After a rain-ravaged couple of weeks, Penarth’s cricketers finally returned to action and enjoyed three wins from four as the weather finally relented.
The conditions still played a part, with all four starts delayed by rain, but once play began in the first team game at Pentyrch, Lloyd Smith and Will Skone produced a blistering start with an opening stand that reached 50 before the fifth over was completed.
Once the openers had been dismissed, for 28 and 31 respectively, Tom Sidford and Ben Wellington continued the attack as Penarth refused to let their excellent start go to waste.
Both men reached run-a-ball fifties in a matched reduced to 34 overs per side, Sidford falling for 53 to Lewis Coates and Wellington finishing unbeaten on the same score.
Useful contributions from Adeeb Ilyas and Nick Morgan in the closing overs, including 10 from the final two deliveries, maintained the tempo and Penarth were delighted to finish on 231-5.
Ali Bukhari struck early in the Pentyrch reply, trapping Seghal lbw for three before Sidford bowled Coates for 14 and Nathan Piddock beat the defences of Todd Wilcox.
Pentyrch rallied briefly with a flurry of boundaries before Mark Thomas removed Sam Ewan for 27 and Brett Hole was run out by Bukhari.
The end of the match came quickly with the final four wickets falling for just eight, Ilyas bringing the fixture to a conclusion with two wickets in the 30th over as Penarth wrapped up a much-needed victory by 84 runs.
There was a rather more tense finale in the reverse second XI clash, as Penarth secured a valuable win by just four runs.
Opener Jonathan Ellis played the anchor role for Penarth with an impressive 66, sharing a handy opening stand of 68 with Nathaniel Bell, who made 25.
Greg Cross made 17 before being trapped lbw by Healy, but it was the late contribution of Steve Fuller which tipped the balance Penarth’s way as his 58 off 38 balls, l Continued on page 46 supplemented by nine off the final two balls of the innings from Rhys McGowan saw Penarth to 236-8 from their 45 overs.
McGowan and Tom Pascoe were superb but luckless with the new ball with the outside edge beaten regularly and just 32 runs coming from the opening 12 overs.
Fuller’s introduction brought the immediate wicket of Hammett, bowled for 13 but eventually Pentyrch fought back with Gruff Williams leading the way.
The opener, along with Conor Healy, shared a stand of 173 for the second wicket and appeared to be cruising to victory as Penarth rotated their bowling options in the search for a breakthrough.
With the home side having found some control, Rhys Mottram impressing with 9 overs for 42, the key wicket of Williams, for 97, was picked up by Isaac Foster before Healy was run out for 71 as the pressure built.
With new batsmen at the crease Penarth were suddenly back in the hunt and Fuller and Foster produced a nerveless final five overs as Pentyrch finished four short of their target at 232 for 4.
The third team enjoyed a more comfortable afternoon on the neighbouring pitch as visitors Christchurch were dismissed for just 83 with Mark Frost, Avinash Mehrotra, Neil Stephens and Morgan Crimp bagging a pair of wickets each and only Ethan David Lewis managing any meaningful contribution with 34.
In reply Penarth lost club president Peter Docherty without scoring but an impressive 27 from Adam Akhtar guided his team towards the target and while a further four wickets did fall there was to be no drama as the target was reached in just 16 overs.
The only disappointment came for the fourth team where no batsman could reach double figures as Penarth were bundled out for just 34 on a wet Croesyceiliog wicket.
The home side reached their meagre target for the loss of one wicket in just 7 overs.
On Sunday Penarth lost narrowly in the Premier League T20 competition at Bridgend.
Sam Wood led the way for the home side with 68 as they posted 146 for 5, Andrew Graveson’s 1 for 17 off four overs the Penarth highlight, with Luke Summerfield also impressing.
Will Skone made 59, Greg Cross 25 and Nick Morgan 24 as Penarth made a strong effort in reply.
Needing 16 from the final over Kreshay Barwhani hit the first ball for 6 but Tomos Pearce held his nerve as Bridgend held on by 5 runs.
In a rain-affected week of junior cricket the U13s booked their place in the Welsh Cup finals day with a resounding win over Cowbridge.
Rhys Muxworthy bagged three wickets and Michael RameshKumar two as Cowbridge were dismissed for just 52.
Evan Weekes made 30 not out as Penarth got home for the loss of just one wicket.
The finals day will be held at Ynystawe this Sunday, with Penarth meeting Mold in the semi-final with the final later in the day.
This weekend the first team entertain Gorseinon, the seconds visit Cardiff and the thirds Whitchurch while the fourths host Monkswood.
The club are indebted to sponsors David Baker and Co, Curo, Churngold and A & LH Environmental for their continued and generous support.