Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival 2018

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***   UPDATE:    22 FEBRUARY 2018   ***

TOURNAMENT DRAW.

There have been no changes to the Draft Draw posted to team managers and officials on 14 February. That draw becomes the Final Draw, which is now posted HERE, and in print form under the Draw and Results menu tab.

RAFFLES.

As mentioned earlier, host club Ballarat City Brewers will be running some attractive raffles during the weekend – particularly during the Friday Night Happy Hour. Among the prizes will be a Victus Pro-Reserve Maple Bat (see below) donated by Ausport Superstore. Should that raffle be won by a youngster, say, for whom the bat may not be appropriate, Ausport has offered to provide a gift voucher of comparable value as an alternative.

The Ausport van will be on site at Prince of Wales Reserve during the tournament. If any individual, club or association has a specific request for equipment or quantities that they would like to be available, please contact Ausport direct on 03 97641511 or email sales@ausport.com.au.

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WHITE NIGHT.

For those who are not already aware, White Night Ballarat will be held on the Saturday night, offering heaps of entertainment and attractions for both residents and visitors to the city.

FURTHER INFORMATION.

Scroll down for further information relating to game times, rules, finalisation of team entry and the like. If there is anything further that you need to clarify, please let me know. A final update will be issued a week or so out from the tournament.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

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***   UPDATE:   14 FEBRUARY 2018   ***

The following update has today been emailed to team managers, contacts and officials.

DRAW.

A proposed Carnival Draw has been forwarded to Team Managers and officials for their perusal. We have tried to consider all special requests in formulating the Draw, although it is obviously not possible to achieve 100 per cent absolutely delighted approval among the 21 teams entered.

If Managers spot any errors, clashes or inconsistencies – or if there is a relatively easy way to accommodate any potential change, please let me know as soon as possible.

All teams have pretty much the same home and away allocation. All have at least one game on the main ground. No-one has more than two on the main ground.

Sloths, Pandas, Doncaster, Murray Cods, Big Cat Tomatoes and Tassy Tigers have all entered two teams. We have avoided clashes for those teams, so that they can use older players in their younger age group if they choose.

All teams will play four preliminary games, with finals on the Sunday. Finals in 45 Plus and 35 Plus will be played between the top two finishing teams. If teams in those groups are level on win percentage after the preliminary games, Rule 6 will be used to split them (IE on head to head if it can be applied, before runs scored against are taken into account).

All teams have a doubleheader on either the Friday or Saturday except Newport 35 Plus, which has drawn two games on the Sunday morning. With an odd number of teams in that group, one Sunday doubleheader was necessary to ensure that every team would be playing into the final day.

We have tried to minimise time between games of any doubleheader.

GAME TIMES.

All games are ninety minutes, including finals, with the Ten Run Rule applying to all. Preliminary games have the five minute and ten minutes rules in place (see Tournament Rule 2).

Friday games are scheduled to start at 8.45, with half an hour between each. The night game will run from 7.30 to 9.00. For Saturday, there is an extra time slot, with games starting at 8.15 AM and only fifteen minutes between games. Because of the tight schedule, teams are asked to apply flexibility in changeover (for example, if a team is playing a doubleheader on the same ground and is home team for one and away for the other game, then it would stay in the same dugout).

FRIDAY NIGHT HAPPY HOUR.

Day games on the Friday will finish around 6.15. Happy Hour will run from 6.30 until 7.30 (around start time of the night game). Ballarat City Brewers have again agreed to provide half-priced drinks for the Happy Hour, which will include a free barbecue for all players, officials and team personnel.

Whether they are playing in the last time slot or not, all teams and supporters are encouraged to join us for the Happy Hour, enjoy some Carnival hospitality and be around for raffle draws of some really attractive prizes – including the Ausport contribution and some hospitality packages being arranged by the Brewers club. 

RULES.

Rules have been updated on the website and are in printable form.

AUSPORT SUPERSTORE.

Victoria’s long-serving supplier of baseball and softball merchandise will be on site at Prince of Wales over the weekend. Ausport has supported us by contributing an attractive prize towards one of the raffles that the Ballarat Brewers will be drawing during the Happy Hour – a Victus Maple Pro-Reserve bat retailing at $ 270, or an Ausport voucher to the same value.

