Saturday December 14, 2019
Diamond Creek’s Luke Campitelli finished with his best bowling figures of the season against Riverside to put the Creek on track for a sixth straight win. Campitelli’s haul of 5/32 began when he broke the fourth-wicket partnership between Nathan Chrimes and Dillon Pote worth 82 before he claimed a further four to stagger Riverside’s innings at 133.
Plenty dominated Bundoora with bat and ball to move to within 19 runs of victory come stumps on the first day. The Power routed the Bulls for just 125. With 32 overs to bat, Plenty did not take the foot off the pedal. Round 5 matchwinner Tanuj Rajarathna took centre stage with a swashbuckling unbeaten 71.
A second successive five-wicket haul from Andrew Fotinopoulos saw Heidelberg dismiss Rosanna for 155. After taking his first Barclay Shield five-for against Bundoora in Round 5, Fotinopoulos finished with 5/44 off 18 overs including the major wicket of Nick Carlton (55) as the third-placed Heidelberg looks to head into the Christmas break with a top four position.
Lower Eltham’s middle order batsmen stood up under pressure to guide their side to the secure position of 7/240 against Macleod. Needing to win to maintain their finals chances, the Roos were at the crossroads at 3/47 before Andrew Hone (34) and Jarrod Curtis steadied the ship. Luke Costa (48 not out) and Mackenzie Stanley (43) then drove the point home as they added 79 for the seventh wicket.
A career-best knock from Adam Tsapatsaris has restored North Eltham’s flagging finals chances and threatened Epping’s unbeaten start to the season. The Wanderers’ opener carried his bat for an unbeaten 125 out of his side’s 238.
After conceding 247 against Montmorency, Eltham will need to muster its best batting performance to regain a top four position at Christmas. Cam Wright (90) opened the day with his highest score of the season and Ruwinda Shaman (49) and Jack Taylor (47) pushed the total out to 2/189 before a post-lunch fight back saw the Panthers arrest the Magpie momentum. The last eight wickets fell for 56 and Eltham openers Andrew Lamont and Taylann Luckman erased 16 before stumps.
After starting the season as unfancied underdogs, Mill Park is now a mathematical chance to head into the Christmas break in the top four after reaching stumps on the first day with the match in its hands against the Research Eltham Collegians. Another century from Dalton Polius (110), fast establishing himself as one of the best all-rounders in Money Shield, led the Tigers to 215 before Rayan Williams claimed Sean Lamb in the five overs before stumps.
Banyule’s dangerous bowling line-up again triumphed as the Bears skittled top four rivals the Lalor Stars for 169. A robust batting outfit was plagued all day by usual suspect Jeremy Hannan (4/20) while Grant McInerney sideswiped the Stars with 4/41 in just his second match in Money Shield this season.
Old Paradians fought an arm-wrestle with Mernda but were able to dismiss the Demons for 157 across 76 gruelling overs. Udara Ranasingha (3/36), Themi Tilkeridis (2/11), Brendan Campbell (2/27) and Robert Thomas (2/36) splintered Mernda to give their side a chance of claiming its second win next Saturday.
An explosive middle order fightback saw the winless Lower Plenty post 200 against second-placed Bundoora United. Brent Zerafa came to the crease at 3/30 and hammered his way to 93 with three sixes and 12 fours. He wasn’t operating alone as Alex Horner (42) continues to bloom as an innings-boosting fourth-drop batsman.
South Morang posted 213 against the in-form Thomastown United to give itself a chance of claiming its first win of the season. The Lions’ top order was able to sustain partnerships with Daniel Watson (40), Brad Riley (34), Srinil Peiris (32) and Dale Lewis (25) making meaningful starts.
Bundoora Park will emerge as the frontrunners of Mash Shield if it can defend 279 against rival unbeaten side Laurimar next Saturday. Whilst Laurimar’s bowlers curtailed most of the batsmen, Ramindu Nikeshala dominated proceedings with a career-high 175.
Whittlesea’s re-emergence as a batting side continues as the Eagles stretched Thomastown all around the park on their way to 309. Suresh Fernando (61) top-scored with his second half-century in as many innings in a 108-run fourth-wicket stand with Corey Baker (52). Lower order innings saw the Whittlesea total grow from competitive to commanding as Rajitha Mendis (44), Rajitha Ratnayake (41) and Yasith De Silva (30) batted confidently.
The clash between Greensborough and Panton Hill hangs in the balance with both sides desperate to win to keep their fading finals hopes alive. The ’Borough fought its way to 195 with captain Tom Vilchez (57) leading from the front. Redback brothers Steven (4/28) and Scott Tung (2/26 in his Mash Shield debut) were the most successful bowlers on the day.
Diamond Creek has hit the ground running after its first win over Panton Hill, dismissing Hurstbridge for just 161. Jackson Elzink bagged 5/34 including Kusal Edussooryia and Michael Berry to give his side a chance of procuring a massive upset going into Christmas.