Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Exciting times lie ahead for Lloyd's Dairymen

LLANHARAN head coach Matthew Lloyd has promised more new faces will be on the way to the Dairy Field following the signing of centre Neil Dallimore.

The club hopes to announce several more additions to the squad in the next few weeks when all the relevant paperwork has been completed.

There is also hope that Wales Sevens star Steffan Thomas could join the Dairymen for the new National Championship campaign – the player who scored four tries in eight games while on permit from Cardiff last season will be studying at Bristol University.

“We have spoken to a number of prospective signings and are hopeful that many of them will be joining us,” said Lloyd. “So far the paperwork has been completed on centre Neil Dallimore, but we shortly hope to announce several more names once the formalities are completed with the WRU.

“There have also been productive talks with both Cardiff and the Blues, and each has promised it will look to place players with Llanharan on a regular basis.

“Another who has said he wants to join pre-season training is former Youth player Lee Thorne who has been out of the game for the last year – his powerful play would be another great asset. Thirteen touchdowns in as many games two years ago speaks for itself.

“Up front we hope Ed Rees will be available again to add to our front row options.

“It looks like just about all of last season’s players are staying so all in all it’s looking good as we can build on the solid platform developed in 2011/12 and aim to start with a bang.”

Two friendlies have been arranged so far, against Chippenham at home on August 11 and away to Ystalyfera the following Saturday.

Former Wales rugby league international and prolific try scorer Lenny Woodard has taken over as backs coach at Beddau.

The 36-year-old, a veteran of more than ten clubs during a long career in both codes, succeeds Rhys Edwards who left Beddau with immediate effect after two-and-a-half years.

Edwards was part of the coaching team that kept Beddau in division one east in 2009/10 and then helped guide them to finishes of third and fifth in successive seasons.

Woodard arrives at Memorial Park with a vast experience of league rugby in Wales under his belt having played for Pontypool, Pontypridd, Bridgend, Aberavon and Ebbw Vale.

He scored more than 150 tries in the Swalec League and won five caps for the Welsh rugby league side, touching down three times.

UWIC are to start their pre-season programme at home against Oxford Harlequins on Saturday, August 11 before a week later travelling to face Taunton, who play in National 2 South of the RFU National League.

The friendly fixtures will be completed with a home match against Cardiff on Wednesday, August 22.

Newbridge have snapped up flanker Craig Hill ahead of the new National Championship season after the 30-year-old openside was released by Newport.

Hill was a member of Wales’s victorious World Cup Sevens squad in 2009 and signed on the dotted line having been approached by Newbridge backs coach Jon Hawker.

“Craig is a superb signing,” said forwards coach Andrew Gibbs. “He is a quality player with real pedigree that will really add to the strength in depth in our back row.

“He fits into our ethos of playing a high tempo game with a big emphasis on fitness.

“That showed last season when we finished a lot of big games strongly, particularly the wins against Bargoed and Ebbw Vale and the Swalec Cup defeat to Pontypridd when we had them worried.

“Between Craig and Andrew Coupe we have two excellent sevens and it brings all sorts of thoughts into our minds about our mix in the back row.

“We’ve still got my brother Dean and have also signed another six in Alex Williams, so there is real competition and different options for us as coaches.”

Moving in the opposite direction to Hill is last season’s captain Ross Coombs, brother of Dragons back row Andrew, who has joined Newport in the Principality Welsh Premiership.

After leading Newbridge to third in division one east last term, Coombs was voted the players’ and supporters’ player of the year and goes to Rodney Parade with the full backing of the club.

“Ross has been terrific for us and we wish him all the best at Newport,” added Gibbs. “He has been a great leader and captain and, to be honest, it’s hard to believe that no Premiership club has signed him up before now.”

Hookers Rhys Price and Darren Hughes have been named as Newbridge’s joint captains for next season.

Consistency the key for new Cardiff chief Fowler

CARDIFF’S new director of rugby Martyn Fowler has pinpointed consistency as the key to a successful 2012/13 season after consecutive mediocre campaigns in the Principality Welsh Premiership.

The Blue & Blacks used more than 60 players last season as they limped to ninth place in the table for the second year in a row – they used just 28 under Phil Davies when winning the title in 2009.

Fowler has moved quickly to bring fresh talent to the Arms Park and has discussed the club’s future with Davies, now director of rugby at Cardiff Blues.

Former Merthyr coach Fowler has installed Shaun Powell as the new club captain, making a point of naming a player who is contracted to Cardiff rather than someone on permit from the Blues.

He also knows that the performances over the last couple of seasons haven’t been acceptable but is confident that with the addition of several new faces to the squad, an upturn in fortunes might be just around the corner.

“By anyone’s standards the club and its players underachieved over the last two seasons, finishing a disappointing ninth in consecutive years, league positions that are unacceptable given Cardiff RFC’s proud history,” he said.

“Me, the coaching team, the committee and new club captain Shaun Powell are all relishing the challenge and are fully committed to improve the club’s league position over the next two seasons.

“It is ironic, and for me a very positive omen, that the last time Cardiff won the Premiership title Phil Davies was at the helm. Now director of rugby at Cardiff Blues, Phil is hugely supportive of Cardiff RFC and has made it clear that he expects a marked improvement in performances and league standing.”

On his meetings with Davies about what was vital to that last league title success, Fowler added: “The one thing that I took away from the discussion was that the Cardiff side, once winning, was never changed. It is hoped we can enjoy the same level of much-needed continuity this coming season.

“Last season over 66 players were selected giving the squad and coaches no chance of obtaining any level of continuity. The last time Cardiff won the league only 28 players were used all season.”

Fowler has been running the rule over the new recruits, including ball-carrying No 8 Adam Brake (Llanelli), wing Steve Cullen (Bridgend), second row James Murphy and hooker Aaron Fowler (both Bedwas).

Unfortunately, wing Jamie Davies (Neath) was injured playing for the Welsh Crawshays in France but he, centre Max Woodward (Pontypool) and former Cardiff favourite Dan Franks will be getting involved at some point.

Premiership kings ready to retain their crown

PRINCIPALITY Welsh Premiership champions Pontypridd are busy preparing for the defence of their crown with changes on and off the field at Sardis Road.

Fly-half Dai Flanagan has been the big signing of the summer so far while Pontypridd will lose the services of Rhys Downes next term after the scrum-half was released by Cardiff Blues.

It has also been confirmed that experienced former Wales international Gareth Wyatt will take on some of the coaching duties when Paul John is away with the country’s Sevens team.

He will continue to turn out for the club alongside Thomas Pascoe (centre), Lewis Jones (scrum-half), Darran Harris (hooker), Jack Dando (hooker) and Cory Hill (lock) who are Pontypridd’s allocation of Blues Academy players for next season.

