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Valley/JPC maintain the rage in Coalfields Cup

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The final round of matches in the Coalfields Cup before the Christmas/New Year break produced some exciting finishes.

And, the top-of-the-table clash between Valley/JPC and Greta/Branxton at Cook Park No.3 did not disappoint either, with the former scraping home in the last over of the showdown.

Greta/Branxton batted first, with the Blues posting a healthy 216 after being bowled out on the final ball of the innings.

After being unbeaten in his previous five innings, Josh Dagg was finally dismissed for his team’s high score again of 64.

Chris Murray (50) was next best with a productive half century, with Jace Lawson (27), Greg Andrews (20) and Darren Thomson (14) all contributing to the total.

Archit Bele was superb for the hosts with the new ball, bagging 5-31 off eight, with fellow new-baller Luke Dempster taking 4-46 off seven.

Valley/JPC got off to a flyer in reply and always kept the required rate under control as they reached the target with three balls to spare and two wickets in hand.

Rod Luxford showed no signs of nerves in his first top grade game for the season with 54, skipper Isaac Barry was next best with 36, with Mewa Jeetarwal (32), Kye Dann (31) and Shane Givney (19) doing enough to ensure the Singleton heavyweights remained at the top of the competition ladder.

Andrew Bercini was Greta/Branxton’s best with the ball with 4-31 off 5.3, with Lawson (2-34 off 8) the other main contributor.

Creeks and Glendon played out the first Coalfields Cup tie in their cliff-hanger at Howe Park.

Creeks kicked off proceedings and accumulated nicely to close their innings at 6-213.

Opener Clint Harman timed the ball crisply for 77, with Myles Cook (36), Johny Cornelius (29no), Nathan Stapleford (23) and skipper Blake Cook (14no) all proving productive at the crease.

Cooper Bailey was his outfit’s best with the four-piece, taking 3-19 off eight.

Chasing back-to-back victories, Glendon required just six runs to win off the final over with five wickets in hand.

They achieved just five from the first four balls, but they then lost key man Anthony Bailey on the penultimate delivery of the match.

With scores level, Creeks were able to affect a run out to complete what was an epic finish to the match.

Bailey blasted seven maximums and four boundaries in an entertaining 76 from just 40 balls.

Opener Dan Higgins (50) notched a half century at the peak of the order, with Pat Fitzgerald (32no), skipper Jack Turner (26) and Dylan Fenwick (15) contributing nicely.

Stapleford (1-42 off 8), Jarrod Campbell (1-16 off 8), Dan Tracey (1-37 off 8) and Myles Cook (1-18 off 3) took the scalps for Creeks.

Bellbird’s batting woes in recent times continued as they were humbled by 26 runs at the hands of PCH at Carmichael Park.

The latter made 8-178, with Hugh Smith (40), skipper Jackson Cox (37) and Brad Cox (34) their main contributors.

Zac Kronholm (3-34 off 8) and Jason Orr (2-24 off 7) were Bellbird’s best with the ball.

In reply, the Tigers were dismissed just after the drinks interval for 152.

Most batsmen made starts without anyone really pushing on to a match winning score.

Matt Schreiber (28), Orr (26), Kronholm (20no), Joey Main (16) and Joey Barber (16) were the run scorers.

In the final showdown of the round, Wine Country kept its play-off aspirations alive and all but ended the Piranhas hopes with a 113-run triumph at East End.

The Wood Ducks amassed 6-222 from their 40 overs, with skipper Andrew Fensom returning to form with 63.

All other willowmen contributed nicely, with Luke Jeans (43), Matt Lightfoot (35), Jason Ambrose (29) and Drew Olsen all scoring freely.

Piranhas’ skipper Luke Sweeney led from the front with the ball, taking 3-51 off eight.

The home side was skittled in the 30th over for 109.

Mark Crowfoot was easily their best with a sensible 43, with Liam Robinson next best with 11.

Wood Ducks’ stalwart Stephen Hedger had the batsmen guessing all afternoon with his offies, bagging 5-22 off seven.

Clubs will now break for the Christmas/New Year period, before returning for the inaugural Coalfields Cup T20 series, which will start on Saturday 14 January.

  • 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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