A DEVASTATING five-wicket 13-ball haul from Henry Woolf helped Usk 1st XI secure the South Wales Premier 2 title with a 56-run last game away win over Penarth.
Victory and 18 points on Saturday meant they finished the season unbeaten and 13 points clear of Pentyrch, who were also promoted to the top flight after a nine-run home win over Swansea outfit Clydach.
Inserted by the seasiders after losing the toss, it proved a testing wicket for the table toppers who reached 190-7 in their 50 overs, Mika Ekstrom (40) and Jamie Jones (30) sharing a 53-run fifth wicket partnership.
Sixth man Matthew Williams hit 26 not out, while skipper opener Elliot Doyle notched 20.
Penarth made a good start reaching 76-1 in reply and were looking threatening at 123-4.
But any thoughts that the target wouldn’t prove enough were suddenly blown away as Woolf’s spell of five wickets for just five runs gobbled up the rest of the line-up in a flash, Ekstrom adding the other wicket as Penarth added just 11 more runs before being skittled out for 134 in the 40th over.
Former Qatar skipper Tamoor Zafar had earlier taken two wickets, while Williams and Freddie Wolfenden also took a wicket apiece.
The 2nd XI’s South East Wales Four home game with Whitchurch Heath 2nds was abandoned after 23 overs, the visitors heaving reached 92-2, leaving the hosts fourth.
But the 3rds won by 55 runs away to Bridgend outfit Great Western Railway in SEW 10, to place third.
Arvind Aswani and Damian Harvey joint top-scored with 37, backed by Will Hall-Tomkin with 31 as Usk racked up 160-6 in 35 overs.
And they then derailed the hosts’ reply with six overs to spare, skittling them out for 105 as Neil Perrett speared three tail-end wickets for nine off three overs, backed by Julian Smith and Gethin Thomas with two apiece.
Llanarth 1st XI needed just 19 overs to overhaul basement hosts Sudbrook 2nds’ 135-6 off 35 overs in SEW 5, a result which leaves them safe in seventh.
Gary Holley and Dan Moseley took two wickets apiece and Dennis Heath two catches. And in reply the village outfit raced to 136-2 for an eight-wicket win, Will Heath cracking 59 and skipper Ollie Mann 54.
Glangrwyney 1st XI almost completed their SEW 7 game at home to Christchurch CC, Ferndale, but were denied by the weather with six wickets left and 10 overs to play.
The visitors scored 183-6 in their 40 overs, Michael Devoy and Tim Jones taking wicket braces.
And Glan then reached 135-4, Nick Jones firing 54, and Tom Griffiths an unbeaten 20, only for the rain to intervene and end the match in the 30th over, a result which leaves the hosts fifth.
The 2nds had a day to forget away to Monmouth 3rds in SEW 13E though, all out for 47 in the 26th over before the town side eased to 49-3 in 12.3 overs.
Only Mano Kanagaraj with 10 reached double figures for Glan as Eddie Atkinson took six wickets for Monmouth.