Saturday February 22, 2020
Plenty’s loss and a six-wicket win over Rosanna has unexpectedly brought Riverside’s finals chances back from the dead. The ‘Siders passed Rosanna’s total of 117 in the 36th over to record their fourth win of the season and are now just a game and narrow percentage outside of the top four.
Lower Eltham is now a win away from completing a brilliant comeback to finals after adding Epping to its collection of backend scalps. The Roos were skittled for just 131 and when Epping advanced to 0/61, it seemed their chances of a top four berth had faded. However, a mini-collapse of 3/4 evened the contest as Dananjaya Fernando (4/9 off eight overs) saved his side. Lower Eltham kept Epping six runs short at the death to claim its third win in four matches and cement fourth position.
North Eltham closed out its fourth win of the season to defeat Bundoora by 30 runs. With a top four place on the line, the Wanderers wobbled to 134 off its 40 overs before Travis Baker (3/22) and Adam Tsapatsaris (2/16) assuaged any risk of defeat. North Eltham will need to defeat Macleod and hope Plenty defeats Lower Eltham to make finals.
Diamond Creek flexed its muscle to thrash Macleod by 86 runs. Another superb all-round performance from Dan Gilbert (63 & 2/9) was the highlight as the Creek iced a second consecutive minor premiership – fittingly, over the side to whom it had lost last season’s Grand Final to.
Heidelberg will enter finals in its maiden season of Barclay Shield at full tilt after crushing Plenty by seven wickets inside 26 overs. Captain Justin Whitcher bagged career-best figures of 5/9 as Plenty crumpled for just 75. The disastrous loss sees the Power fall to seventh and makes finals a remote possibility.
Bundoora United disposed of Old Paradians to claim its eighth win and move to within a win of claiming the Money Shield minor premiership. The Bulldogs’ typically strong top order delivered yet again as Mat Ross (52), Corey Cogan (45 not out) and Conlan Gunn (44) guided their side to 4/198. The Paradians never seriously challenged in reply as Myer Zealley (3/19) claimed the best figures.
Eltham slammed the door shut on Mill Park’s finals chances with a 34-run victory. The Panthers fought their way to 5/161 and then skittled the Tigers for 127 to seal their sixth win of the season and keep their top four dreams alive for another week.
Banyule powered its way to a three-wicket win over Lower Plenty ahead of finals. The Bears held the Lions to 142 as Jeremy Hannan passed the 30-wicket mark for the season. Lower Plenty couldn’t take wickets fast enough as the rapidly scoring Banyule won inside 33 overs.
Montmorency put Mernda to the sword but has immediately cast its eyes to next week’s must-win clash against Research Eltham Collegians. The Magpies cantered to an eight-wicket win with Cam Wright (55) top-scoring. However, Montmorency still finds itself in fifth position and will need to overcome Eltham’s percentage break to make finals.
The Lalor Stars defeated Research Eltham Collegians by 42 runs to hold challengers to its top four status at the pointy end of the season. Wayne Dow, Aaron Amos and Steven Kemp all reached 30 or more but it was Mitch Hayse (5/32) who delivered the knock-out blow.
Panton Hill’s finals flame was extinguished by Hurstbridge, who dismissed the Redbacks for 218. Damon Earp backed up his 68 with 3/30 to lead the defence of 291 and push his side into second position on the ladder.
Bundoora Park will claim the Mash Shield minor premiership in its maiden DVCA season after eclipsing Thomastown United by six wickets. The Power held the Kookaburras to just 9/132 off their 40 overs and with Ryan Miller (53) and captain Brad Fox (35 not out) steadying the ship following a false start.
Thomastown and Diamond Creek could not be separated, finishing in a 137-all tie. Diamond Creek gave itself a strong platform with its bowling performance as Jay Watson, Angus Jarram, Jackson Elzink and Callum Sexton took two wickets each. However, Thomastown fought to the death, denying the Creek any freedom in scoring and locked the score at 4/137 off 40 overs.
Greensborough won against South Morang by 35 runs with Jesse Hristovski (47) leading the way in the Borough’s total of 168. The winless Lions could only manage 133 in reply.
Laurimar landed a blow to Whittlesea’s finals chances with a committed bowling performance en route to a 70-run win. Ash Williams (47) and Daniel Roberts (42) bankrolled the Power’s total of 5/181 with Mick Peters and Luke Richardson bagging three wickets apiece to skittle the Eagles for 111. Whittlesea is three points outside of the top four with a game to play.