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June 22, 2024 4:23 PM

Moorcroft inspires side to T20 glory

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BY ALEX TIGANI

Singleton teenager Hayden Moorcroft had never played in a grade grand final until last Saturday night’s Coalfields Cup T20 decider between his Valley/JPC line-up and Greta Branxton.

Fast forward to 10pm that evening and the 17-year-old came close to receiving a standing ovation from those in attendance at Howe Park after his impressive tally of 4/7 inspired his side to capture the inaugural title.

By 10:15pm, his side had secured a memorable 19-run victory.

“I honestly don’t know what happened, I just found my run up, got on a rhythm and they just kept rolling through,” Moorcroft told The Hunter River Times.

“My teammates were encouraging me but there was trash talking from the crowd at the same time which revved me up.

“I just asked Isaac (Barry), can I bowl all four cause I was on a rhythm and feeling good and I guess it worked out in the end.”

Earlier in the day, Valley/JPC defeated Creeks in the first semi-final before Greta Branxton catered for Bellbird to qualify for the decider.

Hayden, who is also a talented footballer, had also played in the Singleton Strikers’ intraclub trial match at Alroy Oval prior to his six hours of cricket.

THRT 40.1 Moorcroft inspires side to T20 glory 2
Hayden Moorcroft, 17, was the star of the night thanks to his impressive 4/7 with the ball.

So when he departed the field for the final two overs of the final, he had well and truly earned his spell and could not help but smile when watching his father David land a late catch.

“It feels good to still be playing with him,” he added.

“He’s not old but he doesn’t have a knee left.

“To also merge with Valley and have Isaac is pretty special because he’s a great player and a great leader and great to be around.”

The victory marked Isaac Barry’s first premiership as captain to go along with his Singleton District Cricket Association first grade player of the year titles from 2020/21 and 2021/22.

After two-year stints in South Africa and England the triumph also granted new recruit Mewa Jeetawaral his first career title.

The Indian batsman had only returned from Bali the day before and admitted he had not slept in the lead up to the final. The opener scored 30 of his side’s 111 runs, finding the boundary on four occasions.

Valley stalwart and SDCA official Daniel Storey was also affectionally crowned as the mayor of Singleton by fellow Coalfields Cup organiser Mark Bercini.

The Moorcrofts, Barry, Jeetawaral, Storey and the entire team then poised for a winners’ photo.

Singleton’s first night competition had been declared a success.

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