Abergavenny Firsts were all out for 138 against Blackwood with Gareth Burkitt top scoring with 41 and William Glenn, 35. Blackwood chased the total seven wickets down despite the best efforts of Adam Harrison, 2-21, Dave Clarke, 1-26 and Sam Clarke, 2-30.

The seconds batted first against Brecon seconds hitting 213-6. Lee Fury was 78 not out with help from Richard Roberts, 49 and Matt Knight, 45. Brecon were then dismissed for 163 in their last over of the innings with spin twins Lewys Wilkes-McCarthy taking 4-31 and Andy Timpson, 3-22.

The thirds just about scraped a team out away at Monmouth seconds. The hosts batted first and were all out for 136 in the last over. Alex Holmes with 4-15, Colin Griffiths (on loan from Llanarth) 4-18 and Craig Whistance, 2-36. Aber then got over the finish line in the penultimate over with Holmes carrying his bat for 54. Ryan Jones chipped in with 18 and captain Mark Winstanley 37 not out.

Glangrwyney Captain Mike Devoy won the toss and elected to bat first against Luctonians hoping for a better start than the previous weekend.

After a steady start and few alarms Marc Evans was bowled for 13 with the score on 49. Two more quick wickets left Glangrwyney on 69 for three, the same position as the previous week when collapsing to 97 all out. Mike Devoy fell just after drinks for a well-made 48 and the score on 106 for four. Nick Jones up the ante and compiled his first 50 of the season before the wheels fell of the Glangrwyney wagon. From a position to push on to a competitive total 145 for four soon became 151 all out with the last five batsmen contributing two runs.

After tea Luctonians lost opener Duncan Platford for one off the bowling of Mike Devoy. A partnership of 81 between James Platford (66) and Will Maund (21) took the score to 106 before a mini collapse looked to have swung the game briefly Glangrwyney’s way. Tim Jones took three wickets and Jules Hardwick took one to leave Luctonians 119 for five but that was a good as it got as Luctonians ran out winners by five wickets. Nether the less it was a far better performance than the previous week against last year’s league champions.

Glangrwyney 2nd XI vs. away at Ross-on-Wye, 11th May

After last week’s nine wicket defeat in the season’s opener, Glangrwyney seconds travelled to Ross hoping to raise their game and almost pulled off a remarkable win. With the last two wickets in hand, Ross need needed 10 to win and whereas one wicket fell with the scores level, a bye saw them to a one wicket win.

Earlier Ross inserted the visitors on winning the toss who then had to deal with an exceeding slow outfield due to recent rain and long grass. Run scoring was difficult and it took until the 13th over to get above one run an over. Captain James McIlroy and vice-captain Graham Paton accumulated steadily against some accurate bowling and at the drinks interval, 38 for 2 was a good return in difficult conditions. Further contributions by Jack Peach and Neil Jones saw the rate accelerate. Meanwhile, McIlroy was moving to an essential team fifty but was denied in the final over as the last man was run out attempting a second run in a frantic ending and was left stranded on 49 not out. Glangrwyney closed on 124; considered to be worth much more in drier conditions.

In reply, Ross started strongly now that the sun had dried the outfield and quickly put up 20 runs. While not penetrating, the bowling was accurate with Jack Hooper bowling well. However, regular wickets started to fall and with the introduction of first Paul Waldron, later with Graham Paton and Mark Keane, the home team struggled to maintain the early pace. Keane in particular was effective and his 4 for 20 was well-earned. The visitors’ catching was greatly improved on the previous week, so it was frustrating that the outcome was the same however over-coming the most challenging of batting conditions felt like a moral victory.

Next week Glangrwyney seconds are home to Burghill, Tillington and Weobley.

LLANARTH welcomed visitors Pontnewynydd on the weekend, and with bowlers Tom Heath and Dan Moseley unavailable, batsmen Milo Thomas and Christian Dewfield replaced them to give the home side a lengthy batting line up.

Dennis Heath won the toss and inserted the opposition. David Lomax (2-20) and Gary Holley took the new cherry, the latter served up a full bunger first ball that was punched to the boundary but then bowled 29 consecutive dot balls in an exhibition of line and length. However it was Lomax that earned the breakthrough as Joe Matthews feathered a catch behind when forcing off the back foot.

Opener Geraint Jones (55), who plundered a century the last time the teams met, seemed strangely subdued as he and Tom Poole opted to see off the new ball. Chris Powell (3-14) was soon introduced and spun one back through Poole’s gate to disturb the timbers, this brought former Abergavenny and Wales Minor Counties star, Craig Barnsley, to the wicket. It was an important partnership to break and Llanarth only had to wait five balls as Barnsley tried to loft Powell over the in-field only for Lomax to clasp a terrific "over the shoulder" catch.

Skipper Rhodri Jones joined his brother and together they tried to up the strike rate with some quick running but the Trees were keeping things under control. With just three deliveries left in Powell’s miserly spell G. Jones surprised everyone by dancing down the wicket, missing the ball, only to hear the death rattle behind him signalling the end of a fine knock. R Jones soon mistimed D Heath (2-49) to point and the Pont innings was in danger of going under.

