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Brad Cox century sets up important Coalfields Cup victory

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Coalfields Cup 40-over cricket action returned at the weekend, with Brad Cox providing the individual highlight of the 12th round.

The PCH wicket-keeper batsman smashed a magnificent century to guide his side to an important victory against fellow Singleton club Creeks at Howe Park.

In pursuit of their healthy total of 2-215, Cox faced the first delivery and accumulated runs at a healthy rate, reaching his second career top grade ton with 12 boundaries, while clearing the picket fence on one occasion.

He was eventually dismissed for 112 from just 99 balls.

As well, he shared in a 191-run partnership with his brother Jackson (80no), who was at the crease at the end.

Earlier in the day, Creeks’ tally was predominantly made up from openers Clint Harman (93) and Chris Unicomb (48), with Myles Cook (26) also scoring freely.

Matt Pearce was the pick of the PCH attack with 2-48 off his eight overs.

With the Cox brothers’ fine partnership in reply, Bayden Mullholland (1-32 off 5) and Daniel Tracey (1-49 off 8) took the wickets for Creeks.

The win catapulted PCH to second place on the Coalfields Cup ladder.

With the more favourable run home of all teams in contention, they should – barring a disaster – finish in the same spot and get two bites at the cherry in this year’s major/minor semi-final format.

Greta/Branxton squandered the opportunity to tie down second place when they went down to Bellbird by 27 runs at Carmichael Park.

The hosts batted first and posted 9-203.

Most batsmen made starts, with skipper Joey Main (38), Jason Orr (34), Matt Thomson (25), Stef Durie (18), Rob Drage (17), Joey Barber (16) and Ben Fairlie (14) all contributing.

Greta/Branxton’s Alex Walkling (3-52 off 8) and Darren Thomson (2-42 off 8) were the pick of the bowlers.

The Blues’ top order struggled for momentum in reply.

But, a cameo appearance from veteran Greg Andrews in the lower order brought them back into the game.

He was eventually out for 43, thanks to support from Jace Lawson and Chris Murray, who scored 22-apiece.

Connor Thomson made 16, with Mark Bercini scoring a scratchy 31 at the top of the order.

Billy Orr (3-45 off 7), Jason Orr (2-41 off 7) and Barber (2-6 off 3.3) were Bellbird’s best three with the four-piece.

The win elevated Bellbird into third place on the ladder, Greta/Branxton now drops back to fourth and must win their final two games to be ensured of a semi-final berth.

Wine Country stayed alive when they accounted for Glendon by four wickets.

Playing at Allandale for the first time this season, the Wood Ducks surpassed the set target in the 37th over.

Sam Peacock (64) played with control in his well-made half century, while Jason Ambrose (40), Drew Olsen (18) and Luke Jeans (15no) did enough to ensure they stayed in the race for the premiership.

Skipper Jack Turner replaced the wicket-keeping gloves for the four-piece for Glendon, and did not disappoint by taking 4-16 off five overs.

Earlier in the day, they were dismissed for 150, with Turner capping a fair day out with his team’s top score of 42.

Anthony Bailey (25), Drew Nelson (16) and Dan Higgins (15) were next best, while for the home side Rob Sidebottom (3-23 off 5), Ben Wood (2-25 off 7.5) and Luke Jeans (2-27 off 5) kept a lid on things.

Glendon is now out of the race, but will be looking to upset a couple of other teams’ chances in the remaining two rounds.

In the final game, Valley/JPC went a step closer to wrapping up the minor premiership with a seven-wicket thrashing of the Piranhas at Cook 3.

The visitors were all out for 119 batting first, with Ryan Fox (34), veteran club president Tom Lantry (25), James Collins (14) and Josh Cameron (13) providing the bulk of the runs.

Liam Storey (3-19 off 5) and Dave Moorcroft (3-17 off 6) took a treble of wickets each, with Luke Dempster continuing on his good bowling form with 2-21 off six with the new ball.

Just seven days after winning the inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 tournament, Valley/JPC cruised to victory inside 18 overs after losing just the three wickets.

Jacob Carey returned to form with an unbeaten 44, with Alex Thrift notching 33 in his maiden match for the joint venture.

Mewa Jeetarwal (26) was the other main contributor.

Meanwhile, Matt Hopley (1-28 off 6), skipper Luke Sweeney (1-25 off 3) and Jacob Harvey (1-12 off 1) took wickets for the Piranhas.

They are now, too, also mathematically out of the semi-final race. 

  • Mark Bercini  
  • Coalfields Cup (points table): Valley/JPC 54 (NRR 1.59), PCH 45 (0.28), Bellbird 42 (0.16), Greta/Branxton 39 (0.72), Wine Country 39 (0.01), Creeks 34 (-0.18), Piranhas 21 (-1.42), Glendon 16 (-1.10)

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