By Jackson Russell
Mernda are still without a win in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association Money Shield after a 103-run loss to Mill Park in its two-day clash at Waterview Reserve.
The Demons had a tall task ahead of them, chasing 227 but were unable to get close to the total, getting bowled out for 124 from 63.3 overs.
After an early wicket had the hosts 1/16, a partnership started to form between opener Damien Stevens and Alexander Mitris, before the latter was dismissed for eight runs with Mernda 2/39.
Mernda’s middle-order struggled to gain momentum, quickly falling to 5/48.
Captain James Taylor was the one shining light for Mernda, making 35 before he was caught off the bowling of Rayan Williams at 9/121.
Dalton Polius did the damage for Mernda, taking 5/10 from 15.3 overs with eight maidens.
Taylor said poor decisions led to the middle-order collapse.
“We were 1/40 which isn’t horrible but then to be 5/50 at the break, you’re pushing the proverbial up the hill for the rest of the day,” he said.
“Our battling line-up has got as much talent as the next one but our decision-making lets us down.
“We get ourselves into a hole and think we’ve got to hit our way out of it and 80 overs is a long time so it’s important that we stick at it.”
Mernda finishes 2019 with a two-day match against Old Paradians at Parade College starting on Saturday.
Whittlesea suffered a crucial loss to Thomastown United at home, going down by 60 runs.
The loss widens the gap on the Mash Shield ladder between fifth-placed Whittlesea and fourth-placed Thomastown United to nine points.
Whittlesea had a big chase on their hands after Thomastown United made 5/307 on day one but the home side was up for the challenge, scoring well before being bowled out for 247 from 58.2 overs.
Suresh Fernando led Whittlesea with 78 runs while Thomastown United’s Riley Patterson took 3/68 from 15 overs.
Laurimar extended its Mash Shield record to a perfect 5-0 with a six-wicket win over Hurstbridge.
After bowling Hurstbridge out for 170 on day one, Laurimar kept the scoreboard ticking over steadily to chase down the total in 62.2 overs.
Ashley Williams top-scored for the Power, making 44 not out while Rian Boddy finished on 36 not out.
Laurimar travels to Bundoora Park this week while Whittlesea takes on Thomastown.