting the Lions 301 for win, the Power was in irresistible touch with the ball. Chris Marienfield took 5/26 including a hat-trick as South Morang was skittled for just 109. The Lions were sent back in and the misery continued; Marienfield backed up his first innings performance with 5/19 as South Morang made it to stumps 9/104.
Thomastown United made an anti-climax out of the highly anticipated second day’s play against Diamond Creek. Resuming at 5/73 in pursuit of the Mash newcomer’s total of 122, Kande Premakumara (37 not out) and Aaron Miggiani (31) steadily erased the deficit for the Kookaburras.