It was a depleted Donvale that travelled down to Livingstone to take on Vermont Sth. Despite an early wicket Nicholas Dore and Ronan Prigg combined for a 100 run stand, Ronan making his half ton. Wickets fell steadily after that but the final score of 173 was always going to be tough for the undermanned Donvale. I don’t have Donvale’s batting stats, Tom Cunningham 4/23 ensured that they were never in the run chase and Donvale finished 50 adrift. Unfortunately I hear that Donvale has had to pull the plug due to lack of numbers. To the small band of boys who fronted every week, thank you for your efforts, you did your club proud battling against the odds every week.
Both Blackburn Sth and Vermont were desperate for a win, Vermont to keep their unbeaten record intact and Blacky Sth to get their season back on track. The Eagles found runs hard to come by and no batsman was able to dominate the score against accurate bowling from Keiran Van DerWal and Jarrod Smith. Conor Spinks continued his fine form with the bat for a valuable 41 ably backed up by Danny Ryan, but Blacky Sth would have been satisfied to keep them to 9/152cc.
Unfortunately Day 2 never went to plan for the Mirrabooka boys with wickets falling steadily to a consistent Vermont attack to fold all out for 107 and well short. This win was very much an Eagles team effort with everyone making a contribution to the cause.
Park Orchards welcomed Forest Hill in what shaped as the hardest game to predict in the round. The Zebras batted first and whilst several players got a start, none took the game by the throat and a final score of 5/116 was disappointing. Gavin Carusi 2/15 had the best Zebra figures.Forest Hill must have been confident as Chris Thomson and Ben Matthews gradually hauled the score in with a top 73 run partnership with plenty of talent still in the sheds. Lional Hunt caused a few heart flutters but the steady Zebras were able to secure the points on the day thanks mainly to Ben Matthews 53.
East Burwood recent batting woes continued against a determined Heatherdale. Sam Brooks 3/12 and Jarrod Parr 2/4 quickly got among them and apart from James Rizio’s fighting 35 a final tally of 124 was always going to be tough to defend. In replay Heatherdale’s batting was highlighted by an excellent 63 by Brendon Green with great back-up from Sam Brooks 53 and a 36 by Ben Joseph to run out comfortable winners. Mitch Gale 2/16 topped the East Burwood bowling.
Heathmont’s innings got off to a flying start, James Kelly 32 and Nathan Mullenger-McHugh 71* laying the foundation. Steve Brown 28 carried on the good work to close at 3/179cc.
Doncaster in reply were quickly in trouble as Josh Clark 2/2, Nathan Mullenger-McHugh 2/8 and Tom Delaney 2/7 shared the spoils cutting a swathe through the Doncaster line-up to roll them for 66 and pick up some valuable percentage points in the bargain whilst cementing 2nd position behind Vermont in the run to the finals.
Maddocks Sports Player of the Round goes to the excellent all-round performance of Heathmont’s Nathan Mullenger-McHugh. His 71* and 2/8 earns Nathan the Maddocks voucher – well done Nathan.
We are now in the last Round before Xmas and I would like to take the opportunity to wish all players, parents and support staff all the very best fro Xmas and the New Year. Have a great break but most importantly stay safe.