MT EVELYN and Warburton-Millgrove are fighting it out for the last spot in the YVCA DJ Strachan Shield finals entering the final day of the regular season this Saturday.
Warburton-Millgrove chose to bat first at Hoddles Creek and batted diligently after succumbing to Coldstream for a paltry 80 the previous week.
With young guns Nick Bark (4-49) and David Chesney (3-45) again leading the charge, the Wombats made some early inroads into the Burras' batting line-up.
The evergreen Mick Walker ensured that the visitors would reach a defendable total as his masterful 82, combined with Travis Appleton's disciplined knock of 30, led the team to a score of 191.
The Burras would be slightly disappointed that the tail end of their innings fell away and would be ruing a missed opportunity to bat their opposition out of the contest. But with Hoddles Creek perched at 1-19 overnight, this game could go either way as Warburton-Millgrove looks to close off the innings quickly, while the improving Wombats will be keen to finish a tough season with a win.
Mt Evelyn made a meal of day one in their encounter at Woori Yallock.
Batting first, the Rovers toughed out the first two hours of the day to be well set at 1-115 within 10 minutes of the tea adjournment.
With Troy Hancock (57), Brad Jones (26) and Chris Anderson (28) leading the way, the visitors looked set for a big total.
However, the wicket of Hancock was quickly followed by two others, including that of the explosive Kane Jones, to see the home team share the honours in the first session.
After tea, things went from bad to worse for the Rovers as wickets fell quickly against the tight off-spin of Simon Young (4-41) and the tearaway quick Jackson Wright (4-26); the visitors folded meekly for 159.
Like the Warburton-Millgrove versus Hoddles Creek clash, this game is evenly poised as the Tigers sit at 2-38 overnight with plenty of talent in the shed keen to make up for a disappointing season.
Seville flexed its muscles as it hosted fellow finals aspirant Coldstream as they gear up for another tilt at the title.
After a slight stutter at the beginning of the innings, the experienced Andy Kay (58) set about leading the home side to a decent first innings total as he teamed with captain Dean Troyhan (70) to have the Blues well set against a flagging Crocs attack.
The ever-reliable Matthew Jonson (5-52) did his best to keep the visitors in the contest, but his efforts were in vain as Matt Tilney (54 not out) cashed in on the work of his top order, to advance the score to an impressive 8-267.
In the final round 14 clash, Yarra Junction hosted Healesville in a game with no bearing on finals positions. The Bloods batted for most of the day to post a competitive 219, and although no batsman went on to a huge score, significant contributions from Scott Hamer (59), Jason Savage (51) and Geoff Stock (45) would have pleased captain Stephen James.
Brothers David (4-43) and Daniel Lever (4-88) ensured the Eagles wouldn't be chasing too much.
DJ Strachan Shield
Seville 8-267 (D Troyhan 70 A Kay 58 M Tilney 54no M Jonson 5-52) v Coldstream; Mt Evelyn 9-159 (T Hancock 57, C Anderson 28, J Wright 4-26, S Young 4-41) v Woori Yallock 2-38 (P Broussard 23no); Yarra Junction v Healesville 219 (S Hamer 59, J Savage 51, G Stock 45, Dave Lever 4-43, Dan Lever 4-88); Warburton-Millgrove 191 (M Walker 82 T Appleton 30 N Bark 4-49 D Chesney 3-45) v Hoddles Creek 1-19.