Aber debut with a double, Llanarth lose opener, Crick win by one wicket and it’s Game On!

By Staff reporter in Cricket

Abergavenny Cricket Club First XI started their league campaign with a 72 run win against Cardiff Gymkhana on Saturday at Avenue Road.

After losing the toss Abergavenny were asked to bat and openers Will Glenn and Morgan Bevans put on 111 for the first wicket before Glenn was bowled for a well made 62.

Bevans soon followed to a good catch for 49 and Aber started to struggle slightly against the slower bowlers finishing 200-9 from their 50 overs.

In the field Aber got off to a great start with Adam Harrison claiming 3-37 and some good fielding putting the Gymkhana batters under pressure. Leg spinner Sam Clarke bowled a good spell to take 4-23 and new signing Ross Melrose, who has joined the club from Himley CC, claimed 3-18 as Gymkhana were bundled out for 128 in just 33.5 overs.

Overall a good start to the season for Aber and hopefully they can build on this perfromance next weekend when they travel to Radyr.

On Sunday the first team welcomed local neighbours Usk to Avenue Road in the Welsh Cup and put them to the sword with a resounding 117 run victory.

Aber lost the toss and were asked to bat first. Will Glenn took advantage with a fantastic knock carrying his bat for an unbeaten 136 as Aber racked up 277-4 from their 40 overs.

Glenn was supported well by skipper Geraint Leach 51 and David Clarke 37 as the Usk bowlers went to all parts of Avenue Road with 31 boundaries being hit in the innings.

In reply Usk limped to 160-8 with young 14 year old off spinner Lewys McCarthy impressing on his first team debut by taking 2-29 with some good control. Also to take wickets for Aber was David Clarke 3-19 and Sam Clarke 2-36. Aber youngsters Dylan Beaumont Welsh and Ben Morris also bowled well with no reward. For Usk top scorer was Neil Perrett with 37.

Abergavenny 2nd XI began their league campaign at a blustery Chepstow CC on Saturday and were blown away in the final phase of the game to go down by 115 runs.

The emphatic nature of the result does not tell the whole story as the Beavers were in the game for long periods but just could not maintain their challenge in the final 20 overs.

Aber skipper Steve Brown lost the toss and home counterpart Jon Huws had no hesitation in batting first. The track and the outfield were very hard and dry for early May which meant a par score was expected to be around 225.

Beavers youngster Ben Morris had other ideas though and picked up two wickets in his first over, both caught well at slip by the nimble Andy Timpson.

Morris was unlucky not to pick up a third wicket, but the chance went down at second slip, with the beneficiary, Bostock, going on to make a solid 61.

Skipper Brown was in the enviable position of having eight bowlers to rotate, but having lost Francois Lodder to a rib strain when in a good rhythm, no one else was able to take control until wily seamer Gareth Powell (3-30) produced a magical nine over spell to wrestle back some initiative for the Aber team.

However, Jones (71) and skipper Huws (32) had taken the Chepstow score to 180-3 with 12 overs to go and a score well in excess of 250 was looking a distinct possibility.

Brown turned back to spin and was instantly rewarded as young leggy Tom Pipe took two good wickets and Timpson one, which wrestled back the impetus for the away team. Ben Morris returned for a second spell and picked up a third wicket to leave the Chepstow innings at 219-9.

Beavers openers Powell and Nathan Holley made a promising start and the pusuit of 220 for victory looked well within range, however, Powell misjudged the line of a Tim Rees delivery and found himself on his way back to the pavillion for 13.

When Ieuan Fury, on his Beavers comeback, fell soon after, it was left to Steve Brown (29) and Nathan Holley (23) to steady the ship.

After Holley departed, Brown and Griffiths (22) took the score along to 96-3 with more than 20 overs remaining in the run chase.

At this stage, the game could have gone either way, however, young Chepstow off spinner Lewys Jones showed the benefits of pitching the ball up as he first dismissed Griffiths, followed by Brown in the next over.

The equation was now looking very different as the injured Lodder was unable to bat leaving the Beavers effectively 100-6. Jones continued to torment the Aber batsmen and finished with 5-24 as Aber lost their last seven wickets for only eight runs in the space of five overs.

The final margin of defeat and the rapid middle order collapse was a little harsh on the young Beavers side, but there were a number of positives to take out of the game as Aber look to immediately reverse their fortunes with a home game against Pentyrch this Saturday.

Abercynon were the visitors to the LCG for the opening fixture of the 2017 season.

Skipper Dennis Heath lost the toss and was asked to bat.

Decent pre-season form saw Tom Vaughan invited to open the batting with Mark Baxter (48). Vaughan’s aggressive approach kept the scoreboard ticking.

Matthew Taylor proved troublesome, bowling booming in-swingers at a lively pace that just kept thudding into pads and, eventually, Vaughan’s stumps when he played back once too often.

Ed James (46) sauntered to the crease and proceeded to find new ways to get whatever delivery sent his way down to third man and with Baxter now finding the odd boundary the Trees were building something useful.

Drinks were taken at 125-1 from 25 overs but Abercynon fought back immediately through Dan Hawkins (4-32) as Llanarth slipped to 154-5 with both set batsmen sent packing.

Gerry Stentiford and Dennis Heath set about repairing the innings and did well to see it through to the close, both scoring useful twenties. With Sarah Heath now serving tea out of the newly refurbished clubhouse kitchen the Trees enjoyed a super bit of grub content with their total of 200-5.

