The stage was set…..

Marespool was at its magnificent best yesterday (11th) – the ground looked customarily resplendent in the glorious sunshine, the surrounding grass banks had been immaculately strimmed with clumps of bluebells intact, 81 children aged between 5 – 8 had enjoyed the first ECB All-Stars session of the season on the outfield in the morning and a fine crowd had settled down in good time for the usual 12.30pm start!

Oh, nearly forgot…2018 Champions Newport were in town!

1st XI Captain Ryan Aingworth won the toss and chose to bowl first. With four regulars missing in Max Phillips, Aneurin Norman, Dan Lewis-Williams and Harri Turner, yet buoyed by his side’s victory at St Fagans last Saturday, Ryan decided to follow the formula of that fine win.

Glamorgan’s Timm Van Der Gugten was on debut for the Club and wasted no time at all in making his mark…Newport 19-3 in the time it takes to type his name! In the short period between his “rocking up” at 11am, TVDG had already endeared himself to his new team mates…once 12.30pm came round, however, he was ruthless, bowling straight, full and quick! There were a couple of partnerships of resistance to follow but yet again all six bowlers employed by Ryan each bowled so well, not even put off by 4 dropped catches along the way

From their admiring a “recovery” total of 136-4 at one stage, Newport fell away…172 all out, with four overs unused! TVDG 5-16 from 9 overs (all bowled or lbw), Gavin Williams (1-29), Ryan (1-41), Rahul Shah (1-22) plus two run outs had seen to that!

However, champs are not champs for no reason! Newport were not going to give this game up without a strong rearguard action after Nikki & Ceri’s latest two Michelin Star tea!

Sorry, what “rearguard action” was that, then?! Cam Protheroe (18, 2 superb shots for four) and James Palmer opened up for the Club…40-1 in the 14th over before Cam was out! Good start men!

Gavin joined James in a stand of 49 before “Gav” walked off after compiling a fluent score of 24 (3 fours)..89-2. The game was evenly poised…

The gladiatorial Ieuan Rosser marched in at at number four..he does love the sun under that helmet!

With 9 overs of the game remaining, Ieuan (29no, 3 fours) marched off with James Palmer, having jointly added the required 84 runs to secure a more than comfortable victory by 8 wickets! As for JP, his knock of 77no (9 fours, 1 six) was just class!

The Champs and, it has to be said, pre-match favourites, were back in Newport by 7.35pm! Another great win for Ryan’s Lads for sure!

Stuart Seaton’s 2nd XI, also missing a plethora of squaddies, journeyed to take on a strong Ynysygerwyn XI.

Again, MCC bowled first..again, Ynys were skittled, for 128, in just 30 overs. Only four bowlers were employed by Seats this week as 25 year old (surely he’s older than that, been on the scene for years!) Jamie Sheldon (1-20), 15 year old Alex Davies (1-33), 14 year old Ben Lloyd (4-48) and 20 year old librarian Sam Harris (4-24) had run amok through the home team’s ranks!

In the second half, Pete “Tucks” Tuckett flew the flag, led the charge and forced the tame surrender of Ynys. His superb unbeaten knock of 88 (13 fours) even drew praise from the locals., backed up by a next highest score of 9, Tucks almost singlehandedly clinched victory for our 2nd XI after a mere 34 overs!

Over to Llandarcy, the latest hat-trick of Senior victories was clinched in spookily similar fashion! The home side were restricted to 153-8 from their 40 overs..Lloyd Roche (2-16), Mike Jarrett (2-24), Kaps (2-28), Luke Edwards (1-25) & Paul Kenealy (1-15) inflicted the pain.

In reply, Tony Dowrick (not aged 25, 15, 14 0r 20!) led the way after tea…his unbeaten, and typically classy, knock of 90 (13 fours & a maximum) formed the backbone of the ‘A’ XI’s victorious reply. Carl Lawrence also chipped in, with 21 (2 fours). The momentous 7 wicket win was secured in the penultimate over!

The Club’s selection meeting this week will be interesting..some tough decisions to be made! Could take as long as it takes Mumbles commuters to get to work theses days! B****y lights…and work on the Brynmill Lane & Sketty Lane lights is to start soon…be warned! Have a great summer, folks!

Next Saturday (18th), Neath’s 1st XI visit Marespool, our 2nd XI travel to Carmarthen Wanderers and the ‘A’ XI play at Drefach.


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