WHITTLESEA and Laurimar will meet in a cut-throat Diamond Valley Cricket Association Mash Shield semi-final on Saturday after finishing third and fourth on the ladder respectively.
The season finished with a double round at the weekend as teams played round 14 on Saturday and rescheduled matches from round 12, which was abandoned due to COVID-19 lockdown, on Sunday.
Whittlesea closed out the home-and-away campaign with wins against South Morang and Thomastown United.
Once the Eagles broke a strong opening stand between South Morang batsmen Trent Harvey (52) and Steffan Thomas (36), the rest of the order crumbled, and the visitors were all out for 139 in just 25 overs.
Nathan Somerville produced one of the performances of the season with a blistering 8/30 from eight overs.
With plenty of time to reel in the total Whittlesea’s batsmen worked diligently, with Rajitha Ratnayake (71) leading the way and Corey Avola finishing unbeaten on 28 to reel in the total with six wickets in hand.
It was a similar story on Sunday, with Somerville taking 3/17 to lead the Eagles to a 9/157 to 84 thumping of Thomastown United to finish with nine wins.
Laurimar also finished on nine wins, dropping below the Eagles on percentage after a loss to Rosebank and a win against Thomastown.
The Power sent Rosebank in after winning the toss but failed to reap rewards from the decision after the home side blasted 3/205 from its 40 overs.
The Power made a good start to the run chase through captain Jake Zerella and fellow opener Ash Williams, who put on 73 for the first wicket.
But the runs were not flowing fast enough, and once the openers fell Laurimar did not have enough firepower to match Rosebank, finishing its 40 overs at 5/163.
The Power bounced back with a six-wicket victory on Sunday, with Williams (46) and Josh Deans-Draper (4/13) leading the way.
Laurimar has beaten Whittlesea in both meetings between the sides this season.
The winner of Saturday’s showdown will advance to the preliminary final to play the loser of top sides Rosebank and Panton Hill with a spot in the grand final on the line.
Mernda’s season finished with a win against Bundoora and a loss to Eltham in the Money Shield.
Against Bundoora the Demons were guided to 6/132 largely thanks to Jack McLagan, who scored a season-best 62 runs.
Despite McLagan’s form with the bat, Mernda still needed a strong bowling performance, and got one from Cooper Perrin. Perrin produced a five-wicket haul to decimate the Bundoora line-up, with support from the likes of Geordi Summers (1/19) and James Baker (2/21).
The result was Mernda’s fourth win of the season, which saw the Demons finish in eighth place