By Lance Jenkinson
With the stakes at their highest, Keilor came to play and secured a third consecutive finals berth in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division.
The Blues needed to beat St Albans to cement their finals run and they did it easily in a 77-run win at Joe Brown Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Keilor posted 251 on day one, thanks largely to the efforts of Kaushal Lokuarachchi with 75 off 123 balls and Robert Clements with 65 off 145 balls.
Lokuarachchi and Clements combined for a 125-run second wicket stand.
Late runs from Dinesh Daminda (45) and captain Daniel Stavris (33) turned it into a more imposing score for the Blues.
St Albans was bowled out for 174 in the 55th over.
Lokuarachchi was the main bowling weapon for Keilor with 3-36, Daminda, Upal Bandara and Vitaly Wilkinson snared two wickets each.
The fourth spot in the finals went to Sunshine United, the other newly promoted side this summer.
In division 1, PEGS had a stunning outright win over Keilor Park to book its place in the north conference finals.
PEGS set a massive target of 4-306 declared on the back of centuries from Kristian Dixon (126) and Samith Fernando (101 not out) and relegated Keilor Park had no answer, bowled out for 60 and 161.
PEGS will visit top ranked St Francis de Sales in the semi-finals.
Deer Park avoided relegation from the west conference with a four-wicket win over Laverton.
Angelo Emmanuel saved the Lions’ season with 7-52 off 28.4 overs and 62.
Hashan Wanasekara’s contribution of 76 not out in the run chase was also critical for the Lions.
In division 3, Sunshine finished the regular season as minor premiers after a cruisy 103-run win over Seabrook.
The Crows set a target of 202 after Asela Aluthge carved out a valuable 71.
Seabrook was skittled for 99 with Charith Fernando claiming 4-20 for the Crows.
Sunshine Heights qualified for the finals in third place after beating the top two sides in the run to the finals.
The Heights continued their strong form with a seven-wicket win over East Keilor in a game when Saman Gonawala belted 102 not out for the Heights.
Sunshine will host Williamstown Imperials in the semi-finals and Sunshine Heights play away to Point Cook.
In division 4, Grand United suffered a final round two-run defeat to St Andrews, but still qualified for the finals in third place.
The Saints made certain of their place in the division with the victory, which was led by Jack King (62), Akila Isanka (59) and James Draper (3-56).
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