Well, why not? Let everyone in MCC colours today (21st) be just a wee self-indulgent!!!!

The 1st XI, 2nd XI and ‘A’ XI each came out on top in emphatic style across the Principality!

At St Fagans, a mighty proud Ryan Aingworth led his guys to a fine 5 wicket win with 4 overs to spare, chasing down 216-7!

So, quiz question..what did the win against St Fagans’ Male Voice Choir have in common with the victory over Bridgend at Marespool last weekend? Answer = Aneurin Norman & Gavin Williams were each the “not out” batsman at the winning post! BUT, this time, they were not needed in quite the same way…their mates higher up the order saw to that in some style!

Before tea, our hosts won the toss and chose to bat…and, despite the F1 paced outfield, very slowly at that. Although the first wicket was not taken by Rahul Shah (1-34) until the board read 109, 30 tight overs had been bowled. Ryan and Aneurin Norman, for example, conceded just 28 from their respective 10 overs! Ex Glamorgan opener Gareth Rees was 50no in that time..surely, he now had to take the initiative?

Well, the only pace that was picked up was the ensuing fall of wickets! 152-2 in the 37th, 159-3 in 39th…..followed by what, without any fear of contradiction by anyone, was the finest outfield catch your scribe has ever seen in club cricket! Gareth Rees tried to club another six, over long-on off Jack Straw. Rhodri Evans, was fully 30 yards at wider long-on when he left the blocks, breaking the sound barrier as he timed his run ‘n dive to perfection near the sight screen to make thee most remarkable & important grab! “Gums” was out for 68 (4 fours & 3 sixes)..St Fagans 162-4!

In no time, Jack had claimed his 3rd scalp…188-5 became 193-6 became 196-7! All bowlers played their part..Ryan, Dan Lewis-Williams (1-38), Aneurin (1-28), Jack (3-49), Evs (1-31) and Rahul (1-34) had each stuck to their task splendidly on another hot day! The fielding was also of a high standard with all seven victims being caught..the home side 216-7 at tea!

Rog & PB

Now, if those regular travelling MCC supporters had one collective wish after the break, it was that one or two of our quality batsmen at the top of the order were to recapture some form. And…BINGO…they did!! The start was positive enough..30 from six overs when Rhodri was adjudged stumped for 9. The board read 52, when Harri Turner (13, 1 four) was dismissed in similar fashion. Ben Francis, a hero against Bridgend a week ago, further justified his selection with another quality knock of 34 (1 four & 2 huge sixes)…108-3 in 25 overs when Ben left the stage. Then…Scott de Weymarn & Dan Lewis-Williams took over!

Despite the fielding side performing in total unison as only a Welsh Male Voice Choir can, with all 11 guys appealing as one each & every time the ball flicked a pad, Scott (55, 6 fours & 1 six) and Dan (50, also 6 fours & a six) were on fire, scorching the parched outfield with glorious shots. They added 78 thoroughly entertaining runs in 15 overs, as laryngitis gradually spread amongst the choir..186-4 when SDW was caught at slip. DLW, unfazed as he watched Scott walk off, then smashed 14 from the next over to bring up his own fifty!

Not-out merchants Aneurin (15, including a massive 6 to win!) and Gavin (2) duly saw the boys home, to notch such a fine victory by 5 wickets in the 46th over! A superb team effort which was just a real joy to watch!  

Meanwhile, the crowd at Marespool watched Stuart Seaton’s 2nd XI thrash Swansea by 68 runs (261 all out v 193 all out in the 38th over).

Batting first, MCC recovered well after losing an early wicket..4-1. Seats (56, 6 fours) & young Ben Lloyd, in fine form these days, (23, 4 fours), took the score to 89 when Ben was bowled. Chris Nelson (66, 9 fours) added “oomph” in the middle order whilst Ernie Extras also chipped in with 51 (36 wides) valuable runs.

In reply, Swansea never really threatened after tea, with the clock negating any promising scores (84-1 & 148-4). The final blow of the executioner’s sword was struck when the board read 177-5, as the last final 5 wickets fell for just 18 runs..blood everywhere on the scaffold! Jamie Sheldon mopped up with 3-18, whilst Luke Edwards (1-3), Phil Roche (1-35), Sam Harris (2-65) and Ben Jones (3-38) accounted for the early order. Great stuff, lads…enough to consolidated our comfortable position of second in the table!

The icing on the MCC cake today came when Alex Protheroe’s ‘A’ XI saw off Llandarcy by the even greater margin of 79 runs..221-6 v 142 all out in the 30th!

Our hosts won the toss, decided to field first..and felt thoroughly vindicated as the team five places below them in the table slumped to 34-3 in no time! 

However, that was to be the last moment to savour for Llandarcy as Cam Protheroe and Rhys Davies, ignoring the plight of their team, put the home bowlers to the sword! Rhys departed for 44 (6 fours) when the board read a much more healthy looking 143! Cam carried on thrashing the ball everywhere, with first Luke Brown (13, 1 four & a six) and then Adam Lewis-Williams (19, 3 fours) keeping him company. All in all, MCC had helped themselves to 221-6 from their 40 overs…The Master Blaster had raced to 109no, including 16 fours and a lusty six!

Llandarcy were on the ropes at tea..“if only” & “what if” scenarios were pondered over the cuppas with three sugars..after all, energy had to come from somewhere if further blushes were to be avoided!

In the event, there was no energy, nothing left in the tank, as Alex’s Athletes soon reduced their opponents to 69-7 after the resumption. There was some spirited resistance down the order but this only served to delay the inevitable…Luke (3-24), Rhys (3-36) plus a wicket each for Alex Davies, Kaps and Josh Sharp saw Llandarcy on the brink at 134-9! Cam The Man had held a stunning catch would you believe, to effect the ninth wicket…and then had the cheek to come on to bowl one & a half overs, only to take the final wicket with over 10 overs of the game left!

A truly great effort, and a fantastic day for Cam Protheroe! However, the “Staropramen” Man-Of-The-Match Award went to Captain Alex for losing the toss in the first place, thus facilitating all that happened thereafter!

“Cheers, bro..”, Cam was heard to say as our ‘A’ XI trooped wearily off the field!

So, to all 33 players..

“..What have you done today to make you feel proud..?!!”

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