By Jackson Russell
Mernda nabbed its second win of the season by the narrowest of margins, defeating Research Eltham Collegians by one run in a rain-affected two-day Money Shield match.
After finishing a rain-affected day one on 3/124, Mernda was able to make 188 before declaring and having a crack at Research’s batsmen.
After waiting a week to resume their innings, Mitchell Harris and Stuart Wright weren’t able hold onto their momentum, falling one after the other.
Wright was dismissed first for 27, followed by Harris for 31 as Mernda fell to 5/145.
Cooper Perrin and captain James Taylor were able to put together a 28-run partnership before Perrin was bowled out for 12.
At the 65 over mark, Mernda declared at 8/188 in the hopes of having enough time to bowl Research out.
After an early wicket, Research was able to get some momentum behind them with a 44-run partnership between Sean Lamb and Phillip Zumbo.
Both fell in quick succession as Research Eltham Collegians slumped to 5/88.
Research captain Joshua Turner (21) and Ben Davies (27) were able to put together a 33-run stand before Turner was dismissed leg before wicket.
Research wasn’t able to put together any strong partnerships, losing wickets consistently until Angus Turner was caught off Aaron Greenough for the last wicket, with Research just one run shy of the total.
Mernda shared the bowling load, with four players taking two wickets each.
Greenough took 2/58 from 15.5 overs with two maidens while Stuart Wright was efficient in just five overs, taking 2/4 with two maidens.
Mernda captain James Taylor said it was a bit tight for a while.
“We could’ve batted out our overs and brought the draw into the game,” he said.
“We didn’t get as many as we liked but backed ourselves to bowl them out and we did, just, but it was the right decision in the end.
“I asked a couple of the senior boys and we agreed to give them a chance to face the same amount of overs, and we happened to take the wicket in the second last over so it all worked out for us.”
Laurimar ran out of time to bowl Diamond Creek out in their Mash Shield match, which ended in a draw on Saturday.
After resuming at 5/134 thanks to a rain- delayed day one, Laurimar declared at 8/218.
Andrew Nicholls and Ned Welsh each made 29 before captain Jake Zerella called his batsmen in.
The Power made an impact with the ball almost immediately, dismissing opener Callum Dean for one before two big partnerships had Diamond Creek at 3/142.
A middle-order collapse saw the next three wickets fall quickly but it wasn’t enough for either side to get a result.
Nathan Woods took 2/31 from 10 overs with four maidens while Steven Mitchell took 2/21 from 11 overs with four maidens.
Whittlesea’s Mash Shield match against Greensborough also finished in a draw but not before Whittlesea could get perilously close to completing the run chase.
After finishing day one on 3/72, Greensborough stepped up its scoring and declared at 8/219 from 79 overs.
Whittlesea struck early in the day with Braydon Avola dismissing Matthew Lower leg before wicket with Greensborough 4/79.
Two big partnerships helped get Greensborough back on track.
John Perichon finished unbeaten on 77 while Yasith De Silva took 3/57 from 12 overs with one maiden.
Whittlesea only had half a day to bat, but put in a great effort to get just seven runs shy of the target.
In the end, the Eagles ran out of time, making 6/212 from 39 overs.
Suresh Fernando made 58 at a run a ball, while Brody Bell (48) and Rajitha Ratnayake (40*) also batted well.