JPC all-rounder Gregg Dann showed there was “plenty of life in the old dog yet” in the combined Singelton and Cessnock Districts cricket competition (SCDCA).
At the weekend, in the second grade fixture at Alan Mills Oval, the 47-year-old turned back the clock in a brilliant individual display.
The skipper smashed 89 with the bat and snared 5-20 off seven overs to lead his side to a 38-run victory over Denman.
Dann faced the new ball and was eventually caught out just 11 shy of what would have been his second career century.
He faced 97 balls and found the boundary on 11 occasions in a fine innings.
But, his job wasn’t quite done there.
With Denman at the crease, Dann brought himself on to bowl third change, ripping through the lower order with his medium pacers.
Meanwhile, in firsts, Greta-Branxton jumped back to the top of the table with a comfortable 89-run win over a spirited Glendon at Howe Park.
The Blues batted first and, at 2-150, looked like they were in for a massive total.
However, the home side rallied after the drinks interval, and took the final eight wickets for just 63.
Most Greta-Branxton batsmen made starts, with Mark Bercini (52), Josh Dagg (42), Connor Thomson (31), Nathan Holz (28) and Reuben Andrews (20) all cashing in on the good conditions.
Cael Smith (3-36 off 8), Dan Higgins (3-35 off 5.1) and Ji Bailey (3-23 off 4) all took a treble of wickets.
Glendon produced its best batting performance of the year in reply and kept last year’s grand finalists in the field for the full 40 overs, closing out their innings at 9-124.
Higgins completed a fine all-round game with a patient 38, with Spencer Brien (22), skipper Anthony Bailey (19) and Ji Bailey (14) the other batsmen to reach double figures.
Jace Lawson was the Blues’ best with the ball, bagging 4-11 off 8, with Bercini taking a rare 4-25.
Wine Country picked up a much-needed victory to remain in touch with the top four in its three-wicket triumph over Creeks at Allandale.
The latter batted first and accumulated nicely, but the loss of regular wickets saw them dismissed with 12 overs to spare for 169.
Myles Cook showed what he is capable of with 73 from just 48 balls at the top of the order.
Jarrod Campbell (26no), Bayden Mulholland (18) and Daniel Wojcikewycz (14) were productive at the crease, while for the home side it was Luke Jeans who owned the show with 6-43.
Veteran off-spinner Brendan Briedenhann supported well with 2-19.
The Wood Ducks achieved the target in the penultimate over with three wickets in hand.
Oscar Vaughan steered the ship to safety with an unbeaten 32, Jayden O’Connor also scored 32, with Briendenhann (25), skipper Jason Ambrose (22) and Rob Sidebottom (15no) all contributing to the important win.
Dan Tracey was the pick of the Creeks attack with 3-40 off 8, with Campbell taking 2-24 off 8.
In the final game, Valley/JPC remained in third place by thumping PCH by seven wickets at Cook Park No. 3.
PCH was skittled for just 92 having batted 36.2 overs.
Skipper Jackson Cox led the way with 30, with Pat Denniss the only other batsman to achieve double figures with 19.
Hayden Moorcroft (3-26 off 5.2), Luke Dempster (3-10 off 8), Isaac Barry (2-22 off 8) and Tristan Muir (2-12 off 8) shared the wickets for Valley/JPC.
The defending premiers cruised to victory just shy of the drinks interval in reply.
Clint Ratatagia (30), Mewa Jeetarwal (25no) and Tate Edwards (24no) got the job done.
Jake Daniels (2-15 off 6) was PCH’s best with the four-piece.
Piranhas/Bellbird enjoyed a day out at Newcastle races on their bye.