All bar Mountain Ash product Pascoe played for the club last season as Pontypridd finished top of the table before going on to beat Llanelli in the Premiership play-off grand final.

“We are again grateful to the Blues for their co-operation, and we will make the most of this opportunity to help develop local talent to progress to fully professional status,” said head coach Dale McIntosh.

“We feel that Pontypridd is a formidable club, and a good environment to nurture these youngsters both as players and as people.

“We are delighted to have Lewis, Cory, Darran and Jack back with us, and welcome Tom Pascoe on board. He is a player full of potential who has had his progress disrupted by injury over the past two seasons, but will now offer us an exciting option in midfield.

“These are all local boys who have a great pedigree and will benefit from being given game time in the black and white of Pontypridd.”

The close season is also giving injured players the chance to get back to full fitness, or in the case of back row forward Owen Sheppeard and centre Dafydd Lockyer, time to go under the knife.

Both will have surgery early next month on knee ligament damage and a shoulder problem respectively before they begin a period of rehabilitation which is likely to see them miss the start of the new campaign.

However, the likes of winger Owen Williams and outside-half Simon Humberstone (both knee ligament damage) and hooker Jack Dando (dislocated shoulder) are expected to be fit for the big kick-off.

Meanwhile, Louie Tonkin has replaced Neil Burns as Llanelli’s new conditioning coach following the latter’s promotion to the Scarlets.

“We were delighted to see ‘Burnsy’ getting promoted up to the Scarlets environment and, of course, welcome Louie on his development pathway,” said head of rugby Anthony Buchanan. “We are all about feeding the Scarlets, not only players, but coaches and physios and we all hope that Louie takes his opportunity and enjoys the experience.”

While Tonkin joins the club from Carmarthen Athletic, Pontyberem product and former player Alec Jenkins has re-joined the squad, which will again be captained by Adam Powell next season.

Tricky-looking cup opener for defending champions

TAFFS Well will begin their defence of the Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup away to Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) on September 15.

That first round game will be a repeat of last season’s semi-final when Taffs Well prevailed 2-0 in Aberaman before going on to beat Cambrian & Clydach by the same scoreline in the final.

Reigning Welsh League champions Cambrian & Clydach start their cup campaign at Penrhiwceiber Rangers, hoping to go one step further this time as they also bid to defend their first division title.

The round one draw, which took place at the Welsh League AGM at Tata Steel, threw up a Newport derby with second division YMCA hosting Civil Service of division three.

There were relatively kind draws for the Welsh League’s newest sides, Llantwit Major and Chepstow Town, who were handed ties against fellow third division sides Bridgend Street and Cardiff Grange Harlequins respectively.

There are 16 ties in all with the same number of clubs, including Bryntirion Athletic and Barry Town, fourth and fifth in division one last season, receiving byes to the second round.

Nathaniel Car Sales League Cup round one draw in full (ties to be played on Saturday, 15 September 2012);

AFC Porth v AFC Llwydcoed

Bettws v Cardiff Corinthians

Briton Ferry Llansawel v Aberaman Athletic

Caerau v West End

Caldicot Town v Caerleon

Cardiff Grange Harlequins v Chepstow Town

Cardiff Metropolitan University v Taffs Well

Cwmbran Celtic v Garden Village

Haverfordwest County v Goytre

Llantwit Major v Bridgend Street

Monmouth Town v Dinas Powys

Newport YMCA v Newport Civil Service

Penrhiwceiber Rangers v Cambrian & Clydach

Pontardawe Town v Abertillery Bluebirds

Pontypridd Town v Undy Athletic

Treharris Athletic Western v Croesyceiliog

Byes: Aberbargoed Buds, Ammanford, Barry Town, Bridgend Town, Bryntirion Athletic, Caerau (Ely), Cwmaman Institute, Ely Rangers, Goytre United, Llanwern, Newcastle Emlyn, Risca United, Tata Steel, Ton Pentre, Tredegar Town, Treowen Stars

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Lightning strikes twice at Carmarthen's ninth

YOU wait ages for a hole-in-one then two come along on the same day, on the same course and at the same hole.

The par-three ninth at Carmarthen was where the amazing feat occurred during the club’s Open Texas Scramble on Sunday.

Alan Williams and Chris Pither were the lucky men to land the aces with the former also finishing the competition in second place along with teammates Chris Reynolds, Simon Davies and Jamie Singer.

The overall winners, with a sparkling net score of 57, were the quartet of Paul Davies, Ian Marks, Jason Evans and Colin Bowlder.

Runners-up Reynolds, Davies , Williams and Singer returned home with a net 58.5 and in third prize went to Lee Waters, Anthony John, Anthony Jones and Carwyn Lewis on 59.6. The longest drive was won by Gareth Rees.

Continuing with Carmarthen, two of the club’s Seniors teams were involved in South Wales Classic matches recently with varying degrees of success.

The B team lost 2.5-0.5 at home to Neath in the Cup with Ray Heath and Selwyn Humphreys the only pair to record any points. But the C team fared much better, winning 2-1 against Tenby in the Bowl competition.

Adrian Thomas and Jeff Harries lost the top match, but both Graham Lang and Tony Jones and Clive Thomas and Clive Evans won their games to take the team through to the quarter-finals which will be held at Morriston in a few weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, the second round of the W L Davies Cup was won by Meirion Griffiths with 38 points, followed closely by Ken James on 37 and Dafydd Williams with 36.

In the Dick Evans Cup, division one was won by Rhys Lindquist with a net round of 69, division two went to Fred Steel (70) and James Bryan took the honours in division three with an excellent net 65, which also won him the cup.

A net score of 68 gave Joe Lacey the President’s Cup at The Grove as Allan Churchill (70) took second place from Mike Davies courtesy of a better back nine.

Morriston held its Club Strokeplay Championship (gross) and Springfield Salver (net) competitions at the weekend.

The Strokeplay Championship was won by James White with a gross score of 143 (72+71) and the Springfield Salver was won by Michael Evans with a net score of 137 (61+70) off a handicap of eight.

Viv Jones edged out Chris Oldroyd to clinch the June Medal at Pontardawe after both recorded a net round of 68. The June Stableford was won by Richard Gape with 37 points with Terrence Ely second on 36.

There was also a close finish to the D.R. Whitsun Cup as Richard Helliwell beat Greg Cotton on countback following a pair of 67s. The club’s Ladies’ Championship was won again by Fauve Birch with a two-round gross score of 157, Annette Griffiths was second.

The Captain's Day Stableford was reduced to 11 holes due to the adverse weather and it was Keith Davey and Phil Rees who triumphed with 25 points.

