Egged on by The Red Arrows in the skies over Marespool this afternoon (2nd), 2nd XI Captain Rhys Davies, himself a professional pilot, was so proud of the young and the old within his team as they put Ammanford to the sword!
However, Rhys’ boys had to recover from a dodgy start after being asked to bat first..8-1!! And WHAT a recovery! Ben Jones (94, 9 fours) and former captain Stuart Seaton (77, 5 fours) shared a fine second wicket partnership of 188 to stabilise the ship! At tea, MCC had posted 221-4 in their 45 overs!
When play resumed, enter the youth contingent!! 16 year old Hugo Lewis opened the bowling and it wasn’t long before he started the slide that was Ammanford’s innings. He took 2-22, whilst his 15 year old buddies Gethin Morgan and Tom Chivers took 3-25 & 2-3 respectively!! Not to be outdone by three lads whose combined ages he (& Seats!) comfortably exceeds, Phil Roche weighed in with 3-28! Ammanford 96 all out in the 25th over..our flyers won by 125 runs!
Meanwhile, Aneurin Norman’s 1st XI came a sorry second at Carmarthen, after many passages of promise before tea.
Ok, a few regulars were missing but the collective effort by the bowlers was encouraging nevertheless, after Aneurin chose to field first.
17 year old debutant ‘keeper Jaden Patel took an early catch off his captain’s bowling (always very wise!) to reduce our hosts to 10-1. A mini recovery ensued but, at 67, two wickets fell..67-3!
There followed a fine partnership of 104 to effectively set the home side up for victory as things turned out. However, from 171-3, “Noddy’s” bowlers stuck to it and restricted Carmarthen to 225-7 at the interval. The Captain (1-11), Jack Straw (1-24 from his 10 overs), Adam Frangakis-Williams (2-40), Greg Thomas (1-46 from 10) and Mo Shawkat (2-56 on debut) shared the wickets.
The real disappointment came after the break when our lads, Noddy apart (41no, 1 four & 2 sixes), never got going..99 all out in the 37th over. Still, the game provided important experience for the players new to 1st XI cricket, which can only be good for the future.
Finally, at Murton, our ‘A’ XI came up short against Llandysul, losing by 26 runs.
Our visitors decided to bat first and were pegged back by some excellent bowling and keen fielding. Captain Eurig Morgan (1-27), Owen Williams (2-23), Tony Dowrick (2-7) and 14 year old Theo Morris (1-23) shared the six wickets to fall..Llandysul 136-6 in their 40 overs.
After tea, Paddy Jenkins (27, 3 fours) led the reply. Although Tom Hannant (16, 1 four), Tony (11, 1 four) and Kapilan Radhakrishnan (15, 1 four) all threatened to see the side home but, alas, it was not to be..MCC 110 all out in the 36th over.
Almost each week so far this season, those charged with selecting the sides have faced major challenges with varying levels of player availability. This week has been no exception. It has been to the great credit of the captains etc that MCC were able to field three sides at all today. Hats off to them and to those who did play..in its own way, the Club should be very grateful and proud.
Next Saturday (9th), the 1st XI welcome Ynysygerwn to Marespool, the 2nd XI travel to Clydach whilst the ‘A’ XI make their way to Ynystawe Park.
On Sunday (10th), the 1st XI play Aberdare at home in the SWCA T20 Cup, start 1pm.
Our ‘A’ XI were also scheduled to play Ammanford in their T20 Cup that day but have reluctantly withdrawn. Guys who have played Premier League cricket this season, whether for the 1st or 2nd XI, are cup-tied as a result & therefore cannot play in this competition. With the numerous issues we’ve had re availability pretty well to date this term, many ‘A’ XI squad have played for the 2nd XI so the roll of the dice has meant we cannot field an XI of players qualified to play! There’s something about the spirit of this rule that needs addressing before next season, for sure! It shall be done!