- Mark Bercini
Cessnock and Singleton Districts Cricket Association
- Bellbird 8/227 (Matt Fairlie 55, Brett Pitkin 55, Aaron Duffie 43, Mitch Attewell 37no, Lucas Zechel 4-15 off 3, Karandeep Maramreddy 3-32 off 8) defeated Piranhas 10/196 (Aaron Zechel 74, Craig Beer 36, Karandeep Maramreddy, Patrick Cagney 3-51 off 7.5, Daniel Attewell 3-42 off 7, Mark Scott 2-43 off 8)
- JPC 10/170 (Gregg Dann 89, Rod Pearce 28, Andy Thomas 21, Andrew Knox 20, Chris Sowter 3-32 off 8, Peter Mills 2-20 off 5.5, Mason Hewill 2-29 off 5) defeated Denman 10/132 (Jackson Ball 48, Darren Allum 31, Chris Sowter 16, Gregg Dann 5-20 off 7, Bruce Dempster 3-26 off 7)
- Greta-Branxton 2/109 (Noah McNamara 59no, Jamie Moore 23, Charlie Knight 1-37 off 3, Jackson Skinner 1-14 off 0.5) defeated Glendon/PCH 10/106 (Jackson Skinner 26, Ethan Bowden 18, Charlie Knight 14, James Halpin 3-27 off 8, Jamie McNamara 3-7 off 2.3, Noah McNamara 2-16 off 5)
- Wine Country 5/179 (Brad Sommerville 70, Liam Hurst 48no, Charlie Wilton 30, Macauley Johnsson 2-21 off 5) defeated Creeks 8/177 (Chad Solman 53, Macauley Johnsson 29, Mitch Bourke 24, Hayden Bourke 23, Ash Borg 14, Corey Martin 13, Scott Williams 4-24 off 7)
- JPC 1/116 (Greg Thrift 80no, Austin Maher 20, Riley Mortimer 1-34 off 3) defeated Denman 6/115 (Adam Whitten 56, Anthony Worth 15, Greg Thrift 2-19 off 8, Austin Maher 2-11 off 6)
- Valley 1/106 (Nathan Bagnall 84no, Troy Barnett 14no, Alistair Leslie 1-22 off 3) defeated Greta-Branxton 8/103 (Nigel Charnock 27, Ben Regan 25, Jack Barattini 14no, Preston Miller 2-8 off 4, Mark Dunston 2-14 off 8, Chris Howard 2-22 off 8, Matt Maher 2-25 off 7)
- Hotel Cessnock 5/71 (Robert Jordan 39no, Jordan Field 18no, Greg O’Connor 3-27 off 8) defeated Wine Country 10/68 (Reef Cato-Symonds 16, Craig Rees 14, Greg O’Connor 14, Jordan Field 3-10 off 8, Dan Field 3-3 off 8)
- Bye: Piranhas
- Supporters 7/191 (Kane Jordan 73no, Isaac Minter 50, Luke Smith 21, Dave Cooper 4-23 off 8, Nick Wallace 2-36 off 8) defeated Hotel Cessnock 9/163 (Nick Wallace 40, Dylan Stoker 32, Dave Cooper 18, Sam Russell 17, Graham Stoker 14, Aaron Field 3-24 off 8, Glenn Mchugh 2-24 off 8, Nev Taylor 2-42 off 8)
- Greta-Branxton 1/97 (Rob Chard 55no, Cooper Dye 35, Maddison Beer 1-6 off 3) defeated Piranhas 10/94 (Ricky Hollis 32, Glenn Kemp 23, Adam Campbell 18, Logan Rutter 3-18 off 5.5, Henry Beverley 2-6 off 5, Zach Macbeth 2-12 off 5)
- Bye: Wine Country
- First grade: Greta-Branxton 30*, Piranhas/Bellbird 27*, Valley/JPC 27*, PCH 18*, Wine Country 15*, Creeks 6*, Glendon 3*
* bye received, no points awarded
- Second grade: Bellbird 42, JPC 36, Denman 30, Greta-Branxton 24, Wine Country 12, Piranhas 12, Creeks 12, Glendon/PCH 0
- Third grade: Hotel Cessnock 27*, Valley 24*, Wine Country 24*, Greta-Branxton 21*, Piranhas 18*, JPC 12*, Denman 0*
* bye received, no points awarded
- Fourth grade: Wine Country 27*, Supporters 21**, Greta-Branxton 18*, Hotel Cessnock 15**, Piranhas 3*
* bye received, no points awarded
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