If any person, any club or any association has a particular request for equipment or merchandise they would like to be available over the Carnival weekend, please contact Ausport directly on 039 7641511 or email sales@ausport.com.au.

TEAM LISTS AND ENTRY.

Most teams have by now finalised team lists and entry payment for the Carnival. If you have not done so, please arrange this as soon as possible. Players can be added to team lists right up until they play their first game.

GROUNDS AND SURROUNDS.

The local clubs have been watering and working on their grounds to ensure that they will be in their best possible condition for the series.

I will post another update during the next ten days to fortnight. In the meantime, please let me know if there is any information or any assistance that you require at this point.

Best wishes to all.

Kingsley Collins (Carnival Administrator)

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***   VICTORIAN MASTERS UPDATE:    29 JANUARY 2018   ***

UPDATE:   29 January 2018

Around six and a half weeks out from the twenty-second staging of this unique Masters baseball event, just a few matters that should be brought to everyone’s attention.

TEAMS AND AGE GROUPS.

Twenty-one teams have entered for the 2018 Masters Carnival. This is up by one from the twenty in 2017. The Bees will unfortunately not be with us this time – after being a regular and valued participant for the past umpteen years that has offered us all sorts if entertainment value and photo opportunities.

However, we extend a warm welcome to new entries in Rebels (35 Plus) and a second Cods team (in 45 Plus).

50 PLUS:   Coburg, Big Cat Tomatoes, Tassy Tigers, Sandringham

45 PLUS:  Bendigo, Cheltenham, Cods, Diggers, Pandas, Sloths, Fitzroy and Doncaster.

35 PLUS:  Pandas, Newport, Sloths, Big Cat Tomatoes, Red Sox, Rebels, Doncaster, Cods and Tassy Tigers

DRAW.

Each team will play four preliminary games, with finals on the Sunday afternoon. In 50 Plus and 45 Plus, every team will have a doubleheader, either on the Friday or Saturday, with their fourth preliminary game on Sunday morning. Because of the uneven number of teams (nine) in 35 Plus, one team is likely to draw two games on the Sunday morning (only one on each of Friday and Saturday).

Drawing of that team will be done at random and hopefully should be no big issue – even though it is less than ideal. However, if your 35 Plus team has a preference for the Sunday doubleheader (for whatever reason), then please let me know ASAP.

With a large number of games to be crammed into three days, teams can expect that playing action will start early each day (8.00 – 8.30 am) and will run through until dusk. There will be one Friday night game, starting around 7.00 - 7.15 pm.

We will again aim to take into account special requests (EG presentation night for summer clubs that particular weekend, travelling factors etc). A Draft Draw will be posted in mid to late February.

AUSPORT SUPERSTORE.

Victorian baseball interests are familiar with the Ausport company, which has been meeting baseball needs since 1964. We are pleased to welcome Ausport as on-site merchandiser for the 2018 Victorian Masters. Ausport has done us a generous deal on baseballs and has kindly donated a Victus Maple Pro Reserve BS23 Black/Cherry Baseball Bat that will be one of the attractive items raffled by the Ballarat City host club during the weekend.

The Ausport van will be on site at Prince of Wales Reserve over the Carnival weekend. We encourage all teams, clubs or individuals requiring baseball equipment to speak to the Ausport staff for a decent deal. If there any specific requirements that players or clubs might have (EG bulk supply of baseballs for winter, apparel, cleats etc), it would be an idea to contact Ausport beforehand so that the merchandise can be brought along and made available at Ballarat.

Ausport contact and web details:  0397641511   sales@ausport.com.au      http://www.ausport.com.au/

WHITE NIGHT AND ACCOMMODATION.

After White Night is held in Melbourne on Saturday 17 February, it will be celebrated in Ballarat exactly one month later – that is, on Saturday 17 March, in the middle of the Masters Carnival. While most baseball squads will probably have organised accommodation already, any who have not would be well-advised to do so as soon as possible in anticipation of an influx of White Night tourists that weekend.

UMPIRES.

