Monmouth crowned champions after 100-run victory

By Jake Chown  
Tuesday 4th September 2018 3:51 pm
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(Left to right) Top row: Jon Despontin, Alim Hansraj, Paul Swingwood, James Taylor, Jon Roberts, Henry Breeze. Bottom row: Ben Pilot, Sam Swingwood, Josh Grey, Adam Roberts (c), Matt Jones, David Teague ()

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South East Wales Cricket League Division Two - Barry Athletic (122 all out) lost to Monmouth (222-9) by 100 runs

MONMOUTH Cricket Club’s First XI were crowned South East Wales Cricket League Division Two champions on Saturday after an emphatic 100-run victory over Barry Athletic on Barry Island.

On an overcast day and a very green looking surface there was no surprise that the hosts asked Monmouth to bat first. As in the previous week against Crumlin the going was made tough early on by accurate bowling from John Gee (2-20) and Iftikhar Ahmed (1-29) as Monmouth crawled to 58-2 from their first 20 overs, with only opener Matt Jones (26) finding any kind of rhythm before he was adjudged out lbw. Captain Adam Roberts dug in and made 21 from 49 deliveries before he too was given out lbw.

However, a well compiled 44-run partnership between Josh Grey (87) and Monmouth School for Boys pupil and Gloucestershire under-15 Sam Swingwood (20) took the score to 122 before Swingwood edged behind off the bowling of Zeeshan (1-35).

Another youngster in the form of Ben Pilot (13) then took up the mantle, and he too built a very useful 74 run partnership with Grey to see Monmouth to 196-6 with five overs left. Grey’s 87 came off just 68 balls, mixing his typical aggressive stroke play with plenty of running between the wickets on what is the second largest cricket outfield in Wales. In the end Monmouth closed on a competitive looking 222-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

In reply Monmouth started poorly in the field as the hosts raced along to 30 before the first wicket fell, a magnificent one handed diving catch at short cover by Matt Jones to remove the dangerous looking Ashley Baker for 15. Monmouth were certainly being made to work for their wickets and skipper Adam Roberts (2-21 from eight overs) was the most threatening of the seamers, but the hosts got a series of starts thanks to Mike Haswell (10), Damien Leake (21) and the danger man Nathan Baker (23) with none able to kick on and make a match winning score. This in no small part was down to young leg spinner Sam Swingwood (4-33 from 10) who was causing no end of problems for the Barry Athletic batsmen despite a fairly placid surface thanks to his googly and a consistency in line and length. Monmouth continued to chip away at the Barry order with the spinners causing the majority of the issues as all-rounder Dave Teague (2-24 from 6.3) and Alim Hansraj (2-9 from 4) limited the hosts to 78-4 when Swingwood snuck through Nathan Baker’s attempted drive to clean bowl him and effectively end the match as a contest at 105-7.

In the end Barry Athletic finished on 122 all out in the 39th over, which gave Monmouth 19 points and an unassailable lead at the top of Division Two, rounding off a truly remarkable season for a side that finished third in Division Three just 12 months ago.

Monmouth firsts would like to thank the supporters that came to watch on Saturday via minibus and are now very much looking forward to taking up the challenge of playing Division One cricket next summer. Anybody interested in joining Monmouth Cricket Club next season should contact Dave Walters on [email protected]

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