With Crickhowell’s league game against Goodrich, on Saturday, falling foul of the weather, at least there was the friendly game on Sunday to look forward to on the Town Ground, with Kent tourists, Hythe Lobsters, back again for their regular summer visit to South Wales.
Crickhowell’s Phil Christie, an ex-Lobster tourist himself, organised an invitation team to play his old club on the Crickhowell ground and the locals were treated to some high-class cricket played with tremendous spirit.
The visitors batted first in a 30 over aside game, and the home team opened up with Abergavenny’s Dan Cook (2 for 7) from one end, and Crickhowell’s Joseph Bowker (1 for 7) from the other, making a formidable pace attack.
Both had early successes with smart catches from wicketkeeper Pepper and two from Tim Jones in the deep helping out.
With Mike Devoy (2 for 24) replacing Cook, and also picking up wickets with the help of another two good catches in the deep this time from Cook and Bowker, the Lobsters found themselves floundering on 55 for five after 13 overs.
Ireland (111) then came to the wicket and got the Lobsters out of hot water hitting a magnificent ton which included seven sixes and 13 fours.
It was Tom Griffiths (1 for 60) and young leg spinner Joe Bowden (0 for 43) who took the brunt of Ireland’s onslaught and it took another good catch in the deep from Christie himself off the bowling of Phill Bowker (2 for 27) to end the carnage.
The visitors though were finally bowled out with five overs unused, but still had 209 on the board which would still take some chasing.
Glangrwyney’s Mike Devoy and Ebbw Vale’s Nick Pepper opened the batting for the Crickhowell All Stars and got the side off to a good start with 58 for the first wicket. Even then it took a lucky deflection off the bowler’s boot to run Pepper out, who can consider himself very unlucky.
With Cook (9) hitting one big six and then getting out shortly after, Joseph Bowker (62) joined Glangrwyney’s Tim Jones (54) at the crease and the pair put on 105 for the fourth wicket to get their side to within touching distance of the visitor’s score.
Bowker’s knock included four sixes, one of which rattled the doors on the Fire Station the other side of the main road, and Jones showed his class by hitting the gaps and accumulated runs all around the wicket. Both ran well together, but with both out and Tom Griffiths going for a golden duck and Price (4) falling to another good catch from Collins it was fitting for Christie to join young Bowden at the crease to see his side through to a very good win by two wickets in the very last over, with only one ball to spare.
For the visitors, Hall (2 for 31) and Dempster (2 for 35) were the pick of the bowlers and the home team can thank that 100 run partnership from Jones and Bowker for getting their side into a winning position.
Next Saturday Crickhowell are back to league business with an away trip to fellow strugglers Woolhope.