By Mark Bercini
SINGLETON’S Valley remains the heavyweights for this year’s Coalfields Cup, remaining the only undefeated club as they prepared for previously undefeated Bellbird at Cook Park 4.
Due to the moisture on the pitch, the match was delayed fifty minutes and was reduced to 34 overs per side, with the home side getting the cash by three wickets in a thrilling final over finish.
Sent in to bat, Bellbird continued their good batting form to post a competitive 7-165, with competition leading batsman Jason Orr firing again with 34.
Skipper Rob Drage (28no), Ben Fairlie (25), Joey Main (22), Nic Siers (17) and Joey Millington (14) were all productive, while Isaac Barry (3-41 off 8) and Luke Nichols (2-40 off 8) were Valley’s best with the four-piece.
Valley reached the target with five balls to spare, also losing seven wickets.
Nathan Bagnall (28), Troy Barnett (33) and Tony Whiting (16) all made starts in the top order, but it was Tully Winsor (37no) and Daniel Hayes (24no) who guided the home side victory.
Main completed a fine all-around game for the Tigers with 4-34 off 9, with Joey Barber (2-38 off 9) also bowling tidily.
Next door on Cook 3 Cessnock defending premiers Mulbring finally found some form, with a 127-run demolition of cellar dwellers JPC to record their maiden win of the tournament.
Batting first the Marlins posted a health 4-223 from their forty overs, with Scott Robertson and Drew Olsen batting beautifully for 73 and 63 respectively.
All other batsmen made starts, with Mick Mascord (20), Jason Varoxis (18no) and Ben Neaves (16no) scoring freely.
Luke Dempster (2-47 off 6) was JPC’s best bowler, with JPC being on the back foot early in reply but never recovering and eventually all out in the 33rd over for 96.
Josh Harvey (22no), David Moorcroft (19) and Sam Harrison (18) were the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Zach Sneesby (4-27 off 10) and Willie Watson (3-16 off 4) made sure of the comfortable victory.
Glendon recorded its second win of the tournament to jump back into the top four when they easily accounted for a depleted Creeks side by six wickets.
With the match moving from Howe Park to Cook 2, Creeks were dismissed for 115 batting first.
Dan Murphy (35), Hamid Arain (31) and Chad Solman (17) provided the majority of the runs, while Tom Stacey (3-31 off 7), Ben Butler (3-19 off 60, Cooper Bailey (3-34 off 6) and Cael Smith (2-24 off 5) shared the wickets for Glendon.
Glendon achieved the required target in the 29th over after losing four wickets.
Openers Beau Parnell (45) and Drew Nelson (26) put their team in a winning position, with Daniel Higgins (18) and Max Willis (15no) completing the task.
Jarrod Campbell was Creeks’ best with the ball, Taking 3-24 off 6.4.
Greta/Branxton won their do-or-die with Wine Country at Allandale to stay in the hunt for the premiership.
Their indifferent batting form improved slightly however, they again failed to bat their overs, all out in the 38th for 186.
Veteran Darren Thomson led the way with 67, Brent Watson (37) and Cliff Newling (16) provided runs in the tail, with Reuben Andrews (21) thriving in his new role as opener.
Brendan Briedenhann (4-43 off 10), Rob Sidebottom (3-36 off 9) and George Copeland (2-54 off 8.5) were the wicket takers for the home side.
The Wood Ducks were all out on the final ball of the match for 156, with Sidebottom completing a great all-round game with 46.
Briedenhann was equally impressive in his 33, with Sam Peacock (24) and Dave Farrell (20) also batting well.
In a day for the all-rounders, Watson (4-37 off 8.2) and Thomson (2-14 off 7) took vital wickets with Zach Butler responding to his brother’s call with (2-34 off 9) and Cliff Newling (2-41 off 10) completing the task.
The Match scheduled between the Piranhas and PCH at East End was washed out.
P W L D P NRR
Valley 6 3 – 3 27 0.92
Bellbird 6 3 1 2 24 1.22
Glendon 6 2 1 3 21 -0.46
Piranhas 6 1 1 4 18 0.43
PCH 6 1 1 4 18 0.09
Greta/Branxton 6 2 2 2 18 -0.25
Mulbring 6 1 2 3 15 0.51
Creeks 6 1 2 3 15 0.02
Wine Country 6 1 2 3 15 -0.03
JPC 6 – 3 3 9 -2.46