Epping passed its latest test with flying colours as the side gets closer to breaking its Diamond Valley Cricket Association Barclay Shield finals drought.

Having not played finals since 2008-09 season, the Pingers have a good shot at returning to the top four, sitting second with two rounds to go.

On Saturday, the Pingers showed how far they had come with a win against North Eltham Wanderers.

The Pingers resumed at 4-45 in reply to the Wanderers’ 93.

Pingers coach Hussain Hanif Said that after day one he thought that the Pingers of old might have reappeared.

He said in the past the side would have likely lost the game.

“We needed to have a test and we got there in the end,” he said.

“We got the runs six down, so the win was quite comprehensive in the end. Eltham have a young attack and they are a side to watch in the future.”

Todd Hughes top-scored with 35, his equal top score of the season.

Hanif said it was John Lever who led the way.

Having taken 4-17 on day one, Lever made a handy 22 to help get his side over the line.

“Hitting a four in the first over helped and set the tone,” Hanif said.

“He has so much experience and is itching to play finals cricket again. He’s stepping up for the team with both his batting and bowling.”

Lever is the only player left from the Pingers’ last premiership in 2007-08.

Hanif said that with the warm weather and a couple of players having niggling injuries, it was an easy decision not to play on in a bid for  an outright win.

The Pingers currently sit second, 12 points behind first-placed Diamond Creek and six points clear of fifth-placed Lower Eltham.

Hanif said there was a real air of confidence around the club, with the results starting to flow its way with two tough matches to go.

“They are the ultimate tests,” he said. “Rosanna is sitting third and looking at a finals spot. And then we play Riverside, who are sitting seventh.”

As well as having some good wins in the Barclay Shield competition, the Pingers are through to the final four of the northern region T20 competition.

They will face Research Eltham Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Hanif said the Pingers had enjoyed the competition. He’s even taken to the field and said it had been a good way to get to know the players better.

One positive to come from the T20s has been Premier Cricketer Sunam Gautum joining the side as a guest player.

Hanif said Gautum had given the playing group a good insight into how to prepare for games.

In other results, Bundoora slipped out of the top four with a loss to Macleod.

Macleod made 4-181 in reply to the Bulls 170.