By Jackson Russell
Laurimar will host a Diamond Valley Cricket Association Mash Shield semi-final after holding onto second place with a win over Panton Hill while Whittlesea missed out by just half a game despite defeating South Morang.
Laurimar struggled early, losing both openers to fall to 2/9 before Daniel Roberts and Luke Richardson put on a 90-run partnership before Roberts was dismissed for 44, caught and bowled by Stephen Fitzgerald.
Richardson continued to make runs, putting together a 54-run stand with Rian Boddy before Boddy fell for 21 with Laurimar 4/153.
Richardson made 84 before he was dismissed with Laurimar 5/186.
Andrew Nicholls (14) and Ray Kelsey (7) put on 18 as the Power finished its innings at 5/204.
The Power were in control early, with wickets to Nathan Woods and Chris Marienfeld as Panton Hill fell to 2/22.
A 68-run partnership between Glenn Motschall and Josh Barton allowed the visitors to build some momentum before Marienfeld took the breakthrough wicket of Barton for 28.
Captain Jake Zerella ran out Will Ashton for three runs shortly after as Paton Hill fell to 4/103.
A 43-run partnership have the visitors a glimmer of hope before wicketkeeper Ned Welsh ended that, stumping Panton Hill captain Rick Ford for 25 off Luke Richardson.
Motschall was eventually bowled by Woods for 69 with Panton Hill 6/158 but it wasn’t enough as Panton Hill ran out of time, finishing their innings 15 runs short of the win.
Marienfeld finished with figures of 2/24 from sight overs while Woods took 2/33 from eight overs with two maidens.
Zerella said it’s good to go into the finals with a bit of confidence.
“We batted well with Richo [Luke Richardson] and Spud [Daniel Roberts] making runs. It’s good to have a lot of blokes in form going into finals,” he said.
“We had a really good bowling performances from Woods and Marienfeld. We put on some good pressure and Motschall is a gun bat so you’ve just got to bowl good line and length and be up and about in the field and you’re a good chance of getting the win.”
Laurimar will carry their form into a two-day semi-final against Hurstbridge at Laurimar Town Park over Labour Day weekend.
Laurimar got the better of Hurstbridge by six wickets in their only prior meeting in early December.
They’ve got a few good players so it’ll be a challenge,” Zerella said.
“If you don’t show them the respect then they’ll get the better of you. They’re a good side so we’ve got to show them a bit.”
Whittlesea’s season is over despite an 85-run win over South Morang at home.
A rough start had the Eagles 2/28 before Yasith De Silva and Corey Baker put on a 51-run partnership.
After Baker was dismissed for 18, De Silva and Suresh Fernando put on a 49-run partnership before De Silva was dismissed after making 74 off 76 balls with 10 boundaries including three maximums with Whittlesea 4/128.
Fernando fell next after making 52 as the Eagles continued to put together solid partnerships throughout their innings before finishing the 40 overs at 8/242.
Whittlesea stifled South Morang with the ball despite only taking four wickets, holding the visitors to 4/157 from 40 overs.
Rajitha Mendis took 2/23 from seven overs while Braydon Avola took 1/34 from eight overs and Corey Baker took 1/1 from one over.
Mernda suffered a 73-run loss to Banyule in its final Money Shield match.
The Demons bowled well, keeping Banyule to 6/170 from 40 overs with Cooper Perrin and James Baker taking two wickets each.
They couldn’t get the job done with the bat through, falling to 3/45 then losing wickets in pairs before finishing the innings on 9/97 from 40 overs.