As mentioned earlier, Greg Howard will be coordinating our team of umpires this year.

FRIDAY NIGHT HAPPY HOUR.

Whether teams are playing the last Friday time slot or not, all players, officials and supporters are invited to join us at the traditional Happy Hour for some cut-price drinks and a free feed. This time around, the Ballarat Brewers club will be conducting some decent quality raffles – including for the Victus Maple bat – that will be drawn during Happy Hour and the night game.

TEAM ENTRY AND PLAYER LISTS.

Thank you to all of those teams who have entered their team lists and/or entry payment. Please keep all of those rolling in, and remember that players can be added or deleted right up until a team plays its first game. Entry Form and payment procedures are available to the right of the website.

GROUNDS AND SURROUNDS.

All three local clubs have already been putting in the time and effort to ensure that the grounds should be in their best possible condition for the Carnival series. We are currently negotiating with City of Ballarat to help ensure their continued support of an event that has delivered significant economic benefit to the city over a long period of time.

Let me know if you require any further information or assistance in your planning for the Carnival.

Best wishes.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator, Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival)

03 53329202    0488 735297      kcollins@iprimus.com.au

http://www.vicmasters.baseball.com.au/          https://www.facebook.com/vic.masters.98

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***   VICTORIAN MASTERS UPDATE:   16 JANUARY 2018   ***

A Happy New Year to everyone. May 2018 be a ripping year for the Masters baseball fraternity!

Thank you to all who have contacted us regarding participation at the 2018 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival, which will be held from Friday 16 March to Sunday 18 March.

We are again aiming to offer three age groups – 35 Plus, 45 Plus and 50 Plus. Team commitments have already been received from the following:

Big Cat Tomatoes (35 Plus, 45 Plus)

Rebels (35 Plus)

Pandas (35 Plus and 45 Plus)

Red Sox (35 Plus)

Tassy Tigers (35 Plus, 45 or 50 Plus)

Sandringham (45 Plus)

Bendigo Dragons (45 Plus)

Sloths (35 Plus and 45 Plus)

Golddiggers (45 Plus or 50 Plus)

Coburg (50 Plus)

Cheltenham (45 Plus)

Newport (35 Plus)

Cods (35 Plus)

With a few more of our regular teams again expected to enter, we are looking at over 20 teams total (24 is the maximum).

50 PLUS.

Offering this age group is a priority for us, because it will help enable players to stay actively involved against their older peers. It has worked well over the past two years, although there will need to be at least four teams to make it viable. With the flexibility of being allowed two players under 50 in the squad, some teams who have opted for 45 Plus might prefer to choose the older option.

Please let me know as soon as possible if your team would qualify to play in 50 Plus. If we cannot get the minimum of four teams for 50 Plus, then we will revert to 45 Plus being the oldest group.

TEAM ENTRY.

I have attached a Team Entry form (which is also available on the Carnival website). Entry is required by 26 January. Even if entry payment is not made until a later date, we will need to finalise team entries by the end of January to start working on the draw.

UMPIRES.

A long-term supporter of Masters baseball, Greg Howard will be Umpires’ Coordinator for 2018, taking over from Kevin McMurrugh – to whom we again extend our thanks for his involvement over many years. We look forward to again having a terrific, well-credentialed, fun-loving group of blues on board!

HOST CLUB.

Ballarat City Brewers will again be host club for the Carnival. Club Vice-President Peter Jacobsson is providing enthused leadership to a group that we know will again excel themselves as hosts over the weekend. The club is planning some extra initiatives including some high-quality raffles to be drawn during the Friday night Happy Hour.

HAPPY HOUR.

The Happy Hour will again be held immediately after the last scheduled games on the Friday. All players, officials and supporters are cordially invited to stick around or to return for some cut-priced drinks and a free feed of barbecue and salads. Even if your team is not playing in the late games or the Friday night game, please consider joining us for a bit of fun before the serious socialising begins.

FRIDAY NIGHT GAME.

There will be one game on Friday night, starting at 7.00 pm or thereabouts. We have one expression of interest already, and would obviously prefer to schedule the game between two interested teams. Please speak to your group about this, and let me know if your team is keen, or even simply willing to play the Friday night fixture.

