UPPER Ferntree Gully Kings have made their way into the top four of the FTGDCA Norm Reeves Shield competition. Now the challenge is to hold onto their spot.
The Kings made short work of Knox Gardens at Kings Park on Saturday, bowling the Falcons out for 101 behind opening bowler Jay Colee (4-11), then chasing down the runs in 30 overs finishing on 5-104 with captain Adam Slack 33 not out.
Slack said his side had made the most of losing the toss and got early wickets.
"We were going to bowl anyway and we got some early wickets which put them on the back foot. Colee took three of the first four wickets; he has been a very consistent bowler for several years."
The Kings will get a much sterner test when they begin a two-day match against league leaders Eildon Park at Eildon Park Reserve this Saturday.
Slack said the Kings wanted to assert themselves in the top four with the competition sure to become even tighter in the run to the finals.
"We are happy to have strung a few wins together and Footballers' win over Ferntree Gully on Saturday helped us to move above them but now we are there we want to hold onto a spot. Eildon Park will be a tough game so it will be a good challenge and let us see where we are at."
While the Kings only had a short chase against the Falcons, Slack said he wanted more consistency from his top order, especially against the strong bowling line-up of Eildon Park.
The Basin made sure that 2013 started with a bang in their 'David versus Goliath' clash with the unbeaten Eildon Park.
Panthers star Nathan Hicks hit a superlative century as the Panthers set the Basin 233 for victory. In reply, Danny Rundle (73 not out) led the run-scoring as the Bears responded with 7-238 to take the six points and move level on points with Belgrave to ensure the battle for relegation remains interesting.
Upwey Tecoma easily accounted for the Knoxfield Knights, passing their score of 96 with just one wicket down.
In his first season in the premier grade, teenager Jackson Waters took 3-17. Sam Waters also snared three.
Other highlights for the Tigers included Leigh Bianchi returning the figures of 1-1 off five overs and keeper Matt Mulchay being involved in five dismissals. The win ensures Upwey remain a game clear in second place.
Ferntree Gully Footballers had a win over Ferntree Gully at Chandler Park. The Griffens' Robbie McComb (46) top-scored while Nick Bogar (37 and 4-29) did the job with the bat and ball. The Blues' best included Patrick Lee and Matt Black, while Muhammad Farrukh was best with the ball.
Bryn Gaunt (74) and Andrew Gottliebsen (43 not out) top-scored for the Sharks with Leigh Newey (54 not out) and Johnathon Levell (36) not able to do enough to get the Magpies home.
Norm Reeves Shield
Ferntree Gully Footballers 8-157 (R McComb 46, N Bogar 37; M Farrukh 3-14) d Ferntree Gully 9-154 (P Lee 40no, M Black 31; N Bogar 4-29, B Rawlings 3-18).
Upwey Tecoma 1-97 (Mick Hewitt 47, B Hurst 42no) d Knoxfield 96 (S Waters 3-20, J Waters 3-17).
The Basin 7-238 (D Rundle 73no, M McNally 3-36) def Eildon Park 8-232 (N Hicks 117, W Koster 3-20).
Johnson Park 8-196 (Gaunt 74, Gottliebsen 43no) def Belgrave 179 (Newey 54no, Levell 36; Dobb 3-36).
Upper Ferntree Gully 5-104 (A Slack 33no) d Knox Gardens 101 (Mulder 32; J Colee 4-11).
Eildon Park 48 1.72
Upwey-Tecoma 42 1.75
Upper FTG 36 1.10
Johnson Park 36 1.08
Ferntree Gully 30 1.11
Knox Gardens 18 0.89
FTG Footballers 18 0.83
Knoxfield 18 0.75
The Basin 12 0.67
Belgrave 12 0.66