There's two rounds left to go as teams look to secure a spot in finals, with Melbourne leading the way in VSBL Division 4 East with a perfect record, hanging on for a narrow one-run win. Footscray Red and Footscray White are separated by less than one percent at the top of the North West competition while Cheltenham is first in the South with two other teams in hot pursuit.
Division 4 East
Waverley Wildcats Black 14 v St Kilda Saints 4
It was only in the last two innings of the game that the Wildcats Black got on the board, collecting seven runs in each of the third and fourth innings as they overcame the Saints who led 3-0 after two.
St Kilda managed one more onto the scoreline in the third but ultimately the Saints couldn't recover from the Waverley Black dominance through the second half of the game. Dean Ferris, Mark Flintoff, Jack Makeham and Dominic McGrath made a big difference for Waverley Black, a team that will finish in the top two with a strong 14-3 record ahead of the last two games.
The Wildcats have a game against Fitzroy Gold this weekend while for St Kilda, the Saints travel to Waverley to take on Wildcats Red as they need a win to enter the top four, now with a 6-9-1 record.
Fitzroy Lions Gold 10 v Monash University Farmers 14
The Farmers got out a 10-4 advantage after two innings, after a collective seven runs scored for the home team in the first.
Monash Uni extended the lead over Fitzroy by four runs at the bottom of the fourth to take a 10-run advantage into the fifth. That's when Fitzroy hit back with six, although it wasn't quite enough to turn the game around.
Monash Uni moved up a place in the standings, swapping with St Kilda as the Farmers are now fourth with a 6-7-3 record. Monash Uni plays undefeated Melbourne next while third-place Fitzroy won't be taking Waverley Black lightly as the Lions hold a 8-7-1 record with two rounds to go.
Blackburn Orioles 1 v Waverley Wildcats Red 14
Waverley Red's back-to-back seven-run innings in the second and third was more than enough to take this win over Blackburn, in a game where the Orioles still picked up a run, in the third inning.
The win sees Wildcats Red sitting sixth at 5-10-1 before playing St Kilda, with both sides wanting to keep in touch with the top four. Blackburn will be at home playing Malvern this weekend.
Melbourne Demons 5 v Malvern Braves 4
Malvern would be feeling unlucky at giving up this game to first place Melbourne as the Braves were in it all the way.
Malvern drew even at 2-2 at the bottom of the fourth and then got ahead 3-4 when the final out was made in the fifth inning.
The Demons put together a good dig at the top of the sixth where they scored two runs and performed well defensively to not allow the home side a sniff.
The Braves, who sit seventh with a 5-11 record, would've enjoyed the win here but will now need to travel to Blackburn to chase another victory. 16-0 Melbourne will host Monash Uni this weekend.
Division 4 North West
Mitchell Majors Yellow 4 v Footscray Bulldogs Red 5
Mitchell Majors Yellow found themselves behind by four runs when the first inning ended but they came back to score the bulk of their runs towards the end, in a tight, low-scoring game.
Footscray Red was 5-1 up heading into the fourth inning when Mitchell Majors Yellow scored one, and almost forced the game to continue in the fifth when they scored two, but that wasn't enough.
A win would've been beneficial to Mitchell Majors Yellow who sit fourth with a 10-6 record ahead of a meeting with North Coburg Maroon. Footscray Red is clinging onto top spot and face fellow top-four challengers North Coburg Gold next.
Footscray Bulldogs Blue 1 v North Coburg Rebels Gold 15
Footscray Blue claimed the first run of the day to open the game but that was all for the away side as North Coburg Gold took control of the rest of the game.
The runs truly started adding up in the third inning for Rebels Gold when they scored five to go along with the three they already had. They added two more in the fourth and another five in the fifth to end the game.
North Coburg Gold's win has them staying in third spot with a 9-5-1 record but they're not safe yet as they travel to Footscray to take on Bulldogs Red. Footscray Blue is in the middle of the table at 6-9 and travels to Fitzroy this weekend.
Mitchell Majors Black 3 v Essendon Bombers 2
Mitchell Majors Black held on for a one-run win against Essendon despite their runs coming in the very first dig of the game, and a spirited fightback from the Bombers towards the end.