Julie Hollingworth was the winner of the Ladies GUW Medal at Langland Bay. Her net 71 was two strokes better than Wendy Yates with Kym Mark third after shooting 75. Rhiannon Evans’s 88 was the lowest gross round.

Southerndown’s Members & Guests competition produced some superb scoring despite the strong winds and frequent showers. The pairing of Nick Golunski and guest Richard Disley came out on top with 45 points, three clear of Brian Marling and Steve Stallard.

Yvonne Williams was the clear winner of the May E Jones Cup at Ashburnham, finishing six shots ahead of Leena Lodha and Gillian Hart. Steffan Jones claimed the Broomhill Cup by one from David Tovey.



May E Jones & GUW Medal 7; 1. Y. Williams net 77, 2. L. Lodha 83, 3. G. Hart 83

Broomhill Cup; 1. S. Jones net 67, 2. D. Tovey 68, 3. N. Powell 71


Open Texas Scramble; 1. P. Davies, I. Marks, J. Evans, C. Bowlder net 57, 2. C. Reynolds, S. Davies, A. Williams, J. Singer 58.5, 3. L. Waters, A. John, A. Jones, C. Lewis 59.6

W L Davies Cup; 1. M. Griffiths 38pts, 2. K. James 37, D. Williams 36

Dick Evans Cup; (div one) 1. R. Lindquist net 69, (div two) 1. F. Steel 70, (div three) 1. J. Bryan 65


Ladies’ GUW Medal; J. Hollingworth net 71, 2. W. Yates 73, 3. K. Mark 75


Strokeplay Championship (36 holes); 1. J. White gross 143

Springfield Salver (36 holes); 1. M. Evans net 137


Janet Nash Stableford; (silver div) 1. A. Thorburn 37pts, 2. J. Davies, (bronze div) 1. S. Davies 32, 2. L. Taylor 31


June Medal; 1. V. Jones net 68, 2. C. Oldroyd 68

June Stableford; 1. R. Gape 37pts, 2. T. Ely 36

D.R. Whitsun Cup; 1. R. Helliwell net 67, 2. G. Cotton 67

Ladies’ Championship (36 holes); 1. F. Birch gross 157

Captain’s Day Stableford (11 holes); 1. K. Davey & P. Rees 25pts


Members & Guests; 1. N. Golunski & R. Disley 45pts, 2. B. Marling & S. Stallard 42


Club Stableford; 1. R. Denton 33pts, 2. T. Jones 33, 3. D. Knighton 32


President’s Cup; 1. J. Lacey net 68, 2. A. Churchill 70, 3. M. Davies 70

Welsh sides face tough Euro draws

The New Saints have drawn Helsingborgs IF in the 2nd Round of Qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
With all draws made for UEFA Club competitions on Monday, TNS were given home advantage in their first leg against the Swedish Champions.
The first leg is due to take place on Tuesday 17th July, with the reverse fixture the following week. The Saints are upgrading their Park Hall Stadium to meet the criteria required for Champions League competition and should find out next week if they are allowed to play in Oswestry.
Helsingborgs was a founding member of the Allsvenskan (Sweden's top-division), and have won seven national championship titles and five national cups.
Helsingborgs currently sit fifth in the league with eighteen points from twelve matches.
Meanhwile in the Europa qualifiers, both Llanelli and Cefn Druids will face Finnish opposition as they meet Kuopio Palloseura and MyPa-47 respectively. The Reds are away for the opening leg, while the Druids will play their first leg at the Racecourse. 
Bangor City, who were seeded for the first qualifying round draw, will play Zimbru Chisinev of Moldova. Chisinev were the fourth highest non-seed. The Citizens, who have played Finnish opposition on  three occasions, will face a different sort of challenge with a long journey to Moldova.
Bangor will play BSC Young Boys Bern of Switzerland should they progress.
The Champions League matches will take place on the 17th/18th July, with the second legs on the 24th/25th.
The Europa League matches will take place on the 5th and 12th of July.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Cimla extend lead at the top

Cimla extended their lead at the top of Division Four of the South Wales Cricket Association with a crushing ten wicket decimation of Llandovery.
Batting first, Llandovery posted 93 with the Cimla attack in devastating form, as Arun Rengaswany took 5-38 and Wayne Thomas collected 3-38.
The Neath outfit in response comfortably got the runs carding 94 without loss, with Craig Kelly blasting his way to a quick fire 73 and Neil Hornby striking 18.
Meanwhile, Baglan picked up an impressive eight wicjket home victyory against Felinfoel.
The visitors posted 123-9 in their allotted overs with Matthew Howard their only notable contributor (23n/o). Lee Williams, 3-36, and Phil Goodwin, 2-9, were the pick of the bowlers.
Baglan in reply, easily made their target in the 26th over knocking 125-2, Josh Lewis was the best with the bat on 45, while Martin Lewis (30) and Williams (28) also produced useful tallies.
Second placed Dyffryn had to settle for a draw against Ystradgynlais when rain halted play.
Ystrad carded a very respectable 188 thanks to solid batting displays by Martin Griffiths (45) and Jason Lewis (39). Paul Amphlett was the pick of the bowlers taking 4-43.
The highfliers in reply  were on 63-2 when rain halted play in the 20th over with Adrian Locke bagging both wickets for the visitors (2-23).
Elsewhere, Llandeilo drew with Kidwelly, and the match between Neath 3rds and Llantwit Major Cavaliers was cancelled.

No winner in top of the table showdown

It remains as tight as ever at the head of Division Three of the South Wales Cricket Association, after the top of the table clash between leaders Hills Plymouth and Porthcawl ended in a no differential draw.
The pacemakers batting first were restricted to 103, with Matthew Lewis holding his side together with a solid 40 in what proved to be a difficult day at the crease for both sides. Tom Davies, 3-30, and Dave Lewis, 4-26, both capitalised on the conditions to take some impressive figures.
The Seasiders in reply ended on 33-5 in the 15th over with the rain forcing an end to the day's play. Matthew Davies was the pick of the bowlers collecting 3-12.
In the only match to reach a conclusion, Margam inflicted Pwll’s sixth defeat of the season with a six wicket victory.
Pwll were dismissed for 60, with Rhodri Reynolds picking up 4-25, while Robert Davies captured 3-26.
In reply, the Port Talbot side chased down the runs for the loss of four wickets, 64-4, with Luke O’Connor smashing an undefeated 41.
Elsewhere, it was a similar story for matches between Swansea Civil Service and Pontyberem, Maesteg and Landore, and Drefach and Briton Ferry Town, with all matches suffering to varying degrees at the hands of the weather.

