Round nine of the Coalfields Cup cricket competition was completed last Saturday, with Valley/JPC continuing to lead the way at the top of the ladder.
The joint venture club were far too good in their 168-run disposal of cellar dwellars Glendon at Cook Park no.3.
They batted first and amassed 8-251 from their forty overs, with Chris Skilton notching 114 in a cameo appearance for the club.
The former Valley player, now based in Tamworth, blasted eleven boundaries and cleared the rope on seven occasions in an entertaining innings in which he faced just 68 deliveries.
He was well supported by Mewa Jeetarwal (44) who continues to impress in his first year in the competition, along with Kye Dann (43).
Youngster Joe Druery was Glendon's best with the four-piece, taking 4-42 off 8, with Anthony Bailey picking up 2-71 off 8.
Glendon were skittled for 83 in reply, with Dan Higgins (16), Beau Parnell (13) and Jack Turner (11) making starts.
Archit Bele took 3-7 off 6, but the day belonged to all-rounder Skilton who backed up his century with 3-21 off 5 in an exceptional all-round performance.
PCH got back into the winning circles with a big 114-run win over Wine Country at Howe Park.
The home side batted first and compiled a healthy 8-222, with Matt Pearce leading the way with an unbeaten 87.
Skipper Jackson Cox (42), Evan Moss (14) and Dan Oldknow (13no) also kept things ticking along nicely.
The Wood Ducks were all out for 108 in reply, with Nathan Radnidge (28), Sam Peacock (21) and George Copeland (16) leading the way.
Mason Knodler was impressive with the new ball for PCH, bagging 5-23 off 8, with Barton Jones (2-23 off 8) and Pearce (2-31) off 8 chipping in with a brace of wickets each.
Greta/Branxton are building momentum nicely after their fourth straight win, this time against the Piranhas at Miller Park. The Blues posted 4-245 batting first, with Josh Dagg continuing his stellar season with the bat. He notched an unbeaten 87 to go on top of his unbeaten century and 90 in previous weeks.
Chris Murray (56) was next best with a well-constructed half century, with Mark Bercini (34), Reuben Andrews (23) and Brent Watson (14no) scoring freely.
The Piranhas did not lay down in reply, and batted out the forty overs to finish on 8-176.
Jacob Harvey showed great promise and patience in his 47, with Hopley as per usual getting things underway in a flurry with 33, with Aaron Sweeney (30) and Fletcher Sharpe (13) making use of the favourable batting conditions.
Jace Lawson (2-35 off 7), Watson (2-36 off 8) and Alex Walkling (2-13 off 3) shared the wickets.
In the final game, Bellbird remained in second place on the ladder after they only just fell over the line chasing 130 against Creeks at Carmichael Park.
The home side achieved the modest target with 8.2 overs to spare and just the two wickets in hand. Skipper Joey Main led the way with 40, with Jason Orr (32) the other main contributor.
Creeks skipper Blake Cook (3-32 off 7.3), Dan Tracey (2-23 off 8) and Nathan Stapleford (2-38 off 8) shared the wickets. Earlier in the day Creeks batted out their forty overs to finish on 7-129.
Plenty over willowmen got starts without pushing on, with Graham Unicomb (24), Chris Unicomb (23), Stapleford (20) and Cook (16no).
Zac Kronholm continued his great rhythm with the new ball, collecting 3-20 off 8, with Nic Siers chipping in with 2-31 off 7.
JPC Gold 6/121 defeated Creeks 8/98.
Best with the bat for JPC were Stuart Johnstone 47, Rod Pearce 29 and Harry Moore 21. Bowlers Thomas Pearce 2/14 and Siaan Carman 1/18. For Creeks Clint Harman 26no, Brett Cooper 21 and Dylan Glover 14. Bowlers Mitch Bourke 3/6 and Mac Johnsson 1/11.
Denman White 3/138 defeated Denman Maroon 8/137.
Best with bat for Denman White were Dave Sowter 67no and Chris Sowter 31. Bowlers Riley Mortimer 4/14 and John Apps 1/23. For Denman Maroon Mark Donnelly 35 and Cody Cummings 29no. Bowlers Mark Donnelly 1/14 and Anthony Worth 1/36.
Valley defeated Glendon on forfeit and JPC Black bye
Summit Cessnock District Cricket Association's John Bull Shield representative team kept their finals hopes alive by defeating the AGL Singleton District Cricket association by four runs in a thriller at Miller Park on November 27.
Cessnock batted first and were all bowled out in just the 23rd over of the fifty over contest for just 90.
Opener Pete Brennan (26), skipper Joey Butler (14) and Will Regan (13) were the only Cessnock willowmen to achieve double figures.
Singleton's Luke Dempster was outstanding with the new ball, picking up 6-45 off his 10 overs and Isaac Barry was also difficult to handle with 3-33 off 8.2.
The match remained evenly poised throughout the Singleton run chase, and in an exciting finish they required 29 to win for the final wicket.
With the tension building in both camps, the visitors fell just four runs shy of the target.