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Greta-Branxton stumps rivals to claim cricket minor premiership

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The combined Singleton and Cessnock District Cricket competition is now down to the business end of the season.

The final round was completed in firsts, seconds and thirds on Saturday, with the fourth-graders wrapping up proceedings this weekend.

Greta-Branxton clinched the minor premiership in the top division, securing a home major semi-final on 2 March.

The side comfortably accounted for Glendon by seven wickets at Miller Park, handing the Singleton outfit its third consecutive wooden spoon.

Blues skipper Joey Butler won a rare toss and asked the visitors to have a bat first.

Glendon was all out in the 36th over for 96, with Kyle Bailey carrying on from his stellar T20 series with his team-high score of 26.

Clancy Cameron was next best with 23, with captain Jack Turner (14) and opening partner Dan Higgins (12) making starts.

Brent Watson was the pick of the Greta-Branxton attack with 3-13 off 6.4, with Jace Lawson (2-29 off 7) and Mark Bercini (2-21 off 8) picking up a brace of wickets each.

The Blues cruised to victory in the 17th over after losing just the three scalps.

Bercini (39), Josh Dagg (20no) and Butler (16) provided the bulk of the runs.

Turner (1-24 off 6), Julian Stewart (1-25 off 2) and Jack Ford (1-13 off 1) were the wicket-takers for Glendon.

In the only other top-grade match played, Wine Country finished its season off on a high note by scraping home by two poles against Creeks at Cook Park No.3.

The latter battled through its 40 overs to finish on 9-140.

Ben Thomas was their best with a well-made 34, with Nathan Stapleford (27), Chris Unicomb (18) and Myles Cook (11) supporting well.

Competition leading wicket-taker Luke Jeans (2-40 off 8), Rob Sidebottom (2-27 off 6) and Ben Wood (2-15 off 8) all picked up a couple of scalps each for the visiting side.

Although the match had zero bearing on finals placings, a brilliant finish to the game saw the Wood Ducks scrape home in the penultimate over with two wickets in hand.

Wood completed an excellent all-round fixture with an unbeaten 39, Fensom made 28 at the apex of the batting order, with Jeans (16) and Oscar Vaughan (13) ensuring they picked up their third win of the season.

The final showdown between PCH and Valley/JPC scheduled for Howe Park was washed out, leaving Valley/JPC in second place and PCH in fourth. 

Piranhas/Bellbird had the bye.  

The semi-finals get underway this weekend in firsts, seconds and thirds in the major and minor format, meaning the top two in each grade get two bites at the cherry.

  • Mark Bercini

Second grade

  • Bellbird 9/71 (Jon Schatz 18, Aaron Duffie 14no, Joey Millington 11, Aaron Zechel 6-27 off 8, Karandeep Maramreddy 3-17 off 8) defeated Piranhas 10/68 (Matt Zechel 28, Jack Swift 3-22 off 8, Stef Durie 3-12 off 8, Pat Cagney 2-3 off 4)
  • JPC 9/146 (Brandon Carman 55, Gregg Dann 35, Tom Pearce 14no, John Apps 4-19 off 7.1 Alex Loredo 4-26 off 5) defeated Denman 9/143 (John Apps 45, Neville Givney 32, Hunter Ball 17, Brandon Carman 3-24 off 6, Siaan Carman 2-32 off 8, Gregg Dann 2-11 off 7)
  • Greta-Branxton defeated Glendon/PCH by forfeit
  • Wine Country v Creeks at Allandale washed out

Third grade

  • Hotel Cessnock 3/114 (Rob Jordan 55no, Matt Bullen 44no, Greg O’Connor 3-24 off 8) defeated Wine Country 9/113 (Martin Ashton 34, Reef Cato-Symonds 32, Jordan Field 4-13 off 8, Gavin Kronholm 2-16 off 8)
  • Greta-Branxton 7/129 (Nigel Charnock 60, Adam Vernon 36, Sam Dagg 12no, Mason Kelly 3-18 off 8, Matt Maher 2-32 off 7) defeated Valley 10/119 (Chris Howard 33, Simon White 27, Matt Garness 27, Andrew Taylor 3-17 off 8, Nigel Charnock 3-20 off 8, Jack Yule 2-26 off 3)
  • JPC 9/196 (Daniel Thrift 84no, Daniel Andrews 36, Damien Leslie 24, Cordeylia Apps 2-22 off 5) defeated Denman 10/81 (Allan Murphy 24, Tony Graham 20, Daniel Davis 2-2 off 2, Austin Maher 2-9 off 2.5, Jimmy Moore 2-4 off 2)
  • Bye: Piranhas

Fourth grade

  • Supporters 10/126 (Scott Minter 40, Kane Jordan 34, Isaac Minter 16, Tobias Shields 3-5 off 7, Tim Shields 2-12 off 5, Noah Holt 2-23 off 7) defeated Wine Country 10/64 (Mark Hollis 17no, Scott Minter 4-7 off 8, Isaac Minter 3-13 off 3.3)
  • Hotel Cessnock 10/119 (Dylan Stoker 36, Harrison Ward 22, Robert Horan 3-24 off 8, Adam Campbell 2-2 off 1) defeated Piranhas 10/82 (Ricky Hollis 32, Adam Campbell 21, Dylan Stoker 4-15 off 9, Nick Wallace 2-6 off 4, Graham Stoker 2-3 off 0.5)
  • Bye: Greta-Branxton

Points Tables

  • First grade: Greta-Branxton 54, Valley/JPC 51, Piranhas/Bellbird 49, PCH 39, Wine Country 30, Creeks 16, Glendon 15
  • Second grade: Bellbird 69, JPC 63, Denman 57, Creeks 48, Greta-Branxton 39, Piranhas 30, Wine Country 24, Glendon/PCH 6
  • Third grade: Valley 45, Hotel Cessnock 45#, Wine Country 42 Greta-Branxton 39, Piranhas 33, JPC 30, Denman 12

#  Lost points 18/11/23 for playing unregistered player

  • Fourth grade: Wine Country 48**, Hotel Cessnock 36***, Supporters 36***, Greta-Branxton 36***, Piranhas 12***

* bye received, no points awarded

Semi-final draw (1pm start) – 2 March

First grade

Major semi-final

Greta-Branxton (1st) v Valley/JPC (2nd) at Miller 1

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

Minor semi-final

Piranhas/Bellbird (3rd) v PCH (4th) at Carmichael 1

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

Second grade

Major semi-final

Bellbird (1st) v JPC (2nd) at Carmichael 2

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

Minor semi-final

Denman (3rd) v Creeks (4th) at Alan Mills Oval

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

Third grade

Major semi-final

Valley (1st) v Hotel Cessnock (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

Wine Country (3rd) v Greta-Branxton (4th) at Allandale

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

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