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Four teams vying for inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 title

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And, then there were four.

Singleton District Cricket Association duo Valley/JPC and Creeks, along with Cessnock counterparts Greta/Branxton and Bellbird, will fight it out for the inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 trophy this weekend.

A massive day of action is planned for Howe Park on Saturday 4 February, where both semis are scheduled to be played, with the final under lights that evening.

With every team still a mathematical chance of making the play-offs, Glendon and Wine Country kicked off the final round on Friday night.

But, the former proved too strong for the Wood Ducks by 75.

Batting first, Glendon compiled 9-140 from its 20 overs, with Kyle Bailey (39), Tom Stacy (31no) and Cael Smith (29) providing the bulk of the runs.

For Wine Country, veteran Brendan Briedenhann (3-23 off 4) and Wayne Harris (2-34 off 4) bowled tidy spells.

The Wood Ducks capitulated to be all out for just 65 in reply, with club president Mark O’Hara (33) and Matt Lightfood (11) the only pair to reach double figures.

Smith returned to the Glendon club in style with 6-9 off 3.4, proving a handful under the Howe Park lights, with Scott Griffiths chipping in with 2-15.

In the other Pool A match, Valley/JPC remained undefeated following its nail-biting five-run victory over Bellbird at Howe Park on Saturday.

The home side managed 9-130, with Brendan Nichols (38), Kye Dann (28) and Jacob Carey (20) keeping things ticking over. 

Joey Barber (3-28 off 4), Zac Kronholm (3-16 off 4) and Shannon Attewell (2-16 off 4) were the wicket takers for Bellbird.

Although down on a few troops, the visitors went within a whisker of causing an upset over the Singleton heavyweights.

They needed 19 to win off the final over and, when Pete Brennan cleared the fence off the first delivery, an unlikely triumph was in sight.

However, they only scored a further seven runs to close the match at 3-125.

Brennan remained unbeaten on 67 from just 38 balls, with Elliot Gyler playing a supporting role with 36.

Luke Dempster (1-13 off 4), Archit Bele (1-29 off 4) and Liam Storey (1-29 off 4) took wickets for Valley/JPC to ensure it completed the preliminary rounds undefeated and top of Pool A.

In Pool B, Greta/Branxton also finished unbeaten following its 60-run win over Creeks at Miller Park.

The Blues posted a healthy 6-170 batting first, with Darren Thomson (44 ret), Brent Watson (40), Patrick Andrews (31no) and Reuben Andrews (17) the main contributors.

Creeks was best served by new-ballers Dan Tracey (2-11 off 4) and Nathan Stapleford (2-34 off 4).

They were then all out in the penultimate over of the game for 110, with skipper Blake Cook (23), Stapleford (19), Jarrod Campbell (18) and Steve Unicomb (14) all making starts.

Watson (2-14 off 4) and Thomson (2-17 off 3) completed excellent all-round performances for Greta/Branxton, with Will Regan (2-7 off 3) also chipping in with a couple of poles.

The Piranhas did Creeks a massive favour by upsetting PCH at East End to put them out of the semi-final race.

The hosts were sent in to bat first and they improved considerably on their previous batting performances by posting a competitive 9-141.

The return of former skipper from a well-earned holiday on the Gold Coast added some much-needed starch and, as expected, led the way with a quick-fire 45.

He was well-supported by Jacob Harvey (28), Fletcher Sharpe (19) and James Collins (15).

Barton Jones (2-37 off 4), skipper Dan Oldknow (2-23 off 4) and Hugh Smith (2-17 off 4) took a brace of wickets each.

Needing just to win to reach the semi-finals, PCH finished the match on 8-108, with Oldknow their best with the willow, notching 28.

Plenty of other batsmen made starts without pushing on, with Evan Moss (16) and Matt Pearce (13) the other main contributors.

Ben Read (2-8 off 4) and Aaron Sweeney (2-21 off 4) bowled tidy spells for the Piranhas in what was a confidence boosting win.

  • Mark Bercini

Coalfields Cup T20 final standings:

  • Pool A – Valley/JPC 18 (NRR 1.34), Bellbird 9 (2.43), Glendon 9 (1.17), Wine Country 0 (-3.53)
  • Pool B – Greta/Branxton 18 (NRR 2.96), Creeks 6 (1.20), PCH 6 (-1.72), Piranhas 6 (-2.40)

Coalfields Cup T20

Play-off fixtures: Howe Park, Singleton (Saturday 4 February)

Semi-final 1 (1pm)

  • Valley/JPC (winner Pool A) v Creeks (runner-up Pool B)

Semi-final 2 (4pm)

  • Greta/Branxton (winner Pool B) v Bellbird (runner-up Pool A)

Final (7pm)

  • Winner (S/F 1) v Winner (S/F 2)

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