The second round of Men's Victorian Premier Cricket matches played over the January Long Weekend saw grey, miserable conditions confront players and officials at the start of play, before conditions improved at most grounds to enable some form of game to commence (unfortunately this was not the case at Greenvale where the Greenvale Kangaroos vs Ringwood 1st XI match was washed out, while the same sad situation occurred at 2nd XI matches fixtured at Princes Park, University Main Oval and Shepley Oval).
In the matches that did occur, close results were the order of the day with several going down to the last over or even the last ball of the day.
At Toorak Park, Carlton continue to hold onto top position after a nail-biting 3-run win against Prahran. The visitors batting first setting the True Blues a target of 152 off 32 overs after a delayed start. Nick Ross (42), Harrison Smyth (33*) and Xavier Crone (31*) scoring well while Lachlan Bangs (2/11) was the pick of the True Blues bowlers. In reply, the hosts with Bangs (51) firing with the willow gave it their all but were left with Blake Parsons needing a 4 to tie or 6 to win off the bowling of Thomas Smyth but only a single was scored from. Cam Stevenson (2/23) and Matt Wilson (2/32) were the leading bowlers for the victors.
At Windy Hill, weather impacted the game between Essendon and Richmond even further with only 26 overs each available but the result saw the Bombers get home by 6 runs, coming away from the weekend with 2 wins from 2 games and fightback towards a chance of a Finals berth in progress. The Bombers batted first and made 5/158 with James Ryan (49*) and Aaron Ayre (35) batting well, while Tigers' debutant Joshua Carroll (3/28) bowled well. In reply, the Tigers tried hard with Scott Edwards (53) and Tim Goodman (32) keeping them in with a chance, but 2 wickets to each of Tom O'Donnell, Matt Doric and Connor Rutland left the Tigers needing a 6 to tie off the last ball but the end result being a dot ball.
At the CitiPower Centre, neighbours St Kilda and Melbourne faced off with the Demons coming away with a 5-wicket win. Batting first, the Saints struggled against the Demons attack and finished with a score of 127 with only Josh Manning (35) and Josh Bartlett (30) showing some form with the bat, while Kieran Elliott (5/11) was the pick of the bowlers. In reply, the Demons themselves found themselves in a spot of bother at 4/36 before a 86-run 5th wicket stand between skipper Blake Thomson (56*) and Fergus O'Neill (50) effectively guided the Demons home and to some valuable points. Josh Bartlett (2/26) was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts.
Other games today saw Northcote defeat Frankston Peninsula by 5 wickets, Footscray sneak home on the last wicket against Kingston Hawthorn, Fitzroy Doncaster upset Melbourne University, Dandenong blitz the Camberwell Magpies (with James Pattinson making a welcome return to the Panthers' team) and Geelong account for Casey-South Melbourne.
Kookaburra Men's Premier FirstsRound 8Green Kang drew Ringwood (abandoned), Fitz Donc 7(cc)-173 (Korkolis 60 Stafford 4-27) def Melb Uni 76 (Fletcher 3-9 Alavi 3-24), Carl 5(cc)-151 (Ross 42 H Smyth 33no Crone 31no) def Prah 8-148 (Bangs 51), Ncte 5-157 (Rushton 48no Baker 42no) def Frank Pen 9(cc)-155 (Symons 55 Hammel 37 Lalor 3-19 Topp 3-23 Edwards 3-24), Dand 7(cc)-159 (Forsyth 46 Russ 3-20) def Camb Magpies 95 (McMaster 4-19 Pattinson 3-14), Melb 5-128 (Thomson 56no O'Neill 50) def St Kilda 127 (Manning 35 Bartlett 30 Elliott 5-11), Foots 9-166 (Sartori 36 Grenville 4-19) v King Haw 9(cc)-166 (Sathyajith 59no Lewis 54 Roosenboom 4-26 Coleman 3-37), Geel 8(cc)-247 (Vines 73 Jackson 50 McDonald 46 Dilshan 3-49) def Casey-SM 219 (Chandrasinghe 85 Benedek 55 Garner 4-37 McGlinchey 3-27), Ess 5(cc)-158 (Ryan 49no Ayre 35 Carroll 3-28) def Richmond 9-152 (Edwards 53 Goodman 32), Kookaburra Men's Premier SecondsRound 8Ringwood 7(cc)-151 def Green Kang 6(cc)-150 (Burton 55), Melb Uni drew Fitz Donc (abandoned), Carl drew Prah (abandoned), Frank Pen 4-160 (Kranzbuhler 60 Mann 40no) def Ncte 158 (Mikedis 80no Drummond 3-27), Dand 0-0 drew Camb Magpies (abandoned), Melb 2-127 (Buxton 91no) def St Kilda 126 (Gribben 46no McGillivray 4-28), King Haw 8-260 (Marnie 61 Donaldson 61 Newell 33 Birthisel 3-31) def Foots 9(cc)-258 (Beniwal 74 Caulfield 69 Mihelakos-James 43 Sathyajith 3-39), Geel 3(cc)-258 (Riding 133no Blackford 58 Peake 36) def Casey-SM 9-126, Richmond 5-62 def Ess 58 (Padmanabhan 4-27 Keast 3-4),