Hawarden take full advantage to move into second

HAWARDEN Park are now second in division one of the North Wales Cricket League after they won and the games involving the top two were called off.

They had few problems seeing off the challenge of Menai Bridge seconds, themselves struggling near the foot of the table, winning by eight wickets.

It was certainly a team effort by the bowlers as four of the Hawarden Park attack took two wickets or better with Menai Bridge reaching 115 – Paul Lucas with an unbeaten 42 provided any real resistance.

Ian Martin (3-29), Campbell Marr (2-7), Mike Wootton (3-32) and Jason Biddulph (2-18) did the damage for Hawarden Park.

In reply, Mike Parton and Biddulph saw the hosts home for the loss of only two wickets as Adam Doyle top scored on 32.

Tail-ender Rob Davenport produced a nerveless innings of 44 not out to give Chirk a dramatic one-wicket victory over Gresford. Chasing 146 to win, Davenport came to the crease with his side in dire straits but a remarkable rearguard action won the game.

There was another nerve-jangling climax at Bangor where Marchwiel & Wrexham also won by one wicket after the host club’s second string had declared on 141-8 off 45 overs with Andy Williams cracking 71.

Despite a five-wicket haul for Ian Morgan, the visitors crept home by the narrowest of margins.

Pwllheli heaped more pressure on Pontblyddyn seconds with a five-wicket triumph. Pont were 130 all out in 44 overs as Dean Rehman (4-28) and Chris Small (3-22) kept the batsmen in check.

Replying, Pwllheli had few problems knocking off the runs in 26 overs with Chris Moore scoring 29 and Michael Hughes 28 not out.

Meanwhile, Buckley have taken over from Dolgellau at the top of division two following an astonishing batting collapse by Connah’s Quay seconds who were bowled out for a woeful 29! That was after Buckley had only made 109 themselves.

Buckley go top as Dolgellau’s match at Bethesda was cancelled. There were also wins for Abergele and Bersham while the other two fixtures fell to the rain. Ruthin continue to lead Denbigh seconds in division three though both of their games were cancelled.

The pacesetters in division four, Conwy seconds and Mochdre seconds, both won while in division five, Northop seconds closed the gap on leaders Pwllheli seconds to a point.

Rain proves to be only winner in top of the table showdown

In the top of the table tussle in Division Two of the South Wales Cricket Association between Carmarthen Wanderers and Cowbridge, the rain proved to be the only winner. 
The Vale of Glamorgan outfit carded 165, with Tom Warner (48) and Alex Kurobasa (25) the stand out performers.
The pacemakers were halted on 25-3 as the heavens opened, leaving supporters none the clearer on where the title may end up.
Meanwhile, third placed Aberdare will be thanking the rain gods, as they looked to be slumping to a heavy defeat at basement boys Briton Ferry Steel when the downpour saved their bacon.
Briton Ferry were in fine form at the crease notching up 226-5 in difficult batting conditions, Paul Evans top scored on 69 with Tony Stevens falling just short of a half century with 49. Aberdare were struggling on 88-7 despite an impressive stand by John Derrick who finished unbeaten on 40 when the weather closed in.
Gorseinon looked to be in a commanding position against Bronwydd when the weather forced a draw.
Gors set a target of 161 with Chris Morgan smashing his way to 68 off just 71 balls, in an innings that included 56 in boundaries, while Tim O’Kelly chipped in with 26. Tom Gleeson and Colin Tucker both captured three wickets for the visitors.
The Carmarthenshire side in reply was halted by the rain on a number of occasions with it finally being abandoned in the 24th over, with Bronwydd on 89-6. Meirion Davies was their top scorer notching up 38. Gafyn Donald was the most potent in attack taking 5-27.
Elsehwere, Morriston and Llandysul’s match also petered out to a differential draw.
Morriston set a target of 141 with captain Sam Richards leading the way with 41, while Peter Lynn chipped in 30. Llandysul’s Rhodri Jones had a fine day with the ball in hand, taking 6-27.
The rain stopped play early on in Llandysul’s innings with the newcomers halted on 34-2.
Finally, Llanelli seem to have got their season on track, clinching their third victory with an eight wicket demolition of Skewen.

Menai Bridge win premier division clash to honour Tom

IT was perhaps fitting that Menai Bridge should win their first game after the tragic death of Tom Maynard, whose grandfather is the club president.

It seemed apt that after a minute’s silence was observed across the North Wales Cricket League the Menai Bridge first team should further honour Maynard with a home victory over Northop.

The 148-run win keeps Menai Bridge second to Llandudno in the premier division. Robbie Jones blasted 89 and namesake Luke made 60 as the hosts amassed 282-7 in 50 overs.

Ashley Wood (5-20) and Tim Coggan (4-49) tore through the Northop batting line-up as the visitors were bowled out for 134.

Llandudno stay top following an easy eight-wicket triumph over Brymbo, who were all out for 104. Jack Rimmington (4-15) and Luke Reagan (3-15) did the damage for Llandudno. It was then left to Duncan Midgley (72 not out) to see Llandudno to victory.

Opener James Griffiths struck 10 fours and a six in his innings of 76 as Mold totalled 191-5 at Llay Welfare, who could only muster 98 in reply with John Crane, Cliff Wiseman and Thomas North all taking three wickets.

A low-scoring encounter at Mochdre saw the hosts run out winners by 33 runs against St Asaph after batting first and making 140. No 10 batsman Russ Boswell was the surprise top scorer with 26 as David North claimed 4-32.

Brothers Matthew and Will Ryan scored 24 and 22 respectively but St Asaph wilted as Marcus Adams, Gareth Goodson, Adam Campion and Alex Davies shared the wickets.

Last season’s champions Connah’s Quay had captain David Powell to thank for seeing them home to a three-wicket win against Denbigh.

Denbigh posted 145-8 with Tom Schrimshaw and Chris Campbell contributing unbeaten scores of 35 and 37 respectively. And although Alex Lewis, Stuart Griffiths and Will Affleck chipped in with two wickets apiece, Powell remained not out.

The game between Pontblyddyn and Bangor was cancelled because of the weather.

Swansea beat the rain to see off Clydach

Swansea looked to be heading for a frustrating afternoon in Division One of the South Wales Cricket Association when rain halted play, with the St Helens outfit needing just 21 more runs to clinch victory at Clydach, but a break in the weather let the ex Premier League outfit back on to secure a six wicket win.

