AFTER losing out to the weather for all the pre-season friendlies Abergavenny Cricket Club 1st XI  welcomed newly promoted Ebbw Vale to Avenue Road to open the South East Wales One league season for 2023, reports PAUL SUSSEX.

The Abergavenny team selected was Will Glenn (capt), Greg Fury (wk), James Francis, Tom Pipe, Joe Harris, Ellis Jones, Owen Harris, Sam Clarke, David Clarke, Jack Ryan and Lewys Wilkes McCarthy. 

The hosts were asked to bat after losing the toss and despite losing skipper Will Glenn for eight, and in testing batting conditions, they reached 57-1 off the first 11 overs with Tom Pipe looking in very good form making a swift 49.

The game ebbed and flowed and from 74-1, Abergavenny fell to 95-4.

But a 60 partnership ensued for the fifth wicket between Owen Harris (20) and James Francis taking the score on to 155-4 before they lost another crop of wickets to be 183-9 .

But 10th man Jack Ryan (1) and eighth man Sam Clarke, who was outstanding making 52, added 54 for the last wicket to leave Abergavenny 237 all out. 

Francis, Player of the Year for the past two seasons, made 53, but at the halfway stage it was becoming cold and rather overcast and a finish to the game was in doubt. 

Ebbw Vale however did get to bat but didn’t ever get going in reply.

 The visitors lost early wickets and quickly found themselves 14-3 with opening bowlers David Clarke (1-7) and James Francis (2-15) in the wickets. 

There was a small stand of 29 runs for the fourth wicket, but further wickets fell regularly as the weather closed in and Ebbw Vale were staring at defeat at 83-8 when rain brought the game to a  close. 

There were also two wickets for Sam Clarke and one each for Harris, Ryan and McCarthy, as Abergavenny began the season with a win on Duckworth Lewis to take 20 points.

The officials for the first game were Bob Charlton and Mark Thomas. 

Meanwhile, Abergavenny CC have announced the appointment of Geraint Adlam as Senior Team Coach for 2023. The club have also benefitted from generous sponsorship from Taylor & Co for their refurbished roll-on covers 

Fixtures this Saturday (April 29) include – Abergavenny 1st XI v Sudbrook, Usk v Dafen Welfare, Glangrwyney v Crickhowell RFC.  

Sunday fixtures (April 30) include Abergavenny v Porth, Usk v Sudbrook