THE inaugural Norm Reeves Shield final between the Upper Ferntree Gully Kings and the Johnson Park Sharks ended dramatically on the second day when Sharks batsman Steve Devenish lofted a boundary on the last ball of the day to give Johnson Park their second premiership in the FTGDCA's top grade.
Only 22 overs were permitted on day one due to rain. The final was played at the magnificent Kings Park oval, and Kings skipper Adam Slack had no hesitation in electing to bat after winning the toss.
Slack and opposition captain Andrew Devenish were teammates at Hawthorn Monash University, both making their Premier Cricket debuts in 2005.
On the opening day, Upper Gully was 1-27 from 22 overs with the match almost certain to go into next weekend, until opening bowlers Craig Wenham (5-30) from 30 overs and Liarne DeSilva (3-42) routed the Kings' batting line-up for 87 after 63 overs.
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The innings never got started with the run rate hovering around 1.5 runs per over for most of the day.
It was simply perfect bowling in perfect bowling conditions. Upper Gully opening bowler Mark Young dismissed Bryn Gaunt and then skittled captain Andrew Devenish to have the Sharks 2-23 before a steady partnership between Cam Bourke and opener David Devenish.
With the fall of Bourke for 23, then Junaid Carri, the Devenish brothers brought home the flag to win by six wickets.
At Monbulk, the hosts had Mountain Gate in early trouble in the Decoite Shield Final at 4-45 on day one before Chris Martin produced one the greatest spells of bowling seen on the hill.
Martin claimed 7-14 from 25 overs in a match-winning performance as the Gators were demoralised for just 77, leaving the Hawks to take the flag for the loss of just three wickets and earn promotion to Reeves Shield next season.
Grand final scores
Norm Reeves Shield
Johnson Park 4-88 (D Devenish 25no Bourke 23) d Upper Gully 87 (Wenham 5-30 DeSilva 3-42).
Monbulk 3-80 (Walter 42no) d Mountain Gate 77 (Martin 7-14).