Jack Rogers (51*) helped his team set a total with an decent half-century, featuring some exceptional timing that saw the ball flying to the boundary. That said even a well set Rogers could do little against a sublime last over delivered by Lomax, the batsman could only lay bat on two of the deliveries as the Pontnewynydd innings ended on 157-7.

The Trees tucked into an excellent tea, reflecting on a good bowling effort and a near flawless display in the field, the latter being an occurrence on a par with locating hen’s teeth. After the interval Lomax (86*) and Mark Baxter set about trying to ensure that last week’s lower order excitement was avoided.

If Baxter was scratchy last week then this week effort was truly Boycottian, his defence was sound enough but he failed spectacularly to punish the few bad balls he received. Thankfully Lomax did as Lomax does and kept the scoreboard ticking along as Llanarth slowly moved towards their target. At drinks the Trees needed a further 82 runs from 23 overs with all wickets intact and when Baxter smashed the first ball after the resumption to the cover boundary it only seemed to accentuate the host’s strong position. Then the fun started.

Baxter thumped the very next ball, a long hop, straight to mid-wicket and was followed back to the pavilion by Thomas to give R Jones (5-31) a couple of scalps. Barnsley, in the middle of an economical spell, persuaded Will Heath to chip one to mid-wicket. R Jones soon dispatched both Dewfields and Chris Page, all clean bowled, to bring Andy Spencer to the crease. However last week’s hero was soon missing his off stump and Llanarth had lost 7-46 in 17 overs since drinks leading one to ponder that whilst the visitors were supping their squash had the Trees been at the bar optics.

Lomax continued to bat, completely unflustered at the carnage unfolding, the only thing that changed for him was that he had someone different to talk to at the end of every other over. This was where the long batting line up came to the fore as D Heath strode in at number nine with the equation being 33 runs to win from 26 balls. Sharp running between the wickets and timely boundaries reduced it to four runs from seven balls, then Lomax stroked the winning boundary straight down the ground and for the second week running the LCG heaved a sigh of relief.

Crickhowell are a club in crisis. Having had to cancel their first game of the season at Kington the week before, because Crickhowell could not field a side, at least they were able to get 11 players onto the field for their home game against Strollers last Saturday.

Strollers won the toss and had no hesitation in putting in the home side on a wicket that had experienced some considerable rain in the week, and still had a green tinge to prove it. It turned out to be a significant decision with Crickhowell having to bat on a spiteful and unpredictable wicket. Christie and Wallace were removed for ducks in the first three overs from vicious deliveries from Wood-Cole (2-18]) that reared up of a good length to find the bat handle and offer easy catches to Lerego at gully. Greg Tew (14) and Kerrison (19) dug in for a while, but runs were hard to come by with a slow outfield adding to concerns about the wicket. Both eventually offered catches, trying to move the scoring along, and Jenkins (11) and Parker (5) also perished in similar fashion. Skipper Francis (38) was the only one who seemed to be mastering the conditions, but even he spooned another catch to Lerego at backward point, from a ball that held up, on what was now a drying wicket. Then Tim Price who has consistently scored useful runs down the order in the past, managed to run himself out for 0, but it did take a direct hit from that man Lerego who was having a very good day in the field for the visitors. Young Callum Tew (1), Phill Bowker (8) and Hywel Price (3*) at least managed to ensure that Crickhowell batted out their overs, but a total of 119 even on this wicket just seemed a little short. Roberts (4 for 20) was the most successful bowler for Strollers who generally bowled well in the conditions and certainly looked an eager and effective fielding side, with nine catches held and that direct run out to show for it.

After tea, with the sunshine and warm breeze continuing to dry out the wicket, it seemed a much easier wicket to bat on. Strollers nonetheless batted with caution as Tim Price (3 for 27) made early in roads and bowled economically throughout his 10 over spell. Francis (1 for 23) and Bowker (1 for 34) also chipped in, but it was Kerrison’s (3 for 6) left arm spin that picked up late wickets to maybe, spark an unlikely victory, with the visitors still needing 20 runs. Strollers’ lower order hung out though, to see their side over the line by two wickets, and in truth Crickhowell didn’t really have enough runs on the board in the first place. However this was a good game played in a very good spirit with top scorer Terry (28) for Strollers demonstrating how the game should be played. He walked off, having given the thinnest of edges to wicketkeeper Wallace, with bowler and significantly, the umpire, not hearing a thing at the other end.

Crickhowell next week, are due for an away trip to Garnons, but availability is poor, and Crickhowell are low on numbers and new recruits. Where have all the Crickhowell cricketers gone? And indeed, where is the next generation of Crickhowell cricketers hiding? Crickhowell have two promising youngsters in Lloyd Francis and Callum Tew, but after that, the age profile of the team jumps to a few in the 30s, a few more in the 40s and 50s and then Wallace and Bowker who are qualified for free bus travel. It does amount to a crisis for Crickhowell, as a club with such a strong and long history and a reasonable population centre, shouldn’t be struggling in this way. However, it seems that Crickhowell is not the only club suffering in this way, with reports of quite a few other clubs across the area, also struggling with numbers. This seems ironic as the national and county game is flourishing, but the grass roots of local cricket are not sprouting as they once did. If there are any cricketers out there, that fancy dusting off their whites to help the club get through this crisis, then please get in touch.