SPECIAL REQUESTS.

As always, in doing the draw, we will seek to consider any special requests – although it is difficult to please everyone with a tight schedule and so many games to be crammed into three days.

IN SUMMARY.

Please confirm your team entry and the age group for which you wish to enter (especially if there is any change to what is listed above). The Team Entry form should be forwarded by 26 January 2018. Payment can be made with the entry or at a later date. The player list can be changed at any time prior to a team playing its first game at the Carnival.

Is your team prepared to play the Friday night game?

Please let me know if you require any further information in your planning for the series.

Further updates will be posted in the weeks to come.

Best wishes.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

03 53329202        0488 735297

http://www.vicmasters.baseball.com.au/   https://www.facebook.com/vic.masters.98

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***   VICTORIAN MASTERS UPDATE:   DECEMBER 2017   ***

Thank you to all of those team contacts who responded to our November update on the 2018 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival.

Early indications are that we will again be joined by a host of Masters teams, players, officials and supporters for the 2018 event, which will be held at Prince of Wales Reserve Ballarat over Friday 16 March to Sunday 18 March.

As usual, we will seek to accommodate specific team requests taking into account travelling factors, Summer League Presentation Nights and other preferences - including where two or more squads are entered under the same team identification. While it may not possible to please everyone, we will do what we can.

We will again be offering competition in three age groups – 35 Plus, 45 Plus and 50 Plus.

CARNIVAL ENTRY is now open, with procedures posted on the Carnival website. We request that Team Entry be completed by Friday 26 January 2018. Players can of course be added or deleted at any time after that date and prior to a team’s first game.

CARNIVAL RULES are available on the Carnival website. Although the rules will be reviewed early in the New Year, we do not expect any substantial change to what has served us pretty well over the past twenty-one years. We expect one minor addition to the baseball uniform requirement that will allow any team to have one player suited up in rookie or “mascot” baseball garb if it wishes (within the bounds of reasonable good taste, of course).

UMPIRES AND COORDINATION. Over the years we have been wonderfully supported by an umpiring fraternity that has embraced the spirit of Masters and invariably has a fun time at the Carnival. Their contribution is always very much valued appreciated. Long-time supporter of Masters Kevin McMurrugh has reluctantly opted to stand down as Umpires’ Coordinator, so we are looking for a person to fill his distinguished Blues Shoes. 

HOST CLUB. Ballarat City Brewers will again be the host club and is already planning some additions and refinements to their role that should help make the Carnival an even more enjoyable event in 2018.

I will post a further update early in 2018. In the meantime, please let me know if there is any information or any assistance that you might need in your preparation for the Carnival.

Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy holiday period!

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

0488 735297       03 53 329202

http://www.vicmasters.baseball.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/vic.masters.98

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***   VICTORIAN MASTERS UPDATE:  NOVEMBER 2017   ***

Time gets away all too quickly. It is now less than four months until the annual Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival – which will be held for the twenty-second time in 2018.

The Carnival is scheduled for three days – Friday 16 March to Sunday 18 March (inclusive). Barring catastrophe, it will again be played at Prince of Wales Reserve, Gillies Street Ballarat.

With at least two new teams already committed, we are looking at up to twenty-four sides, which is the maximum number that can be comfortably accommodated over the three days.

We expect to again offer three age groups – in 35 Plus, 45 Plus and 50 Plus. At least four teams will be required in any group for that competition to proceed.

As usual, we ask that prospective entries make a team commitment prior to Christmas this year.

Entry forms and procedures will be posted via our website, email and social media in early January, with team lists and entry payment to be finalised by early February. Entering teams can of course add or delete players right up until their first game.

We will again be looking to involve as many as possible of the umpiring fraternity in helping us out over the Carnival. While teams are not required to bring an umpire, we will certainly appreciate and follow up any suggestions of who might be available – whether or not they are involved with participating teams.

As always, umpires will be paid for their services.

Managers and contacts can stay in touch with Carnival developments on our website and Facebook page.

