It's grand final time for Singleton District Cricket Association

READY FOR THE BATTLE: Valley's Dan Storey and Creeks skipper Gavin Wake will play crucial roles in this weekend's Singleton District Cricket Association first grade grand final at Howe Park.
READY FOR THE BATTLE: Valley's Dan Storey and Creeks skipper Gavin Wake will play crucial roles in this weekend's Singleton District Cricket Association first grade grand final at Howe Park.

SINGLETON District Cricket Association (SDCA) officials will spend the week praying for fine weather after rain interrupted the play-offs on Saturday.

With first and second grade primarily affected, Valley and Denman received a free pass to the 2016-17 grand finals in their respective divisions.

It was a different story in “thirds”.

Minor premiers Creeks struggled in the conditions and were sent packing by Valley at Civic Park.

Valley’s bowlers produced their “A game”, dismissing the “favourites” for a paltry 18.

This allowed the “underdogs” to set up a meeting with JPC this weekend.

SDCA president Tim Gore said the association had a “spare day” up its sleeve if the weather gods intervened again.

“If it’s wet, all grades can play on Sunday instead of Saturday,” he explained.

“But, we hope that won’t be the case.

“Despite the Glendon players and the curator spending many hours trying to make the Howe Park first grade wicket playable on Saturday, the umpires made a decision at 2.15pm to declare it and the surrounds dangerous and unfit for play.

“This meant Valley progressed through to the grand final against Creeks.

“In second grade, Valley was due to face Denman at Denman.

“But, that wicket and the reserve one at Cook Park 3 were both unfit for play, too.

“Denman now meets Creeks at Cook Park 3.”

In the main fixture, Creeks is eyeing off its third title in four seasons.

However, captain Gavin Wake believes the pressure will be on both teams equally.

“We have a lot of guys who have been there before,” he said.

“In a grand final though, it’s all about who stands up on the day.

“It’s a totally different match – past results don’t count.

“And, even though we finished first on the ladder, and been consistent all season, we’re just focusing on our game.

“If we do things right, the result will take care of itself.”

Hoping to stop the Creeks’ juggernaut is Valley – and their skipper Jacob Carey.

“We needed a bit of luck [to get in the decider],” he said.

“Creeks boast a lot of experience.

“We’re a young side, so we’ll need the older guys to step up – and lead from the front.

“Batting first is a distinct advantage; scoreboard pressure can make a huge difference.

“We’ve improved slowly over the past few seasons, but we’ve been poor since Christmas.

“If Brendan Nichols can find form, it’ll be a big plus for us.”

The association will host its presentations at Club Singleton following the grand finals.

Proceedings start at 7pm.

Grand final draw (Saturday):

First grade – Creeks v Valley at Howe Park

Second grade – Creeks v Denman at Cook Park 3

Third grade – JPC v Valley at Cook Park 5