The hosts were reduced to 97 thanks to some clinical bowling from Josh Tobin, 4-9, and Ed Smith, 3-31. Swansea in reply looked to be easing to victory on 76-4 when the rain came, but a break in the precipitation saw the visitors sprint to the finish line posting 98-4, with Ashley Pass the best with the bat knocking 55.
Meanwhile, a five wicket haul from Ben Northey ensured Ynystawe beat the rain and Llangennech with a nine wicket decimation.
Llangennech were skittled for just 56 with Northey in particular in destructive form taking 5-15, including a hat-trick, while Paul Discombe was also on fire with the ball, picking up 4-22.
Highfliers Ynystawe got their target for the loss of just one wicket carding 58-1, with opener Gareth Bishop knocking an unbeaten 29. The victory sees them move up to third in the table.
Pacemakers Dafen meanwhile were not so lucky as their clash at Gowerton was abandoned. The defending champions knocked 194-9 in their allotted overs, Nicky Davies was the most prolific with the bat hitting 69. Gowerton in reply were 33-1 in the 13th over when the match fell foul of the conditions.
There was yet more frustration for Maesteg Celtic losing out to the rain for the fourth time this season when their encounter at Tata Steel was halted by the weather leaving both teams with a share of the spoils.
The Steelmen batted first posting 201-7 thanks to an excellent display from opener Scott Jones (47) and Kelvin Bartle (75), while Rhys Owen chipped in with 42. Celtic in reply were 56-2 when the rain came in the 19th over.
In the day's other fixture, Neath were also hampered by the rain with the highfliers looking on course to bag a win at strugglers Pontardawe, but once again the weather had other ideas with a no differential draw the outcome.
Neath batted first and notched up 184-7, Keiran Thomas (71) was their top scorer while Tom Jones (62) and Gareth Davies (23) also produced fine efforts. Ponty’s Owain Binding was by far the best in attack capturing 5-48.
Pontardawe’s innings were disrupted by rain on a couple of occasions and both sides decided to give up the ghost in the 22nd over with the hosts on 31-3.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Inaugural FAW League Cup draw made

The inaugural first round draw of the FAW’s new League Cup competition was made last Wednesday afternoon in Cardiff.
Chris Coleman, the National Team Manager, and Peter Rees, Welsh Premier League Chairman, conducted the draw with new Welsh Premier League Secretary Gwyn Derfel also in attendance.
A total of eight clubs from the Welsh League and Huws Gray Alliance make up the first round draw, with the four victorious sides guaranteed the fillet of a bumper home tie against Premier opposition in the next round.
The First round ties are due to be played in September.
Round 1 Draw
Buckley Town v Penrhyncoch
Rhyl v CPD Porthmadog.
Taffs Well v Bryntirion Athletic
Cambrian & Clydach v Havefordwest County

Monday, 18 June 2012

Seasiders shine in Welsh Cup on wet weekend

A FOURTH-ROUND tie against Gwalia Welsh Cup holders Swansea is Barry Athletic’s reward for toppling Abergavenny.

The round three tie had been abandoned seven days earlier because of rain but not was going to stop the Barry boys this time.

Mochdre, Pontarddulais, Panteg and Ynystawe also booked their places in the next stage of the competition with wins yesterday.

Barry’s 31-run triumph sets them up for a mouth-watering home clash against Swansea to determine which club from section six of the draw will go through to the last eight.

If beat Swansea on July 1, Barry would then face either Panteg or Ammanford in the quarter-finals where the winners of the cup’s eight sections face off.

Knocks of 77 and 71 from Steve Provis and skipper Nathan Baker respectively, plus Rhett Jones’s 43, set Barry on their way to 252-8 with the Abergavenny bowlers sharing the wickets between them.

In reply, Dan Cooke (74) and a half-century from Abergavenny captain James Schofield wasn’t enough for the visitors and Billy Usswald’s 3-37 helped Barry limit their opponents to 221-7.

In the other third round matches last weekend, Clydach came up just short against Panteg, going down by six runs chasing 161 for the win.

The Torfaen club had Carwyn James (56) and Chris White (31) to thank for getting them to 160 as Brian Fisher (3-32) and Chris Dunne (4-20) kept them in check. Replying, James Garland’s 48 was in vain as Ackter Balouch took 4-38.

Ynystawe of the South Wales Cricket Association claimed the scalp of Swalec Premier League strugglers Ynysygerwn, coming out on top by 48 runs at Maes yr Afon near Swansea.

The hosts complied 200-7, Rowan Evans scoring 68, before bowling the visitors out for 152 with Sion Jones the pick of the bowlers with 3-33. Evans also took a wicket and conceded just nine runs from his nine overs.

Pontarddulais conceded their tie with Dafen Welfare and in North Wales, Mochdre overcame the challenge of Prestatyn by eight wickets. All bar one of the Mochdre attack chipped in with at least one wicket as Prestatyn made 114.

Joe Chaplin’s 38 and an unbeaten 41 from Gareth Davies steered the visitors to victory with plenty of time to spare at Beach Close. Four remaining round three games are scheduled for Sunday, including Sully Centurions’ clash with Gowerton and Cardiff’s encounter against Cresselly.

Merthyr Tydfil-based Hills Plymouth were knocked out of the South Wales Cricket Association Thomas Carroll Cup by Skewen.

Replying to Skewen’s not so promising 121 all out, Hills folded completely and were skittled out for a paltry 46. If it hadn’t been for Chris Shopland’s 30 it could have been a lot worse.

As for league action last weekend, it was almost non-existent as the rain that swept the nation forced the cancellation of virtually all club cricket on Saturday.

In North Wales, Llanrwst earned a winning draw against Llandudno seconds to extend their lead at the top of division two while in division two, Abergele saw off Carmel & District by 24 runs with bowler David Moulson taking 6-16 for the former.

Friday, 15 June 2012

North clubs hoping for calm after the storm

North Wales Cricket League Saturday preview

LAST weekend’s devastating storms wiped out a large portion of matches in the North Wales Cricket League – and the forecast doesn’t look clever for tomorrow either.

Only two games in the premier division survived last Saturday so the likes of leaders Llandudno, whose match was called off, will be hoping for a change this time around.

They are due to visit third-placed Mochdre as Menai Bridge, who have had five games either cancelled or abandoned, go to Bangor with the aim of keeping up the pressure on Llandudno.

Brymbo’s win over Connah’s Quay, coupled with St Asaph’s defeat by Mold, saw them close the gap on the sides above them. Tomorrow, Brymbo entertain Llay Welfare and St Asaph make the trip to Denbigh.

Last year’s champions Connah’s Quay are away to Northop and Mold host Pontblyddyn.

In division one, it’s a top-of-the-table clash as Llandudno 2nds try to reduce Llanrwst’s 21-point lead with free-scoring Hawarden Park waiting in the wings should the two cancel each other out.

