Greta/Branxton beat Mulbring in hard-fought affair

CRUCIAL KNOCK: Greta/Branxton's Reuben Andrews plays a pull stroke to the boundary in his unbeaten 31.
CRUCIAL KNOCK: Greta/Branxton's Reuben Andrews plays a pull stroke to the boundary in his unbeaten 31.

The rain held off in enough time for Cessnock District Cricket to complete the fourth round of competition last weekend.

In first grade Greta/Branxton remained at the top of the table following a hard fought two-wicket victory in a low-scoring affair over Mulbring at Miller Park.

After winning the toss and batting, the Marlins were dismissed on the penultimate ball of the 36th over for just 116, with skipper Cameron Ross (30), Josh Lewis (23) and Drew Olsen (17) the only batter to reach double figures.

Greta/Branxton's seamers were all fairly economical with Brent Watson (3-21 off 9.2), Will Regan (3-34 off 7) and Jace Lawson (2-27 off 10) bagging the majority of the wickets.

The defending premiers fell over the line in reply in the 36th over after losing eight wickets.

After a recent spate of bad form, Reuben Andrews remained composed and unbeaten on 31, father Greg Andrews continued his good form with a quick-fire 32, while skipper Joey Butler made 16 at the apex of the order.

The Mulbring bowlers could not be faulted in their attempted defence of the small target, with Ben Neaves (3-18 off 7), Hilal Abbas (2-20 off 6) and Scott Robertson (2-28 off 9) all bowling tidily.

This leaves the Marlins at the bottom of the table after four rounds, and one feels they will have to win every game from here on in to compete for the Ross Smith Shield with just six rounds remaining and a top two finish required.

The Piranhas turned in their second abysmal batting display on the trot as they were trounced by nine wickets at the hands of Bellbird at East End.

In what now seems an age away when they posted 286 against Mulbring in the opening round, the home side were dismissed for just 34 following their last start total of 41.

Opening round hero Fletcher Sharpe was the only batter who looked like troubling the scorers with 11.

The Bellbird seamers had a field day, with Joey Barber (4-9 off 5), Zach Kronholm (3-15 off 6.5) and Billy Orr (2-9 off 6) taking regular wickets.

The Tigers reeled in the cheap total in just the fourth over in an early day out, with Jason Orr remaining unbeaten on 18, and opening partner Robert Keith Drage being the only wicket to fall for 15.

Piranhas skipper Matt Hopley (1-8 off 1) was the sole wicket taker.

Wine Country enjoyed the bye weekend off, and will be looking to bounce back against the Piranhas after their last start loss to Bellbird.

Second Grade

Chelmsford Hotel 2/146 (Jakob Bartley 92no, Adam Bartley 45no, Robert Clark 1-41 off 6, Gavin Kronholm 1-23 off 3) defeated Bellbird 10/141 (Jordan Field 24, Matt Fairlie21, Daniel Attewell 21, Pat Cagney 16, Arron Follan 5-26 off 8.3, Josh Hunter 2-24 off 3, Hayden Ridley 2-26 off 7).

Wine Country 6/115 (Jayden O'Connor 35, Eain Harris 30, Luke Davis 25, Riley Croucher 3-28 off 8, Adam Williams 2-2 off 4) defeated Piranhas 10/113 (Aaron Zechel 24, Riley Croucher 20no, Noel Stothard 18, Ryan Fox 14, Wayne Harris 2-14 off 6, Eain Harris 2-29 off 10, Tyler Wade 2-19 off 4).

Greta/Branxton bye.

Fourth Grade

Chelmsford Hotel 10/178 (Ryan Wilcox 86, Jordan Lantry 23, Sandeep Inakollu 14, Scott Minter 3-30 off 10, Aaron Field 3-30 off 7, Isaac Minter 2-21 off 4, Nev Taylor 2-29 off 6.4) defeated Supporters 10/78 (Kane Jordan 27no, Luke Smith 12, Kobe Minter 11, Jordan Lantry 5-24 off 8.4, Andrew Wanless 3-9 off 3, Ashton Williams 2-3 off 3).

Cessnock Hotel 10/131 (Rob Jordan 40, Paul Robinson 19, Jamie Spence 16, Steve Cramer 13, Zach MacBeth 4-30 off 7, Jack McNickle 3-22 off 6.2) defeated Greta/Branxton 10/77 (Logan Rutter 19, Sam Dagg 12, Jamie Spence 4-24 off 8.4, SteveCramer 3-24 off 7, Steve Bedford 2-13 off 4).

Points Tables

First Grade

Greta/Branxton 21, Bellbird 18*, Wine Country 14*, Piranhas 13*, Mulbring 10*.* byes received, no points allocated.

Second Grade

Bellbird 14, Wine Country 14, Chelmsford Hotel 11*, Greta/Branxton 11*, Piranhas 6*.

* byes received, no points allocated.

Third Grade

Does not commence until 4.12.21

Fourth Grade

Chelmsford Hotel 18, Cessnock Hotel 18, Supporters 14, Wine Country 14, Greta/Branxton 10, Piranhas 10.

Club Championship

Greta/Branxton 192.50, Bellbird 175.00, Wine Country 156.80, Piranhas 119.00.Club Championship Formula:- First Grade x 7, Second Grade x 3.5, Third Grade x 2.1, Fourth Grade x 0.7.