Abergavenny 1st XI went clear at the top of South East Wales One with a commanding 125 run win over visitors Blackwood on Saturday, reports PAUL SUSSEX.
The hosts batted first in decent summer weather for the first time this season, against a visiting side that have had a poor start to the season.
Despite the sunny weather, the Blackwood bowlers flourished and reduced Abergavenny to 75-5, Will Glen (24) with the bulk of the early runs.
But there was hope as young Tom Norton showed his class, and while he was still at the crease it was possible he could orchestrate a recovery.
And with support from Sam Clarke (24) and David Clarke (32), he did just that scoring 63, as the last five wickets put on 112 runs to finish on 187 all out in 48.4 overs.
Abergavenny bowlers were Scrooge-like and on top of the batters from ball one, and Blackwood only managed 15 runs from the first 10 overs for the loss of one wicket.
They were never in the game and were eventually bowled out for just 62 runs, Sam Clarke taking five wickets for just eight runs in six overs.
There were also two wickets each for James Francis and Lewys Wilkes-McCarthy and one wicket for Alfie Cutmore, leaving Abergavenny comfortable winners and at this early stage nine points clear at the top of Division 1.
The team was Will Glenn (Capt), Tom Pipe, James Francis, Joe Harris, Tom Norton, Jack Ryan, Greg Fury (wk), Sam Clarke, Dave Clarke, Alfie Cutmore, and Lewys McCarthy. Officials were John Charles and Colin Spain.
The 2nd X1 opened their Division 6 league campaign away at Llantwit Fadre, who were inserted by Gareth Powell and never really got going, losing an early wicket when Greg Spencer bowled their opener with the score on five.
The only significant partnership of 45 runs then took place for the second wicket (50-2), and from that point on the hosts lost wickets regularly, with no batters able to get on top of the Aber attack as they were all out for 93 in the 40th over.
Dylan Beaumont-Welsh (3-17), James Hrastelj playing for the club for the first time in a number of years (2-20), Lloyd Sharp (2-13) and one wicket each for Greg Spencer and Jonty Hefferan did the damage.
Whilst seemingly making light work of the target, Abergavenny took great care and used 40 overs to reach their target for the loss of four wickets with Ellis Jones firing 78 not out assisted by Nathan Holley (14) and skipper Gareth Powell (9 not out), for a six-wicket win.
But the 3rd X1 took a heavy Division 10 defeat at the picturesque Crickhowell ground, which recently hosted the so called dog-friendly firework display for the King’s Coronation.
South Wales Sri Lankans batted first and put the Abergavenny bowlers to the sword, amassing 351-7 in their 40 overs, with Imshad Farook hitting 141 not out.
The bowlers toiled away and skipper Lee Fury with took 3-74, his figures taking a battering at the end with 42 runs coming from his last two overs, including six 6s.
There were also single wickets for Tim Price, Richard James and Nathan Byrne.
In reply Abergavenny never looked like getting anywhere near the massive total and reached 138-7 at the close.
Lee Fury batted well for an unbeaten 55, backed by Nathan Byrne (19), Satish Rohra and Shunryu Sheehan with (12) and (13) respectively.
The 4th XI played away against Lisvane 5th XI in Division 12E, Stuart Eccles winning the toss and inserting the hosts.
Opener and former BBC Wales sports presenter Ashleigh Crowter retired hurt when 44 not out, but they soldiered on to reach a respectable 147-8 in their 40 overs.
The key wicket takers for Abergavenny were Manuraj Raju (4-27) and Wales Over 70 veteran Andy Timpson (3-26), with Roy Packiyaraj taking the other wicket.
Abergavenny reached 148-3 reasonably comfortably in the 30th over with skipper Stuart Eccles (44) and fellow opener and Wales Over 70 player Ryland Wallace with 26 not out in form with the bat, well backed up by Mukesh Kumar with 38 not out and keeper Ioan Parry who chipped in with 10 for a seven-wicket victory.
Next week sees the 1st XI home to sixth-placed Malpas, the 2nd XI away at Pontypridd 2nd XI, the 3rd XI away to Lisvane 4th XI and the 4th XI at home to Blackwood 3rd XI.