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Coalfields Cup enters business end of cricket season

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Valley/JPC, PCH, Greta/Branxton and Bellbird will fight it out for the Coalfields Cup after securing play-off berths at the weekend.

In what has been the first year of a full home and away series since the competition began in 2020, minor premiers Valley/JPC made a statement in its 161-run thrashing of Creeks at Howe Park on Saturday.

The latter was still a mathematical chance of making the finals going into the last round if it could cause an upset and hope other results went its way.

But, fellow Singleton powerhouse Valley/JPC batted first and amassed 8-252 from its 40 overs.

Kye Dann remained unbeaten with an entertaining 47, with Liam Storey (41), Shane Givney (40), Daniel Storey (40), Brandon Carman (22) and Mewa Jeetarwal (18) all cashing in on the favourable batting conditions.

Jarrod Campbell (3-55 off 8) and skipper Blake Cook (2-25 off 8) were best with the ball.

Creeks never broke into stride in reply and was eventually bundled out for 91 in the 29th over.

Myles Cook top scored with 15, with Dylan Glover (12no) and Steve Unicomb (12) making starts, however someone really had to push on to a big score for them to pose a threat.

Liam Storey (5-16 off 7.5) and Luke Dempster (3-14 off 6) kept a lid on things for the minor premiers.

In a weekend of lop-sided matches, Bellbird was only asked to chase 30 for victory against the Piranhas at East End to lock in a semi-final spot.

They achieved this inside seven overs, despite losing three wickets along the way.

Joey Barber was there for the winning runs on 21 not out.

Matt Hopley (2-15 off 3.4) was the home side’s best bowler.

Earlier in the day, veteran Tom Lantry was the only Piranhas’ batsman to reach double figures with 11.

Billy Orr picked up 3-5 off 7.3 for the Tigers, with Zac Kronholm (2-9 off 6), Scott Miller (2-4 off 4) and skipper Joey Main (2-0 off 1) all taking a brace of wickets each.

Greta/Branxton recorded a comfortable eight-wicket triumph over Wine Country at Miller Park to secure third place.

The Wood Ducks were skittled for 83 inside 30 overs batting first, with Englishman James Field the only batsman to look comfortable with a well-made 39.

Meanwhile, Brent Watson continued his stellar year with the ball for the Blues with 4-15 off eight.

He was well-supported by veteran Darren Thomson who took 3-8.

Greta/Branxton lost two scalps in reply, but reached the target in the 23rd over on the back of openers Mark Bercini (39) and skipper Joey Butler (20), with Josh Dagg (9no) cutting the ribbon at the end.

Chris Lambert (1-12 off 4) and skipper Andrew Fensom (1-4 off 0.5) were the wicket-takers.

In the remaining game, PCH snared an all-important top-two position on the ladder and, at the same time, officially handed Glendon its second consecutive wooden spoon.

The latter managed just 73 batting first, with Clancy Cameron remaining unbeaten on 18.

Daniel Higgins (16) and Joe Druery (14) were the next best two, while Mason Knodler (3-12 off 6), Jackson Shade (2-17 off 8) and Jake Daniels (2-18 off 5) shared the wickets for PCH.

The opponents dropped just the one wicket in pursuit, with the Cox brothers Brad (31no) and Jackson (20) once again getting the job done.

Cameron (1-10 off 3) was the sole wicket-taker for Glendon.  

  • Mark Bercini
  • Coalfields Cup (final standings): Valley/JPC 66 (NRR 1.73), PCH 57 (0.49), Greta/Branxton 51 (0.94), Bellbird 48 (0.44), Creeks 40 (-0.48), Wine Country 39 (-0.17), Piranhas 21 (-1.53), Glendon 16 (-1.27)

Coalfields Cup play-off fixtures

(1pm start, Saturday 4 March)

Major semi-final

  • Valley/JPC (1st) v PCH (2nd) at Howe Park

(Winner to advance to grand final, loser to take on winner of minor semi-final in preliminary final)

Minor semi-final

  • Greta/Branxton (3rd) v Bellbird (4th) at Miller 1

(Loser eliminated, winner to take on loser of major semi-final in preliminary final)

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