Llanarth’s league bid back on track
AFTER last week's disappointment Llanarth were keen to get back to winning ways in the club's home game against Tredegar.
Dennis Heath's remarkable success at the toss continued for a ninth week and beautiful sunny conditions aided his decision in deciding to bat.
David Lomax (31) and Mark Baxter (64) opened up and immediately faced the threatening pace and bounce of Jacob Richards who steamed down the hill bowling a lovely line and length – with an occasional short ball to keep the batsmen honest.
Lomax started well and looked in outstanding form finding the boundary half a dozen times early on. Baxter in contrast looked out of sorts and could have perished one or two times as he was getting in. It was a surprise therefore when Lomax was the first to depart as he shouldered arms to a Richards delivery that trimmed his off bail.
Christian Dewfield joined Baxter at the crease and the pair saw the Trees through to drinks at a solid, if unspectacular 74-1.
Dewfield and Baxter exploded out of the blocks after the break, looking to push the run rate up and 51 runs were added in the next five overs before the former was well caught at mid-wicket and the latter followed almost immediately in controversial circumstances.
The bowler let slip a head high full toss that the Llanarth stalwart saw as a freebie scoring opportunity and attempted a Roger Federer-style smash into the car park.
The shot was mistimed though and caught, with Baxter more than a little surprised when the expected no ball call was not forthcoming.
The innings became strangely becalmed as, despite the home team's best endeavours, the boundaries dried up and just 74 runs came from the final 15 overs as the Trees posted 199-6, a total that, considering the rapid outfield could add 20 runs if not more, was below par.
The Trees pondered over tea as to how they were going to make it into enough of a score to win.
Faced with having an achieveable total on the board Llanarth needed accuracy and early wickets from their bowlers and they got a great start from Raj Banaras as he forced the dangerous Ian Pembrey to edge a beauty to the keeper in the second ball of the innings.
Lomax gave the batsmen a torrid time too in an excellent nine over burst that saw him take 2-7, removing the other opener and giving James Thompson at three a real working over that saw him dropped at slip and then edging behind for another duck.
When Chris Powell (3-41) had the hard-hitting Richards well caught on the boundary Tredegar were in all kinds of trouble at 33-4 from 20 overs.
From such a dire position, that Tredegar negotiated overs twenty to thirty without further loss while scoring at a run a ball, deserved credit and the game entered the final ten overs with 100 runs required for victory.
If the chase began to look achievable, the returning Ed James (4-30) made sure nothing untoward was going to happen. Refreshed after his holiday he tore in to bag three quick scalps, including a third edge behind to keeper Dave Nowell, that helped reduce the visitors to 128-9.
With the game done and dusted the field closed in to attempt to take the final wicket and James ran in to four slips, two gullies and a short leg.
He soon found a jaffa that the tail-ender could only nick and to great surprise from players and spectators alike, Allan Dewfield swooped low at first slip and caught it to ensure maximum bowling points with just ten balls of the innings remaining.
The Tredegar innings closed at 136 all out, giving Llanarth a victory by 63 runs.
Next week the third placed Trees visit Pontypridd looking for another victory in pursuit of second placed Radyr.
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