NOT even a superb all-round performance by Lachlan Watts could prevent Muswellbrook from suffering a loss to Valley in the Singleton District Cricket Association at the weekend.
The round eight fixture at Victoria Park saw more than 500 runs scored during the entertaining encounter.
Valley amassed 273 on the back of Jacob Carey’s 101 and handy contributions from Daniel Storey (72) and Matt Maher (31).
Watts produced the best bowling spell, snaring 3-15.
Hayden Fox chipped in with 3-24, too.
In reply, Muswellbrook went extremely close to the target, thanks largely to Watts’ incredible innings of 170.
And, while he received some support from Luke Cameron (39) and Mick Deakin (15), the side’s campaign ended on 252 – a shortfall of 21.
Liam Storey captured 4-61 and Tony Whiting took 2-33.
In the other first grade showdown, PCH/Glendon upset JPC by four wickets at Howe Park.
In “seconds”, Denman continued on its winning ways, knocking over Creeks by 117.
On home turf, the hosts compiled 245, courtesy of Peter Mills (87) and Hunter Ball (60).
Robert Hill and Cale Rainey grabbed 2-25 and 1-38 respectively.
Denman then bundled out Creeks for 128, with Mitch Coombes claiming 3-12 and Marcus Baker 3-43.
Meanwhile, at Cook Park 3, Singleton, Valley crushed Muswellbrook.
Valley reached 4-250 via the skills of Nathan Bagnall (133) and Francois Hayes (69).
The team backed it up to dismiss the visitors for just 78.
Dom Cooper (26 not out) and B. Carter (14) were the only batsmen to trouble the scorers as Dean Hayes picked up 5-7.
In third grade, Denman defeated Creeks after receiving a forfeit.
The association’s representative squads head into action this weekend.
Singleton’s John Bull Shield side faces Maitland at Thornton 1 on Sunday, December 3, while the second division outfit locks horns with Upper Hunter at Scone.
Round nine draw (Saturday, December 2):
First grade –
Valley v JPC (Cook Park 3)
Creeks v Muswellbrook (Howe Park)
Second grade –
Valley v JPC (Cook Park 1)
Creeks v Muswellbrook (Victoria Park)
PCH/Glendon v Denman (Cook Park 2)
Third grade –
Valley v JPC (Civic Park)
PCH/Glendon v Denman (Cook Park 5)