They are away at Gresford while Chirk, fresh from a commanding 150-run success against Pontblyddyn 2nds, go to Marchwiel & Wrexham, Conwy host Bangor 2nds, Menai Bridge play Pwllheli and Pontblyddyn meet Halkyn.

The pick of the matches in division two is in the bottom half of the table where Brymbo 2nds in last could climb away from the relegation zone if they can overcome Gwersyllt Park, the side two places and two points above them.

There are also of intriguing fixtures in divisions three, four and five, including Shotton 2nds, the club right at the bottom of the whole league system, travelling to Tata Steel Maeshafn, second in the fifth tier.

Prestatyn host Mochdre on Sunday in the only all-North Wales tie in the third round of the Gwalia Welsh Cup scheduled for this weekend while there are also two league fixtures on the same day.

Division one big guns set for Saturday showdown

South Wales Cricket Association Saturday preview

LEADERS Dafen Welfare could boost their chances of retaining the division one title at home to second-placed Neath tomorrow, provided the rain stays away of course.

The forecast isn’t looking too good for the top-of-the-table clash but, if the game does go ahead, Dafen will have the opportunity to extend their lead, one which currently sits at 39 points.

Neath captain Adrian Shaw will be looking for a positive response from his men after they were humbled by Ynystawe on home turf last weekend.

On the other hand, Dafen have won six of their seven games so far this term and had few problems seeing off Tata Steel, who visit Gowerton, last time out, winning by six wickets having bowled out their opponents for 55.

Swansea will be expected to beat bottom-but-one Llangennech at St Helen’s, however, they were tipped to beat Pontardawe last Saturday only for the team at the foot of the table to hang on for a losing draw.

Pontardawe go to Ynystawe and Maesteg Celtic host Clydach in the other division one encounters.

Third hosts second in division two as Aberdare taken Cowbridge while leaders Carmarthen Wanderers, fresh from a comfortable nine-wicket triumph over Bronwydd – a victory which featured a superb 132 not out from Daniel Jones – are away at Skewen.

The bottom two clubs clash with Briton Ferry Steel looking at their contest with Morriston as an ideal opportunity to record a first win of the season and close the gap on the Swansea club in the process.

Gorseinon in fourth have been going well of late and will be favourites for their match with Llandysul who lost to Llanelli, away at Bronwydd this week, last Saturday.

Hills Plymouth hold a slender advantage over Briton Ferry Town in the third division and the Merthyr outfit should have enough strength in depth to see off Maesteg at home as their closest challengers go to Pontyberem.

Buoyed by a first taste of success this season last time out, Pwll may find themselves off the bottom of the table if they beat Swansea Civil Service and Landore lose to Drefach. Margam entertain third-placed Porthcawl.

It’s bottom against top in division four with frontrunners Cimla host struggling Kidwelly Town, bowled out for just 62 by Llantwit Major Cavaliers last weekend. The Cavaliers have a mid-table clash against Llandeilo.

Dyffryn, in second, face Felinfoel at the Recreation Ground and Neath 3rds travel to Ystradgynlais.


Dafen; M Evans (capt), D Vaughan (wk), N Davies, D Nicholas, S Devonald, J Mansel, P George, A Rowlands, C Hudson, C Keen, A Herbert

Neath; A Shaw (capt/wk), K Thomas, G Davies, M Pearce, K Bull, J Parkhouse, M Davies, T Jones, H Davies, S Hornby, N Aubrey

Wootton claims trophy success but misses record

DAVID Wootton had the course record at Swansea Bay in his sights during the Silver King Ball Trophy only to squander his chance near the end of his round.

With 41 points, Wootton did win the event from four-handicapper Richie Evans but he was left thinking what might have been having charged to -5 after 14 holes.

However, three dropped shots on the last few greens meant the three-handicapper just missed out on the record. Rikki Allen was third with 38 points.

Aled and Jane Thomas teamed up to win the D C Morgan Cup at Carmarthen, with a net score of 64.8. Ann and Ray Heath were second and Gwenallt Jones and Anne Williams were third.

Langland Bay is hosting its open week with a number of tournaments taking place. Jerry Steele and Dave Gibson of the home club showed the rest of the teams in the Seniors’ Fourball Betterball a clean pair of heels.

The duo registered 44 points to win by one from Tudor Weatherly & Alan Thomas. Meanwhile, Mary Hughes and Judith Roberts were just pushed into second place by Gill Lennox and Jo Bond in the Ladies’ Australian Spoons.

Fredrick Holland claimed the Junior Stableford Boys competition at Ashburnham with a three-point margin of victory over Tomos Davies and Elis Staines while Jean Peace took the Broomhill Cup with a net 71.

It was close in the Harry Cass Cup but in the end Lynette Bassett and Jordan Williams’s 48 points were one better than Huw Dixon and Fiona Halpin.

The fourth round of the Seniors’ Dawn Patrol at Derllys Court went the way of Frank Simons, but only by the finest of margins from three of the Joneses – Handel, Peter and Phillip.

Thirteen-handicap Simons edged it with 40 points to secure 10 league points while the other three all carded 39 to seal nine league points.



Broomhill Cup & GUW 6; 1. Jean Peace net 71, 2. Eleanor Roberts 75, 3. Sophie Anderson 76

Junior Stableford Boys; 1. Fredrick Holland 41pts, 2. Tomos Davies 38, 3. Elis Staines 38

Harry Cass Cup; 1. Lynette Bassett & Jordan Williams 48pts, 2. Huw Dixon & Fiona Halpin 47, 3. Sally Forrester & Timothy Forrester 44pts


D C Morgan Cup; 1. Aled Thomas & Jane Thomas net 64.8, 2. Ann Heath & Ray Heath 65.8, 3. Gwenallt Jones & Anne Williams 66

Derllys Court

Dawn Patrol; 1. Frank Simons 40pts, 2. Handel Jones, Peter Jones, Phillip Jones 39pts

Langland Bay

Open Week Seniors’ Fourball Betterball; 1. Jerry Steele & Dave Gibson 44pts, 2. Tudor Weatherly & Alan Thomas 43, 3. K. Jones & M. Ellis. (Pontypridd) 41, 4. J. James & M. Davies (South Pembs) 41

Open Week Ladies’ Team Stableford; 1. L. Sparks, A. Jenkins & G. Higgins net 86, 2. C. Jones, S. Harris & H. Morse 83, 3. T. Crawshaw, J. Hamlyn Davies & C. Skubala 80, 4. G. Lennox, J. Bond & S. Mcfadzean 80

Men’s Singles Stableford; 1. M. Edwards 37pts, 2. M. Sullivan 37pts, 3. D. Johnson (Fairwood) 37, 4. S. Cordy (Radyr) 37

