By Mark Bercini
THE Coalfields Cup is still wide open with two rounds to go after some mixed results in round seven completed over the weekend.
Bellbird opener Jason Orr’s stellar season with the bat continued as he notched his second century of the tournament, this time against Creeks at Carmichael Park.
Orr blasted fifteen boundaries and cleared the fence five times, facing just 85 deliveries in a superb knock of 126 against the Creeks attack who had no answers.
He has now scored 410 runs in the tournament at an average of 102.50.
The Tigers amassed 7-349 from their forty overs batting first, with Orr’s century supported by Joey Main (61), skipper Rob Drage (57), Joey Millington (45) and Pete Brennan (20).
In a trying day for the Creeks bowlers Chad Solman (4-64 off 10) and Blake Cook (2-74 off 8) were their best.
The visitors were all out for just 73 in reply, with Dan Tracey (16no), Clint Harman (13), Solman (12) and Jarrod Campbell (12) making starts.
Zach Kronholm (3-36 off 6), Scott Miller (3-25 off 6) and Joey Main (3-5 off 2.2) all picked up a treble of wickets for the home side.
Bellbird remain in second place on the competition ladder.
Valley remain undefeated at the top of the ladder following their eight-wicket thumping of the Piranhas at Cook 3.
The Piranhas were dismissed inside 32 overs for 134 batting first, with opener Daniel Russell showing some steel with 41.
Adam Sable (29) and Luke Sweeney (19) were next best in an otherwise disappointing batting card.
Brendan Nichols was Valley’s best with the four-piece, bagging 4-21 off 9, with Daniel Hayes (2-47 off 9) chiming in where required.
The home side completed the task inside 20 overs after losing just the two wickets, with skipper Jacob Carey (46no), Simon White (38) and Isaac Barry (36no) scoring freely. Sweeney (2-44 off 9) took both wickets for the Piranhas.
Greta/Branxton jumped into the top four for the first time this season and all but ended Mulbring’s chances at the title following their hard-fought two wicket victory at Miller Park.
In a Cessnock grand final rematch from last year, Mulbring were restricted to 154 batting first, with skipper Cameron Ross (37), Aaron Halls (31), Drew Olsen (22) and Scott Robertson (20) providing the runs.
Greta/Branxton’s Brent Watson (2-25 off 6) continued his recent good form with the four-piece, with Mark Bercini (5-34 off 8.5) picking up his first 5-fa since Halley’s Comet last flew past the earth’s vicinity.
The Blues fell over the line in reply to stay alive in the competition, with Will Regan guiding the home side to victory with an unbeaten 35 in just his second top grade game.
Nathan Holz (29), Greg Andrews (28) and Josh Dagg (21) were the other main contributors.
Off-spinner Willie Watson (3-38 off 10) proved a real handful with the new ball for the Marlins, with Sam Apthorpe (3-38 off 10) and Halls (2-18 off 3) sharing the remainder of the wickets.
PCH kept cellar dwellers JPC winless in a low scoring affair at Howe Park. PCH batted first and were all out for 116, with skipper Dan Oldknow making an unbeaten 33.
Travis Batch and Jake Daniels were next best with 17-apiece. Hayden Moorcroft (4-21 off 7.3), Shane Givney (3-17 off 8) and Luke Dempster (2-17 off 7) shared the wickets for JPC.
JPC crumbled to be all out for 60 in reply, with Rod Luxford (19), Moorcroft (16no) and Michael Cole (10) the only batsmen in double figures.
Barton Jones bowled a beautiful spell for PCH to claim 5-8 off 8 very economical overs. Jackson Wade chipped in with 2-19 off 7.2.
In the final game Wine Country stayed in the premiership race with a thrilling eight run victory over Glendon at Allandale.
The home side posted a competitive 188 batting first, with Sam Peacock (47), Tom Page (46) and skipper Andrew Fensom (42) all timing the ball nicely.
Glendon skipper Cael Smith (2-4 off 4) and Scott Griffiths (2-42 off 8) took a brace of wickets each.
Glendon ran out of overs in reply, falling just eight runs shy of the target with three wickets in hand. Brendan Briedenhann backed up his great bowling performance from the previous week with 3-16 off 10
Coalfields Cup P W L D P NRR
Valley 7 4 – 3 33 1.42
Bellbird 7 4 1 2 30 2.48
PCH 7 2 1 4 24 0.52
Greta/Branxton 7 3 2 2 24 -0.06
Wine Country 7 2 2 3 21 0.02
Glendon 7 2 2 3 21 -0.38
Piranhas 7 1 2 4 18 -0.45
Mulbring 7 1 3 3 15 0.20
Creeks 7 1 3 3 15 -1.83
JPC 7 – 4 3 9 -2.0