Please let us know of your team’s intentions as soon as you are able. And feel free to offer any suggestions or make any comments about conduct of the Carnival as you see fit.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kingsley Collins (Administrator)

03 53329202     0488 735297

http://www.vicmasters.baseball.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/vic.masters.98

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The 2018 Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival has been scheduled for Prince of Wales, Ballarat, from Friday 16 March to Sunday 18 March (inclusive). While these dates are still to be formally approved by City of Ballarat, we do not expect any issue in that regard since there is no clash with any other major event.

An update will be forwarded to Masters contacts and posted online in weeks to come. While fundamental structure of the twenty-second Carnival will remain the same, what we can say is that there are some interesting enhancements for the weekend already being considered.

Coburg, Diggers, Pandas take Masters honours

***  Scroll down for an update of Carnival images   ***

***  For those who missed it, you can hear our Tournament Preview on The Big Show, 3BA Radio  *** 

It was a third salubrious, warm and sunny day at Prince of Wales Reserve today, and we were treated to another wonderful display of Masters baseball that could not have been scripted better – with age groups slugging it out until mid-afternoon in their bid to qualify for a finals berth.

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Getting past Fitzroy in its 50 Plus Semi-Final, Coburg downed Big Cat Tomatoes 4-0 in a hard-fought final after Tassy Tigers were eliminated from contention in the morning semi.

Long-standing Masters outfit Golddiggers went through the preliminary games unbeaten and took the 45 Plus title 5-2 over a quality Pandas team in the final – although competition for a finals berth in this group was quite extraordinary, with five teams from eight having a realistic shot coming into the final day.

An outstanding Pandas combination made it three on the trot in 35 Plus by downing Big Cat Tomatoes 10-1 in the final, after bold showings by several other teams including Doncaster, Sloths and Cods – who came home strongly with a big win over Tassy Tigers.

Congratulations to all winners.

Brilliantly played by all twenty teams, who again contested and supported the tournament in the unique spirit of Masters baseball that has captured the hearts and minds of so many people. 

Thank you to the terrific group of umpires who helped us out this year and well done to the local club stalwarts who worked well above and beyond to deliver the ground maintenance, facilities preparation and catering that is always so important to success of this tournament.

The workers know who they are. Thank you, one and all.

A more comprehensive report, with a bank of images, will be posted over the next day or two – after all involved enjoy a well-earned drink or several.

Finally, on a more sombre note, we extend our condolences to Michael Darcy and his family on the sad passing of Michael’s dad just a couple of days ago. The Darcy family have been wonderful baseball people over several decades. Our thoughts are with them.

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DAY TWO

Played in picture perfect conditions at Prince of Wales Reserve, Day Two of competition produced its share of thrills and spills as all sides revelled in the delightful conditions – shaking off any lingering effects of a late Friday evening spent discussing team tactics over a shandy or a glass of lemonade.

High-scoring was the order of the day, with doubles, triples and home runs – including an in-the-park salami – having a horde of supporters on its collective feet baying for more as all sides made a desperate bid to jockey themselves into a position from which to contest the very mildly coveted tournament silverware and moth-eaten wooden shields up for grabs.

A perennial finalist since its initial entry to the series more years ago than we care to remember, Coburg remains undefeated in the 50 Plus division after two big wins that secured its Semi-Final berth against fourth-placed and thus far winless Fitzroy – also a stalwart of Masters baseball. Big Cat Tomatoes dropped a morning game against the Burgers and will meet Tassy Tigers in the other Semi-Final, with the two winners playing off for the title.

A fascinating situation has developed in the 45 Plus group, where Golddiggers and Pandas remain undefeated after three games, with Cheltenham, Bendigo and Sandringham just off the pace with two wins and a loss apiece. Sunday morning games will be vital to the determination of which two teams will finish atop the ladder and will go through to the Sunday afternoon final. Although out of playoff contention, Doncaster may come out breathing fire (probably spirit-induced) on the morrow, while the Sloths may yet awaken from their torpor and the Bees could build upon their half-stung Saturday performances.

