ABERGAVENNY cantered to a a nine-wicket win skittling out hosts Ebbw Vale in 18 overs, but the champagne remains on ice for the unbeaten South East Wales One table-toppers, reports PAUL SUSSEX.
Ebbw Vale chose to bat on a very lush looking Eugene Cross cricket field, but this backfired in a big way as they were bowled out for just 69 runs.
Tom Norton (2-15) took two wickets in consecutive balls in his third over, before his hat trick ball went disappointingly wide (23-2).
The turning point, as it has often been this season, was the introduction of spin in just the 10th over and Lewys Wilkes-McCarthy (4-7) didn’t disappoint with his first wicket, leaving Ebbw Vale 42-3.
Not long after that his fourth wicket reduced them to 69-8, with Pawan Lokukankanamage chipping in with a couple of wickets (2-9) and stand-in skipper Sam Clarke (1-2) taking the final wicket as the hosts with just 10 men were all out for 69.
Abergavenny suffered the loss of opener Tom Pipe for 11, but Andrew Jones with 25 not out and James Francis 15 not knocked off the required runs inside eight overs, giving Abergavenny 19 points.
They cannot yet claim the Championship though as an alleged infringement will come before a disciplinary committee that will deliberate regarding possible sanctions (points deducted) today (Wednesday September 6).
Following other results, without sanctions, even if Abergavenny lose the last two games without picking up a point they cannot be caught with a 71-point lead.
The 1st XI away to Ebbw Vale were – Andrew Jones, Tom Pipe, James Francis, Tom Norton, Joe Harris, Owen Harris, Greg Fury, Sam Clarke (capt), Dave Clarke, Lewys Wilkes-McCarthy, Pawan Lokukankanamage.
Officials were Bob Szpadt and Phil Williams.
This Saturday (September 9) Abergavenny 1sts are away to Llandaff CC.
Meanwhile Abergavenny Under 15s played Newport Under 15s at Newport in the Gwent Final, but lost out after a disappointing performance.
Only Jack Ryan (31) and Shunryu Sheehan (21 not out) showed their true form as Abergavenny finished on 109-8 in their 20 overs.
Newport had scored 87 in the 14th over when they lost their first wicket and eventually won by nine wickets with 2.2 overs remaining.
The Abergavenny U15s were – Olly Jones, Toby Smith, Tom Krige, Jack Ryan (Capt), Lloyd Sharp, Flynn Williams, Shunryu Sheehan, Evan Jones, Dylan Bradley, Joe Fairbank and Oscar Thadchanamoorthy.
Meanwhile, Sean Edwards with 68 and skipper Ollie Mann with an unbeaten 53 guided Llanarth to a 73-run friendly win over Abergavenny’s friendly XI on Sunday (September 2).
The hosts compiled 236-8 off their 40 overs, Onnen Parry and Craig Whistance each taking two wickets.
And they then bowled out Aber for 163 in 23.1 overs, Sam Holley, Jo Holley and Glen Hamilton also enjoying wicket braces, with just Manuraj Raju making a sizeable impact with the bat with 55.
Elsewhere, fresh from taking the South Wales Premier 2 title two days earlier, Usk CC celebrated with a 102-run friendly home win over Ponthir on Bank Holiday Monday.
Matthew Williams cracked 42 and fellow opener Gethin Thomas 24 as the hosts racked up 183-8 in their 30 overs, backed by Dave Harding-Smith with 21.
In reply, Ponthir’s two openers scored 26 and 13, but the rest of the batting line-up was wiped out with no one else making double figures, and Usk skittling them out for just 83 in 23.1 overs.
Ryan Lloyd took three wickets for seven off four overs, while Ryan Jones, Matt Hancock and Ryan Price all took wicket braces.
Llanarth women’s softball team lost narrowly by seven runs at Ponthir on Friday night, Jo Holley scoring 16 and Jessica McCarroll 11 in their total of 121-9 off 16 overs after being set a target of 128-4.
Glangrwyney Women scored 110 against Ponthir the same night, but the hosts then scored seven runs more.
The season is now winding down, but with the weather scorching at the start of the week, Glangrwyney 1st XI host Lisvane on Saturday (September 9), while Usk women host Ponthir and Llanarth women host Malpas.