Two blockbuster grand finals remain
BY ALEX TIGANI
All roads lead to Singleton this Saturday for two highly anticipated grand finals.
This will be followed by the Singleton District Cricket Association’s presentation evening which will be held at the Albion Hotel that evening.
JPC Gold vs. Creeks
12pm at Howe Park, Singleton
Like the first-grade decider, last month’s T20 grand final sides return for the big dance.
JPC has been a dominant force in the second-grade competition with recent titles captured in 2014, 2018 and 2019 before celebrating an impressive 86-run win as JPC Gold against Glendon in last year’s grand final at St Catherine’s Catholic College.
Now the second-grade powerhouse will for glory at Howe Park and all eyes will be on one man, opening batsman Rodney Luxford.
This year, he became the Singleton District Cricket Association player to score 900 runs in a single season. He has now reached 958 and has one final opportunity to hit his 1000th for the summer.
“It is going to be a big occasion, he is aware of it,” JPC Gold’s Stuart Johnstone explained.
“He wasn’t aware that he was the highest run scorer ever for a summer in Singleton cricket but he is aware of that now.
“He has been a huge part of our success this year but on the same token we have had some successful youngsters such as Dorian Thornberry and Will Edwards and Thomas Pearce.
“The confidence those young boys have been very enjoyable for us over 50s that are part of that team.”
Hayden Bourke, who has been named as captain, told The Hunter River Times that the game will be played in good spirit.
“In the T20 grand final if we catch Lucky when he was on 10 or 20 he doesn’t go on to get 50 and we win that game there’s lots of 50-50s between us,” Bourke said.
Creeks’ second grade side has celebrated recent premierships in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012 and most recently in 2017 against Denman.
Bourke still has vivid memories of watching his brother Mitch that afternoon.
He has one mission this grand final day.
“We are probably going to rally off for my brother who is currently in hospital,” he explained.
“We’re going to thrive off of that and bring a fair bit of energy to try and win for him on the day.
“He would want to be here so that is the way it is going to go.”
The match will be live streamed on Frogbox.
JPC Black vs. Valley
12pm at Cook Park 1, Singleton
There are three certainties in life.
Death, taxes and JPC and Valley playing off for Singleton’s third grade title.
Yet the synergy between Valley and JPC has eased into the lower tier after opposing captains Jason Barry (Valley) and Bruce Dempster (JPC) watched their sons Isaac and Luke win a first grade grand final together on Saturday.
“We’re friends at 9am for breakfast this Saturday and then we’re back to enemies at midday for the grand final at Cook Park 1,” SDCA president and Valley captain Jason Barry playfully declared.
Both clubs have admitted they expect a fun afternoon of cricket to be played in good spirit.
JPC Black captain Bruce Dempster highlights that both sides will enter with similar ability and age. He has picked youngster Jack Gilmore as his player to watch while Barry has cast the spotlight on Valley’s recruit Ross Burton.
“Ross has put a lot of effort into his bowling and he has actually taken a fair few wickets,”
“He is just pretty consistent in his first year for Valley, coming in as our club’s player number 670 (something) to play with son Angus.”