Similarly in 35 Plus, Sunday games will be vital to several sides – notably the undefeated Big Cat Tomatoes and surprise packet Doncaster, which holds second by a whisker ahead of short-priced tournament favourite Pandas, who will need to beat the Dragons to earn another shot at another Masters title. As in the 45 Plus group, there are other teams lurking in the wings that may yet exercise serious influence – including Cods (one and two), an offensively potent Newport, a highly competitive Tassy Tigers and a Red Sox outfit keyed up to finish on a high note.

Another perfect day is in prospect for the final day of competition. While tournament emphasis is fairly and squarely on participation and having fun with and against baseball friends, we can expect some outstanding baseball to be played – especially in a 35 Plus group that involves many elite players who take great pride in their performances and will still be out there to compete to the best of their considerable abilities.

The series, as always, has been played in fantastic spirit. Best wishes to all for wrapping up the Carnival in a brilliant fashion – under blue skies at Prince of Wales, the birthplace of Victorian Masters baseball.

Day Two scores are displayed to the right of this page. Scroll down for a selection of images from Saturday games.

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DAY ONE

Bright sunshine – albeit accompanied by a cool breeze – set the tone for a brilliant weekend of game play and socialising to come when the twenty-first Victorian Masters Baseball Carnival opened proceedings at Prince of Wales Reserve today.

After fifteen games completed across the three age groupings, spirits are high among a throng of over 350 players, along with supporters and officials joining in another celebration of the role of Masters baseball in our lives.

Competition is already intense and certainly interesting in all age groups.

Undefeated after two games, Big Cat Tomatoes are looking strong in 50 Plus, although perennial contenders Coburg are hot on their heels along with Fitzroy and Tassy Tigers – who both took it right up to the Tomatoes.

A free-scoring Goldiggers unit leads the 45 Plus division in conjunction with Bendigo Dragons and Pandas - who are both unbeaten after two – while Big Cat Tomatoes are making the early running in 35 Plus in a star-studded group that could see any team emerge as a contender when hostilities are resumed on Saturday.

Day One results are posted to the right of this page.

A more comprehensive report, along with a bank of Carnival images, will be posted here on Saturday evening.

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Day Three Results

50 PLUS  
Coburg   10 Fitzroy   2
Big Cat Toms   4 Tassy Tigers   2
FINAL
COBURG   4 BIG CAT TOMATOES   0
45 PLUS  
Doncaster   9 Bees   7
Diggers   8 Bendigo Dragons   5
Sandringham   10 Sloths   5
Pandas   12 Cheltenham   5
FINAL
DIGGERS   5 PANDAS   2
35 PLUS  
Red Sox   7 Newport   2
Pandas   9 Doncaster   4
Cods   7 Tassy Tigers   0
Big Cat Toms   17 Sloths   2
FINAL
PANDAS   10 BIG CAT TOMATOES   1

Day Two Results

50 PLUS  
Coburg   8   Big Cat Tomatoes 4
Fitzroy   1   Coburg 14
Tassy Tigers   10   Fitzroy 1
45 PLUS  
Sloths   1   Diggers 8
Bendigo Dragons   1   Cheltenham 10
Sloths   4   Cheltenham 12
Pandas   17   Bees 2
Doncaster   5   Sandringham 10
Sandringham   7   Bees 1
35 PLUS  
Doncaster   16   Cods 1
Big Cat Tomatoes   15   Newport 2
Tassy Tigers   6   Doncaster 10
Red Sox   0   Pandas 10
Pandas   19   Sloths 7
Sloths   10   Red Sox 9

Day One Results

50 PLUS

   
Fitzroy   1   Big Cat Tomatoes 3
Big Cat Tomatoes   4   Tassy Tigers 3
Tassy Tigers   5   Coburg 15
45 PLUS  
Pandas   7   Sandringham 3
Doncaster   1   Diggers 18
Doncaster   4   Pandas 8
Diggers   9   Cheltenham 5
Bendigo Dragons   13   Bees 3
Bendigo Dragons   5   Sloths 0
35 PLUS  
Big Cat Tomatoes   4   Tassy Tigers 1
Big Cat Tomatoes   15   Cods 3
Tassy Tigers   9   Sloths 11
Cods   9   Red Sox 4
Newport   4   Doncaster 7
Pandas   5   Newport 5

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