Raj Banaras and Gary Holley took the new cherry and whilst both were tidy enough the visitors openers looked in good nick, especially Ashley Willis (40) who unfurled some imperious cover drives. It took the introduction of Chris Powell to get the initial break-through but at 77-1 the Trees were wondering how to remove Willis.

They didn’t have to as Taylor did it for them. He struck the ball to mid-on and set off for a non-existent run whilst Willis stood at the non-strikers end but when the ball missed the stumps Willis decided to leg it. Thankfully Baxter, whose fielding for the rest of the day was at best veteran-like, was backing up and whistled the ball to the keeper and the star bat was gone. Shortly afterwards Tom Heath (2-22) struck with his first ball and drinks were taken with the score at 107-3, game on.

A dangerous partnership then developed between opposition skipper Idris Davis (56*) and Hefin Jones (30) that gradually looked to take the game away from the Trees. The former batted with great resolve in mixing calculated hard-hitting with watchful defence whilst Jones, at least one place too low in the order, worked the bowling around nicely.

Eventually Tom Heath, in an excellent spell, removed Jones, then when Banaras bagged a wicket the visitors had slipped to 169-5. Alas no more breakthroughs were forthcoming as Davis saw his team through with nine balls and five wickets to spare. A fine game of cricket played in decent spirit though Llanarth will rue the fielding effort that saw five catches grassed, including the match-winning Davis four times, three times off of the luckless Andy Spencer.

Crickhowell went into the home local derby against Glangrwyney without Lilly, Cornock and Joseph Bowker but were able to welcome back Parker, Watts and Phill Bowker.

In addition Crickhowell were also able to call on the experienced Phil Christie and gave a debut to newcomer Ben Lyster-Binns. Skipper Nick Francis won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first.

His counterpart Mike Devoy opened the innings with Paul Daniel and together they conjured up a good start until Ben Bowker bowled Daniels and then trapped Devoy LBW on 30. Tim price at the other end was having no luck and Phill Bowker replaced him and tore the heart out of Glangrwyney’s middle order.

He first trapped the dangerous Tim Price LBW, before then enticing Barry Sharp with a slower ball, which was well taken in the deep by son Ben.

McIlroy then spooned another slower ball to Jenkins before Morgan and Nick Jones were both cleaned bowled to give Bowker five for 31 off his 12 overs against his former club.

Nick Francis was then primed to mop up the tail, but he had no luck and several missed chances meant that Glangrwyney were edging up to a reasonable score. It was left to Tim Price (2-29) and Ben Bowker (3-30) to return and restrict the visitors to 169 all out in 38 overs.

After tea, Crickhowell were in confident mood, needing only 170 for the win, but were quickly reduced to 10 for 3 with Parker, Kerrison and the unlucky Lyster-Binns all back in the hutch. It was left to skipper Francis and Phil Christie to rebuild, and this they did to good effect. Christie’s sensible and patient approach was a perfect foil for Francis who was at his swashbuckling best at times, but mixed with a good measure of sound defence.

They took the score from a precarious 10 for 3 up to 120 before Julian Hardwick grabbed the wicket of first, Christie, and then Jenkins. Francis though, was still there showing good shot selection and punishing the poor deliveries in some style.

With the hard work done and the finishing line in sight, Crickhowell nearly pressed the self-destruct button to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Devoy was forced to bowl himself out but first managed to claim the wicket of veteran Wallace.

With nine wickets down and Crickhowell still needing 10 runs for victory Phill Bowker joined son Ben at the crease. Glangrwyney were sniffing the scent of a famous victory themselves, and of course a tie was also now a distinct possibility, but it turned out to be a close encounter of the third kind, with the last wicket pairing seeing their side home to a one wicket win.

Next week Crickhowell make the long trip to Kington and the Cwrt-y-Gollen outfit entertain Garnons at ‘The Camp’.

Talybont CC bagged a comprehensive seven wicket win agains Moccas to take joint second in the league.

Moccas won the toss and elected to bat. Colin Prothero (29) and John Davies (18) opened against the bowling of Huw Griffiths (0 -11- 8) and Lewis Deacon (0-5-1).

A foot injury saw Deacon hobble out of the attack and Martin Hurst (2-34-2) entered the fray.

Another impeccable bowling spell by Griffiths kept Moccas on the back foot. Hurst removed Davies and had Tom Price (18) caught spectacularly by Craig Samuel.

Carl Lewis (4-21-8) removed the stubborn Prothero with a smart stumping by Dan Bowen, then got M. James caught by Huw Griffiths and J. Dyke by Bowen.

Luke Bowen and Richard James removed the Tailenders, with Lewis Deacon claiming a catch. Moccas were all out for 81 in the 36th over.

In reply, Bont openers Dan Bowen (35) and Colin Griffiths (7) faced the bowling of Bill Bowen and Tom Price. Bowen hit four sixes and two fours before getting caught in a stand of 38.

Martin Hurst hit a quick 15 to leave the Bont 57 for two with 17 runs needed. Griffiths managed to run himself out and it was left to Luke Bowen (19 not out) and Richard James to see the Bont home in the 25th over.

Mention must be made of 64-year-old Bill Bowen’s accuracy in bowling, conceding just nine runs in his 12 over spell for Moccas.

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