IT was another glorious day at the LCG as Llanarth entertained Abercarn keen to forget about last week’s debacle.

With both home games thus far going to the wire expectant spectators were hoping for another cracker.

Multiple weddings and Newport County commitments reduced availability but gave others an opportunity to impress. U15 Seth Butler did just that when taking the new ball and finding good pace and bounce, he was unlucky not to remove opposition captain Ieuan Parsons (67) after locating a thick edge but it was grassed at gully. Gary Holley produced his now standard accuracy down the hill but the Trees could not find an early breakthrough.

Mark Franklin (63) opened with his skipper and though both started cautiously they attacked after drinks to progress the score to 108 in the 28th over when I Parsons swung Dennis Heath (2-31) to the square leg boundary where Mark Baxter clung onto the chance. D Heath grabbed another quick wicket to bring a key moment when Abercarn’s star batsman Jeremy Parsons strolled to the crease.

With bowling resources depleted Baxter had to be utilised and delivered some overs of varying dob. However in an over of rare quality he showed Parsons multiple outswingers before nipping one back through the gate to ping the top of off. Any hopes Llanarth had for a rattle of wickets disappeared as Suhas Kharade (34*) struck the ball cleanly and pushed the score towards 200. U15 Dan Moseley finally ended Franklin’s vigil but some swift blows by Jeff Scouse saw the innings close at 209-4.

An exquisite tea fuelled the Llanarth players for the batting effort with veterans Allan Dewfield (43) and Mark Baxter (68) given the responsibility of making inroads. A selection of early boundaries settled nerves as both batsmen looked in good touch, with Baxter having to talk to his partner regularly to try to stop him launching at everything. Dewfield eventually perished with the score at 88 from 19 overs and a good platform for the innings had been layed. A couple of early Will Heath boundaries saw the Trees to squash at 104-1 but it was Abercarn who came back fighting after the break.

The next seven overs yielded only nine runs and saw three wickets tumble. W. Heath drove to cover, last year’s hero of this fixture, Chris Page, was caught behind and Christian Dewfield run out. The latter dismissal was a strange one as Baxter crunched a drive straight to mid off but said nothing and didn’t move, Dewfield heard a call from a fielder and commenced running. On realising Baxter hadn’t left his crease, and had no intention to, Dewfield made an about turn but was beaten by J. Parsons’s direct hit.

Llanarth needed impetus and Dave Griffiths (37), usually associated with doughty resistance, had licence to get out the long irons as the run rate had climbed above seven an over. And get out the long irons he did, striking a quintet of sweetly timed strokes to the ropes to pull the requirement back to under a run a ball. The pair put on 57 in good time before an exhausted Baxter wandered down the wicket, missed his waft and carried on wandering, back to the pavilion after being stumped.

D. Heath followed Baxter back quickly as Abercarn grabbed the initiative but it was snatched back as Chris Powell and Griffiths exchanged boundaries. Powell fell but Holley ensured the Trees stayed favourites by bunting a couple of fours to a surprisingly vacant cow corner.

Llanarth had it in the bag with seven runs needed off thirteen balls but then Griffiths missed a straight one to end an excellent effort and Butler was run out by another direct hit following a mix up. Five needed from the last over with the last pair at the crease. Another heart stopping finish for the Trees faithful.

Dot ball, then a Holley single gave the strike to Moseley and the Abercarn fielders closed in tightly. Unfortunately for them they were unaware that the Trees junior is more than capable with the willow and when the bowler dropped short Moseley pulled assuredly through mid wicket, but the ball stopped agonisingly short of the rope as the pair scampered three to level the score. Holley kept out the fourth ball and then struck the penultimate offering into a packed off-side ring and the pair ran like the wind. A fielder made a decent stop but had no time to gather and throw to prevent the winning run as the Trees scraped home again.

Abergavenny First X1 were away at Cardiff Gymkhana, who play on the big open spaces of Llandaff Fields.

Gymkhana batted first and made what looked after 15 overs an unlikely 217.

At one point they were 61-0 only to collapse to 76-6 with spin twins Sam Clarke (3-19) and Ben Davies (2-20) putting a stranglehold on the Gymkhana batsmen.

The lower order of the Cardiff outfit then hit out taking the score from 102-7 to 217 all out. Adam Harrison once again bowled well taking 2-40.

In reply skipper Will Glen (14) and Andrew Jones (46) got off to a flier and Abergavenny seemed set to make light work of their target putting on 48 in the first six overs, this momentum was continued by Morgan Bevans (55) and Adam Harrison (15) as they took the score to 142 when Adam was unfortunately run out.

The middle order of Lewis Holley (24) and Greg Fury (24) took Abergavenny on to 198-7 but alas the tail could not get Abergavenny over the line and they were all out for 214, just four runs short of victory.