Strengthened Valley line-up seek revenge after SDCA first grade grand final defeat

FLASHBACK: PCH and Valley players embrace each other after the 2018/19 grand final. The two line-ups will meet again this Saturday.

FLASHBACK: PCH and Valley players embrace each other after the 2018/19 grand final. The two line-ups will meet again this Saturday.

It is the match up 203 days in the making.

Now Valley's first grade side returns to Howe Park to strike revenge over runaway premiers PCH in this Saturday's SDCA (Singleton District Cricket Association) season opener.

The two sides closed the 2018/19 season with one of the most thrilling grand finals in SDCA history.

The PCH line-up required 40 runs in the final four overs to secure its first title in the top tier competition since Warren Gillespie guided the side to glory in 2002. And they were able to do so with a six from Luke Knight in the penultimate bowl of the season. But who will take out this Saturday's match?

"I've been really looking forward to this season with three different clubs winning the last three first grade comps it could be anyone's season," Valley's Sam Barry told the Singleton Argus.

IN ACTION: Sam Barry.

IN ACTION: Sam Barry.

"It will be a good grand final rematch this Saturday and, if it's anything like the grand final, it should be a great close match and, hopefully, Valley can get up this time round."

The reigning premiers will be equipped with talent under the leadership of captain Jackson Cox and former Valley premiership star Jake Mackaway.

However Valley may just enter as favourites due to their strengthened line-up. "This year we will have Brendan, Taylor and Luke Nichols all returning to play," Barry added.

"Its great to have these guys back and they will definitely strengthen both our batting and bowling side.

"Isaac Barry is back from having a season in Maitland first grade with Kurri, where he took out Kurri first grade player of the year, so hopefully he can continue that form for Valley this season.

Valley stalwart Jacob Carey has been appointed as first grade captain, taking over from SDCA treasurer Daniel Storey, while Brennan Whittington will take the reigns as second grade skipper.

"Brenny has been a great club person and, with almost 150 games of experience, he will do a great job leading the seconds boys," Barry concluded.

MEANWHILE JPC will face off against Glendon in the remaining fixture to be held at Cook Park 3.

JPC proved to be indestructible in the SDCA first grade T20 tournament last year while, in the regular format, Shane Givney took out the top tier's player of the year award.

Glendon's line-up has also been strengthened by the return of Cael Smith who may have also been appointed as skipper.

Powerhouse Creeks will have the bye this weekend before facing off against JPC the following week.