Saturday January 11, 2020
Epping reassured its position as one of Barclay Shield’s sides to beat with a ruthless bowling display against Bundoora. The Blues’ total of 245 was never threatened as Jon Kulikowski (4/10), John Lever (3/15) and Marcus Murphy (2/10) ran riot to crash through Bundoora for 75 in a slow death over 60 overs.
A six-wicket haul from Luke Morgan stopped Macleod in its chase and strengthened Riverside’s mathematical finals chances. Morgan bagged 6/46, starting his run when the Eagles were building at 4/130 chasing 224. Riverside closed out its third win of the season by 40 runs.
Heidelberg remains in second place on the Barclay ladder after making its defence of 178 against North Eltham look easy. Zach Pett and Jack Ridewood took three wickets each as the Wanderers’ panicking top order collapsed en route to being all out for 117, dealing a severe blow to North Eltham’s finals chances.
Lower Eltham once again did it the hard way, chasing down Rosanna’s modest 146 with just three wickets in hand. From 3/110, the Roos collapsed to 7/122 and could see their top four chances evaporating against suddenly steep odds. Luke Poyser (37) and Jarrod Curtis (20) played two of the most important innings for Lower Eltham’s season to get their side home.
Diamond Creek rose to the challenge lain down by Plenty to chase down 223 and extend its winning run to seven consecutive matches. The Creek was forced to bat for its life like never before this season but Josh Adams (78) and Jacob Ramsey (51) posted 128 for the second wicket to seize the match by the scruff of the neck. Dale Campbell added an unbeaten 40 to secure a five-wicket win.
Eltham remains in the top four after Ben Rowe took his best figures as a Panther to guide his side to a 51-run win over Mernda. Rowe took 4/26 and Lucas Wilson 3/32 to maintain the Panthers’ finals chances and consign Mernda to the bottom of the ladder.
The Lalor Stars bridged the gap on a top four position to just six percent after cruising to a seven-wicket win over Old Paradians. Aaron Amos (72) and Josh Nixon (49) picked up where they left off to extend their partnership to 108 runs to all but nip the match in the bud.
Montmorency claimed its most emboldening win yet in one of the matches of the season against Bundoora United. The Magpies had the Bulldogs on the ropes at 4/46 chasing 224 before Bundoora United’s powerful middle order kicked into gear. Conlan Gunn (72) was almost the hero for the Bulldogs, posting his highest score since 2017 with Scott Barnett (39) bolstering the lower order. Just when it seemed he would haul his side to a momentous win, Gunn was the last man to fall with Bundoora United eight runs short.
Research Eltham Collegians pulled off one of the upsets of the season, defending a miserly 120 against ladder-leader Banyule to win by 17 runs. With his side starting the day with just 95 runs left in the bank and nine wickets to take, captain Josh Turner took 4/24 after Jack Sassella claimed three top order wickets.
Lower Plenty celebrated its first win since last season’s semi-final with an upset five-wicket victory over finals aspirants Mill Park. After losing wickets off the final two balls on day one, the young Lions defied a strong opponent and their own nerves. Luke Sirianni and Alex Horner (28 not out each) were the batsmen to seal the deal as Lower Plenty reached the Tigers’ total of 153 in the 73rd over.
Bundoora Park’s unbeaten run has come to an end as Greensborough brought the DVCA newcomers crashing back to earth with a 28-run win. Defending just 190, the Borough claimed its second win for the season with little margin for error. Phil Gaynor took 4/33 but just as important were Ryan Bailey (2/8) and Shane Emm (2/9), who pressed the advantage home by taking the final four wickets.
Hurstbridge has ascended to the top of the ladder after making short work of its chase of Thomastown’s 212. The Bridgers’ top order was superb as Stephen Corcoran (84) and James McCarthy (61) romped their side home by seven wickets.
Thomastown United has moved one step closer to locking in its first finals appearance since 2016/17 with a 77-run win over Laurimar. The Kookaburras bowled as well as they had batted on the first day as Kande Premakumara, Josh Sandford, Riley Patterson and Dulanga Lakmal all took multiple wickets to bundle the favourites out for just 161.
Whittlesea powered its way to one of Mash Shield’s biggest successful run chases, overhauling Panton Hill’s 260 for the loss of just five wickets. Suresh Fernando (81) top-scored with his third half-century in as many matches with Brayden Avola (51) and Nathan Heaney (32) adding muscle to the top order as the Eagles won their fourth match.
Diamond Creek has leapt into sixth position after completing the outright win over South Morang. The Creek declared on its overnight lead of 34 and dominated the second day’s play just as much as the first: Harley Smith took four wickets as the Lions were rolled a second time for 78. Callum Dean and Mitchell Elzink strolled to a complete rout of a victory.