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Valley/JPC bowls over inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 tournament

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Singleton heavyweights Valley/JPC etched their name in the history books after winning the inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 tournament at the weekend.

The hosts outclassed Greta/Branxton by 29 runs in the decider under lights at Singleton’s Howe Park on Saturday night.

Valley/JPC took out the inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 tournament.

Valley/JPC kicked off proceedings with a comfortable seven-wicket semi-final victory over Singleton arch rivals Creeks.

Chasing 90 for victory, the side reached the modest target comfortably in the 16th over after losing three scalps.

They recovered from 2-0 early on, with Shane Givney (43no) and co-tournament organiser Daniel Storey (20no) ensuring them a spot in the feature clash.

Mewa Jeetarwal also ticked things along nicely with 23 at the top of the order.

Creeks was best served by Dan Tracey (2-20 off 4), who was on a hat-trick in his first over.

Their total of 89 earlier in the day saw Steve Unicomb (35) and Clint Harman (14) make runs, while for Valley/JPC Tristan Muir (4-10 off 3) and Liam Storey (2-27 off 4) kept a lid on things.

In the other semi showdown, an all-Cessnock fixture saw Greta/Branxton overcome a gallant Bellbird by 16 runs.

Batting first, the Blues compiled 6-139 from their 20 overs.

Greta/Branxton was best served by Mark Bercini (43), Brent Watson (36no) and Mitch Casey (16no).

Bellbird’s wickets were evenly shared between Scott Miller (2-21 off 4), Joey Barber (2-26 off 4) and Jason Orr (2-21 off 3).

However, their top order struggled for timing early on in reply.

But, club secretary Ben Fairlie got the Tigers back in the hunt with a productive 28 in the middle part of the run chase.

They were eventually all out on the final ball of the match for 123.

Orr (20), Joey Main (17) and Nic Siers (12) were the other batsmen to make starts.

Watson completed a fine all-round match for the Blues with 3-21 off four, with Patrick Andrews (3-20 off 4) and Alex Walkling (3-29 off 4) also supporting with a treble of wickets apiece.

After a brief interval, and with a picturesque sunset in the distance, Valley/JPC won the all-important toss for the final… and elected to bat.

They got off to a bit of a flyer with Jeetarwal timing the ball beautifully at the top of the order with 30.

Greta/Branxton then gained the upper hand with some tight bowling in the middle part of the innings, taking wickets at regular intervals.

The Valley/JPC tail wagged a little, and they scrambled to be all out on the final ball for 111.

Givney (12), Storey (11) Hayden Moorcroft  were the other batsmen to reach double figures.

Casey (3-17 off 4) and Andrews (3-20 off 4) were the pick of the Greta/Branxton attack, with Connor Thomson (2-11 off 4) also bowling tidily.

The Blues struggled for any sort of momentum due to some great line and length bowling from Valley/JPC.

And, the long-growing tradition of the team batting second at Howe Park under lights yet to win a game continued, with Greta/Branxton all out in the penultimate over of the match for 82.

Watson (20) and Dagg (15) fought hard to keep the Blues in the contest, but the Valley/JPC seamers Moorcroft (4-7 off 4) and Muir (3-20 off 4) proved too difficult to handle in the end.

The inaugural tournament proved a great success – and will no doubt be played again around the same time period next year.

Meanwhile, the Coalfields Cup 40-over competition resumes this weekend, with three rounds remaining before the play-offs.

Competition frontrunners Valley JPC can consolidate their commanding lead when they tackle the Piranhas, Bellbird faces Greta/Branxton in a match that could well decide top three final standings, Wine Country will be looking to keep their premiership hopes alive when they take on Glendon, while Creeks will be looking to jump into the top four when they meet on PCH. 

  • Mark Bercini
  • Coalfields Cup (points table): Valley/JPC 48 (NRR 1.42), Greta/Branxton 39 (0.90), PCH 39 (0.26), Bellbird 36 (0.21), Creeks 34 (-0.27), Wine Country 33 (-0.02), Piranhas 21 (-1.26), Glendon 16 (-1.07)

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