Mixed Foursomes Cup; 1. R. Lewis & P. Lewis 37pts, 2. P. Matthews & R. Matthews 37, 3. R. Bond & R. Carter 36

Ladies Australian Spoons; 1. Gill Lennox & Jo Bond 38pts, 2. Mary Hughes & Judith Roberts 37

Monday Stableford; 1. T. Padfield 40pts, 2. C. Edwards 40, 3. R. Halliday 37

June Monthly Medal; (div one) 1. S. Davies net 69, 2. K. Barry 70, 3. R. Halliday 70, (div two) 1. J. Francis 73, 2. P. Wade 73, 3. J. Lamb 76, (div three) 1. R. Crawshaw 74, 2. T. Greenslade 74, 3. A. Evans 75

Swansea Bay

Scratch Knockout Qualifier; 1. G. Mellor net 70, 2. T. Watkins 72, 3. T. Hubbard 73

Silver King Ball Trophy; 1. David Wootton 41pts, 2. Richie Evans 41, 3. Rikki Allen 38

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Extras hurt for Baglan as Arun strikes eight

South Wales Cricket Association division four

BAGLAN suffered the ignominy of having ‘extras’ as their top scorer as they suffered at the hands of Cimla’s Arun Rengaswamy.

The spinner spun his side to their fifth victory of the season in South Wales Cricket Association division four, taking eight wickets as Baglan were bowled out for 76.

Table-toppers Cimla had already scored 178 batting first with Chris Stevens contributing 49. But it was all one-way traffic after the interval as spin king Rengaswamy steam-rollered through the hosts.

And, by the end, extras had added 34 to the paltry total, summing up Baglan’s bad day at the office in a nutshell.

Meanwhile, Dyffryn went run crazy at home against Llandarcy, posting 301-4, including a stand of 201 for the first wicket between Robert Stanton (132) and Rhys Davies (66).

Replying, Paul Amphlett (5-40) made sure Llandarcy came up a huge 227 short as they continue to struggle.

The only team below Llandarcy had an equally torrid time as whipping boys Kidwelly Town were dismissed for a meagre 62 following Llantwit Major Cavaliers’ 197-7.

Finally, in a low-scoring affair, Ystradgynlais restricted Llandeilo to 125 but failed in their chase, falling 35 adrift with Antony James taking 4-22.

The other division four match between Neath 3rds and Felinfoel was abandoned without a ball being ball.

Lyddon helps Seasiders keep heat on leaders

South Wales Cricket Association division three

PORTHCAWL’S Nick Lyddon gave Swansea Civil Service six of the best to keep his side within touching distance of the top two in division three of the South Wales Cricket Association.

He was the second bowler in Saturday’s match to claim half-a-dozen wickets after Matthew Griffiths had taken 6-48 in Porthcawl’s total of 163-9.

Mark Dixon’s 64 and 45 not out from Chris Richards helped the seasiders to a useful score but one the visiting Civil Service would have felt was gettable.

That wasn’t the case though and 62 runs later they were all out with only Philip Owen (26) giving any resistance. Tom Davies also chipped in with three wickets as Porthcawl stay in third.

Division leaders Hills Plymouth won again, this time at home to Drefach by 62 runs. The Merthyr Tydfil club were kept in check by Rob Seymour’s five-wicket haul and their 132 wasn’t too convincing.

But, they had no problems as Drefach replied with Jeremy Crooker (4-11) and Jason Castaldi (3-9) ripping through the top order to consolidate first place.

Nearest challengers Briton Ferry Town also won comfortably, by seven wickets against Landore who were bowled out for 118 batting first.

All-rounder Yakoob Ali had another good game for Town, collecting four wickets with the ball and scoring 33 with the willow to help see his side home as Neil Bagridge also made 39.

There was at last a win for bottom club Pwll as they overcame Pontyberem by seven wickets with Marcus Leaf hitting an unbeaten 57 as the hosts replied to their opponents’ 123-8.

A knock of 66 from Craig Howells was countered by 4-38 for Carl Bibby while in reply, Pwll crossed the finishing line with several overs to spare having lost three wickets.

In the remaining game, Maesteg tasted success for the second time this season as they responded to Maesteg’s 148 by making 150-5 with Luke O’Connor finishing 40 not out.

Blistering Jones blitzes Bronwydd bowling

South Wales Cricket Association division two

CARMARTHEN Wanderers, relegated last season, look set for an immediate return to the top tier of the South Wales Cricket Association.

They were just three points away from safety at the end of the 2011 campaign but they haven’t let that disappointment affect their performances this time around.

Bronwydd set them what could have been a potentially tricky target of 192 on Saturday but the Wanderers brushed aside any fears and reached their victory target for the loss of one wicket.

Daniel Jones blitzed 132 not out and Owain Davies finished unbeaten on 38 as the Bronwydd attack was dismissed to all parts of the ground after they had been bowled out for 191.

While Aberdare, another side who came down for division one last season, lost at Morriston, Cowbridge in second were also losing ground on the Wanderers.

At home to Skewen, Cowbridge kept the visitors to 167-9 with Tom Warner taking 4-48, but in reply the hosts were left stranded on 156-9 when play ended. Thomas Merilaht (42) and Michael Lloyd (45) seemed set to take Cowbridge to victory but eight maidens and 4-39 saw Skewen’s Mark Lewis halt their march.

Briton Ferry Steel are enduring a dreadful season and it didn’t get any better at Gorseinon.

The visitors won the toss and put the hosts in to bat and despite Rhys Norgrove taking 4-54, Gorseinon, thanks to an unbeaten half-century from Gavin Donald, made 186-8.

Replying, the Steelmen were undone by Tom Clarke and Dan Allen and were bowled out for 81.

There was also an easy win for Llanelli at Stradey Park against Llandysul. Having posted 165-8 in their allotted overs, Llanelli sent their opponents packing, winning by 61 runs.

Dafen's march to glory sees them win yet again

South Wales Cricket Association division one

WHO can stop Dafen Welfare winning back-to-back division one titles in the South Wales Cricket Association?

That’s the question the other nine clubs will be pondering after the 2011 champions racked up their sixth success of the season at Tata Steel.

This one came surprisingly easily as the hosts felt the full force of deadly bowling duo Steve Devonald (5-26) and Andrew Rowlands (3-19).

The Steelmen were skittled out for just 55, leaving Dafen with the relatively simple task of rattling off the runs required which they did for the loss of four wickets.

Neath may be second in the table but they’ll want to forget Saturday in a hurry after losing at home to Ynystawe by nine wickets.

