By Mark Bercini
The 2020 cricket season is now in full swing after a couple of weeks of total washouts, with the Coalfields cup starting to heat up. With Bellbird and Valley being the only undefeated sides at the end of round four.
Week four saw the Singleton teams play all Cessnock teams, something that will only occur twice throughout this competition. With Bellbird accounting for JPC by three wickets at Carmichael Park
JPC managed a modest 143 after being bowled out in the 36th over.
Shane Givney (44) and Ash Borg (43) led the way for the visitors, with Zach Kronholm (5-48 off 10) and Nic Siers (4-28 off 4.4) doing all the damage for the home side.
In reply the Tigers got off to a flyer with openers Jason Orr (62) and Pete Brennan (43) timing the ball perfectly. However, a middle order collapse saw the next five batsmen fall for less than double figures.
Club President Rob Drage (15no) guided his side to victory just after the drinks interbal after losing seven wickets. Veteran JPC off spinner Greg Thrift (2-25 off 5) and D. Moorcroft (2-21 off 2) took a brace of wickets each for the visitors.
Valley were too good for Wine Country, by seven wickets at Allandale. Wine Country continued the trend of the Coalfields Cup, with low scoring targets when they were all out on the final ball of their innings for 143.
Mark O’Hara (61) and Matt Lightfoot (32) were at the top of the order, with Dean Elliott (12) the only other batsman to reach double figures.
Isaac Barry (3-28 off 8), Daniel Hayes (3-25 off 10) and Brendan Nichols (2-41 off 7) took the wickets. With Valley reaching the target with 9.3 overs to spare after losing just the three wickets.
Skipper Jacob Carey led from the front with 61, with Nichols completing an excellent all-round game with 39no. Barry (19) and Daniel Storey (13no) ensuring their team remain undefeated after just the two completed matches.
Greta/Branxton picked up a much needed victory over last year’s Singleton minor premiers PCH at Cook 3, with a three-run win.
The Blue’s batting woes continued however, dismissed for just 122 in the 35th over. Veterans Greg Andrews (49) and Darren Holz (16) showed the younger brigade how it’s done.
PHC Glen Winsor produced a fine spell of pace bowling to be rewarded with 5-21 off 8. He was well supported by skipper Dan Oldknow (2-12 off 4) and Barton jones (2-29 off 8).
PCH looked in control at the drinks break with 4-80, but in an exciting finish where they needed six runs to win off the final over, they were dismissed with three balls to spare for 119.
Andrew Winsor struck the ball cleanly for 48, Oldknow made a patient 31, with Josh McNamara (16) making a start. Darren Thomson (3-24 off 10), Connor Thomson (2-27 off 10) and Mark Bercini (2-2 off 1.3) picked up the wickets for the visiting team.
Mulbring are left at the bottom of the ladder, after a disappointing display against Creeks.
The Marlins did well to restrict the visitors to 150, with Clint Harmon (42), Chad Solman (37), Blake Cook (19no) and Brayden Mullholland (17) providing the majority of the runs.
Greg Sheehan (5-30 off 8.1) bowled beautifully in his return game for his junior club, with Zach Sneesby (2-35 off 10) also bowling tidily.
The home side capitulated to be all out for 96, with Sheehan (20), Scott Robertson (14) and Mick Mascord (12) the only Willowmen in double figures.
Dan Tracey (3-37 off 8), Blake Cook (3-12 off 7.4) and Solman (2-22 off 7) fresh off suspension did the damage with the four-piece for Creeks.
In the final match of the round, Piranhas bounced back from their disappointing opening round loss to trounce Glendon by 101 runs at East End.
The home side compiled a health 7-214 batting first, with former skipper Matt Hopley blasting an unbeaten 69 from just 28 balls.
Fletcher Sharpe was a bit more graceful in his well-timed 60, with Mark Crowfoot supporting well, with 40.
Glendon Seamers Scott Griffiths (2-33 off 10) and Tom Stacey (2-40 off 8) were their best with the ball.
Glendon were dismissed for 113 in reply, with Stacey (23) and Griffiths (18) completing fine all-round games,
Luke Sweeney (4-13 off 10) and Matt Zechel (2-20 off 8) kept a lid on things for the piranhas. But it was man-of-the-match Hopley who fittingly took the final Wicket to finish with 3-24 off 5.1.
P W L D P NRR
Bellbird 4 2 – 2 18 1.59
Valley 4 2 – 2 18 1.23
Creeks 4 1 1 2 12 0.56
Piranhas 4 1 1 2 12 0.43
Wine Country 4 1 1 2 12 0.37
PCH 4 1 1 2 12 0.09
Greta/Branxton 4 1 1 2 12 -0.01
Glendon 4 1 1 2 12 -1.22
Mulbring 4 – 2 2 6 -0.84
JPC 4 – 2 2 6 -2.11