Last week and weekend saw two senior league cricket matches and a final midweek league game, with disappointing results, for Monmouth Cricket Club.
The club’s 1st XI were disappointed to travel nearly an hour, to play Lisvane’s 3rd XI, and find the pitch unplayable. This meant the team had the opportunity to return home and watch the 2nd XI lose against Chepstow 3rd XI by 5 wickets.
Having lost the toss, 2nds opened the batting with Kieran Shaw & Neil Saunders looking to dig and score runs.
The first few overs saw Neil defend the wicket effectively against the spinner, whilst Kieran smashed three boundaries against the opening fast bowler, however the stand did not last as long as planned, with Kieran on 12, being bowled out by Harry Harkins, and Neil, on 4, caught by Scott Williams from a Paul Williams ball.
Barry Jones, coming at number 3, charging down the crease, was stumped, for 1, by Chepstow’s keeper, Matthew Anderson. This meant that Tom Willgoss was quickly in to help steady the ship with Duncan Delreeve. Tom, bowled for 9 by Eddie Hillman, was replaced by Pablo Nayager, making is Monmouth 2nds debut, found himself making a suicide run, for his second, that meant he was out almost as quickly as he was in.
Disappointed, he could be heard muttering “at least it wasn’t a duck”.
This meant that the fate of the club’s run lay with Theo Minnie and Duncan, who as a pair started to grind out some runs.
Duncan was the first to be dispatched, caught and bowled, on 22, soon to be followed by wicket-keeper Jon Despontin, 7, Tony Brennan, 5, Theo Minnie, 17, before the final wicket fell when 2nd team debutante Vipin Vikramansathy was caught by Brent Harkins, leaving Kit Skalies on 9 not out and Chepstow chasing 97 to win.
Optimism was in the air, with Kieran once again showing why he is the club’s 2nd leading wicket taker, by taking the scalp of Max Parry, for 0, in the first over and it wasn’t long before he trapped James Bostock, 13, for an LBW.
Then came the long wait, before Kit Skalies caught Scott Williams, 33, from Tony Brennan. The next wicket came for Vipin, who despite stopping an earlier shot with his ankle, was able to dispatch a frustrated Harry Harkins, 6, before he had a chance to settle in.
The final wicket came when fast bowler Kit was handed the ball, and proceeded to bowl a number of unplayable balls, before wicketkeeper Matthew Anderson caught by Jon Despontin off a very fine edge.
Whilst the bowling attack was very strong, it was clear the Monmouth batting this week did not give the room the team needed to finish off Chepstow, who wrapped up the match with 100 runs.
The Monmouth 3rd XI, delayed start match, proved to be unsuccessful in their bid to win their first game as Friends Union, as they fell to 51 despite the attempts of Sam Uttely who scored 21.
Never-the-less, the game allowed for 14-year-old Jack Mallen to play his debut cricket game and take a wicket in his first ever over.
Otherwise, the weekend’s biggest highlight was the hugely successful Women’s Festival of Cricket at the Monmouth Cricket Ground.
The annual event, organized by Monmouth Women’s Team Manager Jill Jones, sees 6 teams come to the ground for a full day, with each team playing two friendly softball games.
This year saw Monmouth Women’s team hosted; Dinas Powys, Panteg, Rogerstone, Croesyceiliog & Ponthir who had no issues demonstrating some fine performances, big sixes, clean bowls and dramatic catches. Not only are these festivals a fine platform for new & experienced players to come & experience the thrill of cricket, but it serves a great reminder of how cricket should be played by all.