Even though Mitchell Majors Black conceded two runs at the bottom of the fifth, the offence from them at the bottom of the decisive sixth inning saved them from defeat in a game where the defense were on fire from both sides.
The Bombers would've liked their fourth win of the season but remain in 10th place while Mitchell Majors Black sits one spot above them in ninth, tied with a 5-9-1 record with Fitzroy Blue. Mitchell Majors Black has the bye this weekend while the Bombers play the Jets.
Essendon Jets 10 v Fitzroy Lions Maroon 1
The Jets had a nice win over Fitzroy Maroon, set up by a six-run effort at the top of the first.
While Lions Maroon picked up a run at the bottom in reply, it was their only score for the game.
Essendon Jets scored three in the fifth and another one in the sixth before shutting out Fitzroy Maroon at the bottom, like they had for most of the game.
The 6-8-1 Jets have moved up a spot to sixth on the back of this result while Fitzroy Maroon slid out of the top four due to the loss. The Lions have a chance to re-enter the top four with a game against Footscray Blue this weekend whereas Essendon Jets take on the Bombers.
North Coburg Rebels Maroon 2 v Footscray Bulldogs White 23
Three seven-run innings from Footscray White with a two-run third inning in between was the basis of a huge win over North Coburg Maroon.
The Rebels did get on the scoreboard through two one-run digs in the third and fourth but couldn't muster up as much offense as their opponents.
Footscray White sits second with a 13-1-1 record, less than one percent away from first place which they'll be hoping to take over when they play Fitzroy Blue. North Coburg Maroon has a 1-15 and will play Mitchell Majors Yellow this weekend.
Fitzroy Lions Blue v BYE
Fitzroy Lions Blue had the bye but are out of finals contention as they sit eighth with a 5-9-1 record ahead of a clash with Footscray White at home this weekend.
Division 4 South
Melbourne Demons 6 v Cheltenham Rustlers 12
The Rustlers have kept first place with as their win column entered double digits, now at 10-1-1 heading into a matchup with Berwick next weekend.
Cheltenham led 4-3 after the first inning, and by the end of the second it was a 7-4 ballgame. Melbourne wold go on to score just two more runs compared to five for Cheltenham.
The Demons have now lost three in a row which sees them exit the top four, so 5-7 Melbourne will be hoping to re-enter that position after a meeting with Monash Uni. Cheltenham hosts Berwick this weekend.
Monash University Farmers 12 v Ormond Glenhuntly 5
Monash Uni jumped out to a quick lead after scoring the first run of the game in the first inning before doubling that tally in their third dig.
Ormond Glenhuntly shot away to a two-run lead for themselves at the bottom of the third after scoring four runs, but in the very next dig, the Farmers had the scores even again.
Throughout the fifth and sixth innings, the Farmers performed well, collecting four runs in each of their offensive opportunities to Ormond Glenhuntly's one addition to their score in the fifth.
A win would have been the fifth of the season and second in a row for Ormond Glenhuntly, but it wasn't to be. They'll hope to bounce back against St Kilda this weekend while for the Farmers, they take on Melbourne in a crucial clash that will determine more clearly where they'll finish come the end of the season.
12-2-1 Monash Uni is feeling confident ahead of finals. "Our team strengths are hitting consistency and bench atmosphere," Monash Uni Manager Michael Hibbert said. "Heading into finals, we just need to keep applying consistent scoring pressure from the start of the game."
Berwick City Cougars 10 v Pakenham Pumas 3
The Pumas held a two-run lead after their three-run reply to Berwick's one run in the second inning and carried a lead into the fourth inning, even when the Cougars scored another in the third.
Unfortunately for the Pumas, that three-run effort was all they could manage for their score as Berwick ended the final two innings of the game with three in the fourth and five in the fifth.
For the Pumas, they're 1-16 but won't have a chance to change that this weekend as they have the week off while for Berwick, they're right in the mix for a top-two finish, sitting third with a 12-3 record ahead of a fixture at Cheltenham.
St Kilda Saints v BYE
St Kilda had managed to stay in the top four despite the week off as their 6-6 record remains.
The Saints will take on Ormond Glenhuntly as they look to confirm their spot in the postseason.