By Nick Creely
Cameron Kelly has been part of premierships, starred on the MCG in the Regional Big Bash, bowled long and vital spells, and been the ultimate clubman for a long-period of time at his beloved Cranbourne.
And across a long career at the club – which includes thousands of runs and stacks of wickets at the Eagles – the loyal Cranbourne man celebrated his 200th senior game for the club on the weekend against Beaconsfield, becoming just the fifth person in the history of the club to achieve the milestone.
While it didn’t result in a Turf 2 win for the Eagles at Casey Fields in the Dandenong District Cricket Assosication, it’s certainly a moment to remember for Kelly, and the show of loyalty towards his club.
The Tigers won the toss and sent the Eagles in to bat, in a clash so crucial to the make-up of the ladder – a win for either side, or a loss, was so vital.
In his return year to the club, Tigers great Brad Miles was the star of the show, snaring 4/13 in his first roll of the arm this season, as the home side were dismissed for just 118.
Dean McDonell top-scored opening the batting with 31 for the Eagles.
The Eagles certainly had its moments with the ball, with Kelly snaring an early wicket, but a crucial hand at the top from Brendan Johnson (57 not out) was enough for the visitors to snag its most important win of the season, running away three wicket winners.
The win sees the Tigers leap into fourth spot on the table with only two rounds to go, but with plenty of pressure coming from fifth and sixth.
An absolute thriller, meanwhile at Sweeney Reserve saw Parkmore Pirates claw its way to a thrilling win against fifth-placed Narre Warren.
The Pirates put together a strong 8/219 off its 40 overs, with Aditya Ganesh (63) in the runs for the visitors, while with the ball, Nuwan Sampath (2/29) and youngster Josh Cooper (2/42) snared multiple wickets.
The home side gave it their all but were bowled out off the last ball of the game for 218, with Daniel Orchard (60) the main man at the top and Luke Clarke (38) providing a strong cameo.
And Hari Krishan’s electric form continued for Dandenong West at Barry Powell Reserve, with the Westers knocking off Lyndale.
Striking 87 – taking his season tally to 569 and 735 including Twenty20s – Krishan lifted the visitors to 8/187 but the Dales did some great work with the ball.
A horrible start from the Dales in the chase was enough for the Westers to roll the home side for 124, with veteran Peter Atkinson (3/25) once again absolutely outstanding with the new-ball.
And in the final game of the round, Dingley (4/176) were a class above Narre North (174) at home, with Matt Hague (73) once again in top-form for the Dingoes, who are now 12 points clear on top of the Turf 2 table.
In the Turf 3 competition, Silverton produced its most impressive win of the season to date, and at exactly the right time, knocking off fellow finals fancy Lynbrook and cementing itself into fourth position with a round to go.
In a finals-like battle at Fotheringham Reserve, the Bakers amassed 9/145 off its 40 overs as scoring proved difficult, with gun all-rounder Selva Tharaka (35) top-scoring at number three.
But the Bakers produced its best cricket with the ball, dismissing the in-form Lakers for just 75 in 29 overs, rummaging through the middle order brutally.
On a terrific day for the club as momentum continues to build, Wijenayake Weerarathna (4/21), Dimuth Weerasinghe (3/18) and Tharaka (3/16) were simply superb.
Parkfield, as expected got the job done against Coomoora, but the Roos showed plenty of spirit.
The Parkers racked up 7/158 off its 40 – a much improved bowling effort from the home side – with Anthony Stubbs (48) and Wayne Perera (44) doing the bulk of the damage with the bat.
The Roos battled hard to stay in touch, but were ultimately bowled out for 121, with Avisha Wilwalaarachchi (28) top-scoring.
Down at Springvale, the Demons were dominant in its clash against finals fancy Keysborough.
The in-form Demons were on song from the outset, rolling the Knights for 103, with Harmandip Sahota (4/19) absolutely sensational in his spell, while Sachintha Rajapakse (3/14) was the perfect foil in the first dig.
It took just 23.5 overs for the home side to run the total down and with just the loss of two wickets, with Nuwan Mendis (38) once again finding plenty of form with the bat with another assured hand.
In the final game of the round, Fountain Gate also had a dominant day against Berwick Springs at Max Pawsey Reserve.
The visitors were rolled for just 103, with Jasdeep Singh (3/20) the pick of the bowlers in a terrific new-ball display.
A blistering 55 from Gators skipper Stephen White was enough for the home to cruise to an eight-wicket win.