Managing just 71-9 in their 50 overs, Matthew Davies top scoring with 37 not out, Neath were always up against it and Ynystawe had no problems in reply.

Third-placed Swansea were left frustrated at St Helen’s where lowly Pontardawe club on for a draw, though the bulk of the points went the way of the home side who made 211-7 batting first.

Shashika Rodrigo struck an unbeaten 61 and Gareth Hayden contributed 43 while Jason Rourke took 3-44. In response, Pontardawe were actually going well at 112-3 before a dramatic collapse saw them lose six wickets for eight runs.

Gowerton are on the up and they beat Clydach by 20 runs, although Chris Dunn did take a hat-trick for the Swansea valley outfit.

Dunn claimed four victims in all as Gowerton made 178-9 but they had Craig Evans and Callum Eakins to thank as Clydach fell short on 158. Maesteg Celtic saw off Llangennech by 42 runs with Roger Barnes taking 4-20 as the West Walians were dismissed for 91 chasing 134 to win.

Dream day for Whitland bowling ace Dunfee

Pembroke County Cricket League weekend review

CAREW’S clash with Neyland may have been the game to be at in division one of the Pembroke County Cricket League but Whitland’s David Dunfee produced the performance of a lifetime at Llangwm.

Defending a gettable score of 137, Whitland, and Dunfee in particular, tore through the Llangwm batting with the bowler recording stunning figures of 9-17 with Mark Lee taking the other wicket.

It’s doubtful whether anyone will match those figures during the rest of the season as Dunfee bowled his team to a 30-run triumph.

The division’s top two, Carew and Neyland, fought out a tense draw with Neyland nine wickets down by the time the match ended.

The more dominant at the close of play, Carew took 20 points from the stalemate to go 17 points clear of their rivals in the table after eight fixtures played.

Hosts Carew batted first and an unbeaten 73 from Nic Scourfield helped them to 141-8 with Andrew Miller taking 3-45 for the visitors.

In reply, Neyland were teetering on 113-9 at the end with Greg Miller still at the crease on 69 not out. Tom Davies (4-35) was the pick of the Carew attack.

Haverfordwest moved to third with a comfortable 106-run victory at home to St Ishmaels. Dan Field’s 53 took the hosts to 221-8 and the visitors fell short on 155, Simon Holiday capturing four wickets.

There was a first win of the season for Narberth who moved off the foot of the table in the process. It came by a resounding 126 runs at Saundersfoot as Ben Hughes produced match-winning figures of 6-38.

Saundersfoot were skittled out for 84 chasing 211 with Mike Scale (52), Wayne Howells (47) and Richie Adams (40) earlier taking Narberth to 201-8.

Cresselly were beaten by three wickets at Lawrenny after posting 137-8 and they now sit at the bottom of division one. James Buckle’s 30 and Brad Jenkins’s 27 took Lawrenny to their victory target but they were seven wickets down when they got there.

In division two, Llanrhian appear to be unstoppable following a massive 115-run margin of victory at Pembroke. Gareth Davies scored 83 as the leaders posted 204-5 and the hosts had no answer in reply. There were bowled out for 89, Sean Powell top scoring on 25.

Carew 2nds earned a winning draw at Johnston with Brian Hall (105no) and Adam Chandler (111no out) sharing a second-wicket partnership in excess of 200.

The visitors actually made 218-1 but they couldn’t bowl out Johnston who finished on 104-7 with Stephen Davies claiming 4-21.

Jamie's on-song as Brymbo beat Connah's Quay

North Wales Cricket League weekend review

IT’S as you were at the top of the first division of the North Wales Cricket League after the games involving the leaders were cancelled because of the stormy weather.

That means Llandudno remain in pole position, well clear of Menai Bridge and Mochdre while Brymbo narrowed the gap on fourth-placed St Asaph to one point with a win at last year’s champions Connah’s Quay.

Brymbo’s 81-run victory was built on a healthy total of 215-6 in 50 overs with Jamie Griffiths making 54 and Tim Newhouse 48 to lay the foundations for the win.

In reply, the hosts were limited the Brymbo attack led by Wayne Smith and Ed Parry, who claimed 4-39 and 3-23 respectively, to help bowl out the home side for 134.

St Asaph saw their title chances take a hit as they went down to defeat at home to Mold. They fell just 17 runs short of their target after bowling out the visitors for 140.

Cliff Wiseman’s unbeaten 49 steadied the Mold ship as Andrew Bellis took 3-23 to seemingly put the hosts in control. However, three wickets for John Crane and Chris Bolton ended St Asaph’s hopes with three overs left.

Llanrwst moved further ahead of the chasing pack in division one as they saw off Gresford while Hawarden Park secured a winning draw against second-placed Llandudno 2nds.

A disciplined half-century by Trefor Williams aided Llanrwst as they managed 134-9, Simon Perry claiming 4-23. But Gresford were unable overhaul the table-toppers and, thanks to 4-42 from Alwyn Williams, Llanrwst bowled out their opponents for 113.

Arguably the innings of the day came at the Hawarden Castle Ground where the home side’s Jason Biddulph cracked a superb 124 off 95 balls in his team’s daunting total of 289-5 – his knock featured 22 fours and two sixes.

But Tom Ducker was also in the runs and he made a rapid 63 in 30 deliveries and Michael Parton scored 50 as the visitors’ bowling attack was sent packing.

Llandudno had made 190-6 by the close of play, mainly thanks to an excellent 114 from opener Sam Rimmington, with Ian Martin and Niall Amos both taking two of the wickets to fall.

Elsewhere, Chirk thrashed Pontblyddyn 2nds by 150 runs with Shaun Walker falling one run short of a century for the former as they amassed 202-9 declared.

They skittled out their rivals for a paltry 52 with Jonathan Phillips (4-9), Mark Roberts (3-7) and Nick Flack (3-7) making hay.

Only one game survived the weather in division two as Connah’s Quay 2nds beat Bersham by 28 runs. Luke Bennett’s 68 not out took Quay to 163-8 in 45 overs and that proved enough as their opponents were all out for 135.

An inspired spell of bowling from Dafydd Lewis was the standout performance at Ystrad Road as Denbigh 2nds, second in division three, kept up the pressure on leaders Ruthin. Lewis took 6-15 as his Denbigh side bowled out Hawarden Park 2nds for 85 in reply to the hosts’ 118-6.

Ruthin thrashed Llay Welfare 2nds by 10 wickets at the Memorial Ground to keep top spot, Mold 2nds beat Mynydd Isa by 19 runs and Shotton secured a timely victory against Anglesey Aluminium by 10 runs.

Meanwhile, Mochdre and Conwy are locked together at the summit of division four while Pwllheli continue to stay in front in division five.