By Nick Creely
Narre South is dominating Turf 2 on an extraordinary level.
While there are certainly similarities to the 2017/18 season for the Lions, their incredible form simply can’t be ignored.
The Lions have scored almost 500 more runs and have taken five more wickets than the next best side in the competition, and on Saturday, their incredible ability to pile on big scores was once again on show.
Up against last year’s Turf 2 premiers, Narre North, the Lions overcame a slowish start to completely blow the Rams away.
Coming in at 3/27, class pair Scott Phillips and Jonty Jenner combined, and for the Rams, it spelt trouble.
The pair found a way to settle the early blows and accelerate, piling on 221-runs together in very little time to give the visitors an imposing total of 8/269 off 40 overs.
Phillips (105 off 80 balls) saluted his first century of the season with yet another incredible performance, while Jenner – the gun recruit – crunched a second ton of the season, finishing with 106 off 95 balls.
The pair combined for 24 fours and three sixes, forcing the Rams to chase the leather for the best part of three hours.
Despite the onslaught, new ball pair Joel Zietsman (3/29) and Nathan Wilson (3/34) bowled well for the Rams to keep them in the game.
The Rams lost gun all-rounder Ryan Hendy early, and after a steady flow of wickets, the home side managed to bat the overs out to finish on 8/145.
Scott Phillips (2/32) was once again a threat with the ball and now has 16 wickets at 12.2, while Morteza Ali (2/49) got things going in the middle overs.
Dingley, meanwhile, entrenched itself inside the top four with a phenomenal team effort against Cranbourne at Casey Fields.
For the second time this season, the Dingoes feasted on the Eagles, rolling the home side for 95 in 37 overs, after at one point restricting the visitors to 6/43.
Andrew Dalby (4/21) was once again the chief destroyer, after earlier in the season snaring 7/23 and 3/35 against the Eagles.
The Dingoes found the runs in just 12.4 overs, with openers Matt Hague (33 not out) and Luke Spears (58 not out off 38 balls) running down the target in brutal fashion.
Narre Warren were also big winners out of the round, holding off St Brigid’s/St Louis at Sweeney to surge into second spot.
The Magpies were 6/57 after being sent in to bat, but managed to claw their way to 8/128 off 40 overs, with Janaka Liyanabadalge (25) top-scoring amidst the brilliance of Liam Harris (5/21) with the ball.
The visiting team were bowled out for 117 in 36 overs, with Ben Ingham (2/23) continuing his excellent season, while Liyanabadalge (2/23), Shrimantha Fernando (2/11) and Dilusha Nanayakkara (2/19) took multiple wickets.
And an all-rounder masterclass to Ammar Bajwa guided Parkmore Pirates to a comfortable win against Dandenong West.
Bajwa crunched 65 in the first innings to guide his side to 6/200 off 40 overs, with skipper Anurudhdha Fonseka (42) providing valuable support.
Bajwa also took a star turn with the ball, snaring 4/39 as the Westers rolled over for 115 inside the 32nd over.
For the second consecutive week, premiership favourites Beaconsfield have been unable to claim the win, this time to an in-form Parkfield side at Dunblane Road.
Off the back of a terrific knock from Matt Goodier (77), the Bears clawed their way to 188, bowled out with just one ball remaining in the innings.
Jake Cutting (4/35) was damaging taking the new ball, while Jack Benbow (3/20) kept things tight with his left arm tweakers.
The Tigers got off to a strong start, with Brendan Johnson (42) getting the visitors off to a cracker, but the wickets tumbled at an alarming rate.
From 1/46, the Tigers were shot out for 104 in the 35th over, with the middle order unable to get going.
On a terrific day for the Bears, Travis D’souza (2/20) and Nico Jeffery (2/15) were outstanding all innings.
Silverton broke a run of tough form by knocking off Lynbrook at Marriott Waters Reserve.
The Lakers were rolled for 77, with Michael Ashman the destroyer with a stunning spell of 5/15 off just six overs.
The Bakers used as much time as possible to find the runs, with Jude Livera’s 31 helping them find the runs with 10 overs and five wickets to spare.
Keysborough, meanwhile, enjoyed a dominant win over Fountain Gate at Max Pawsey Reserve.
The Knights weren’t quite at their best with the bat but still managed to post a competitive total of 9/146, with Andre Peters (40) continuing his solid run at the top of the order.
Courtesy of Abhinay Motupalli (3/5), Matthew Moore (4/21) and Hennadige Fernando (3/16), the Gaters went from 0/33 to all-out for just 69, with the Knights absolutely rattling through the middle to late order.
And Lyndale rounded out the weekend with a strong victory against Coomoora.
The two fairly evenly matched sides did battle at Coomoora Reserve, with the visitors posting an imposing 7/214 off 40, with Girish Chopra in fine touch once again with a well-made 69 not out.
Despite the brilliant efforts of Rahoul Pankhania (59) and skipper Lance Baptist (63), the Kangaroos were bowled out for 189 with three balls to spare.
Kane McConchie (4/31) and Chanaka Wijewardena (4/30) bowled the visitors to victory, leaving them sitting comfortably in third position on the ladder.