Stunning win secures promotion for Dinas Seconds
12:40pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Sport
THE highlight of the final weekend of the Dinas Powys Cricket Club league season was, undoubtedly, a stunning win by the 2nd XI to gain promotion.
Playing at home to Pontymister, Dinas posted the victory from a seemingly impossible position.
The calculation was simple; win and the Seconds would be promoted. Runaway league leaders Pontymister were bent on finishing their season in style to cement their own promotion success and elected to bat. For Dinas, Richie Morgan struck twice and fellow seamers Will Mardell and Sam Marlow picked up early wickets to seize the initiative. At 116 for five, Pontymister dug in, with Raza (66) and Akhtar turning the game back their way. It took a superb spell by Upinder Singh (four for 36) for Dinas to finally dismiss Pontymister for 171.
The Dinas reply began in the worst possible fashion, with Di Mauro caught without a run on the board. Worse was to follow as the usually dependable Singh, Stuart Jones and Gareth Evans all collected ducks to leave the villagers in tatters at 17 for four. Enter captain Andy Ford, and he and veteran Mike "Dig-In" O’Donovan took stock. Initially, more content with survival than scoring against the best and deepest bowling attack in the division, the pair slowly took control, with anything threatening defended soundly and anything short and wide picked off . The pair passed their 50 partnership and then reached three figures as the outside possibility of victory slowly became realised. Ford opened his shoulders as the ball softened and, with O’Donovan content to anchor his end, the scales tipped the home side's way. With Pontymister increasingly ragged, the Dinas pair increased in confidence and, finally, in the 42nd over, Ford smashed his13th boundary for a fantastic six-wicket win and promotion.
O’Donovan (35 not out) and Ford put on 155 in breathtaking style, much to the delight of the enthusiastic support on the boundary edge.
A magnificent win for the team and, in particular, for skipper Ford (86 no out), who has led the team from the front all season.
The Firsts travelled to Pontymister for their final game of a successful season in good spirits, which improved still further when skipper Ian Southwell elected to bat. The jovial nature of the team was evident as usual opener Gordon Hannah was accompanied to the crease by Nathan Piddock, whose previous partners (cricketing) have included Ashes-winning England opening batswomen. Whilst Hannah may have been a comparative disappointment to Piddock, it did not show, and Dinas made solid progress. Piddock was first to go, chasing a wide one, which not only brought Brychan Tudor to the crease, but also a change of umpire in the form of Rhys Bradley. Bradley did not take long to make an impression on his 1st XI debut, promptly adjudging Tudor lbw for a duck. Southwell was next in, Bradley was swiftly replaced, and Dinas continued on their merry way before Hannah was cleaned up by a bit of extra pace. Jack Preston swaggered to the crease and, after getting off the mark, decided to change his bat. The result left Southwell and Preston with matching bats, which was all very nice until the skipper used his to hit a rank half-tracker straight to point. Miles Wilton was next in, and he and Preston began to build the first decent partnership of the innings, watchful and then brutal, as the scoreboard began to motor. Preston was out-hitting Wilton, which resulted in the latter swinging harder, and, despite a few lusty successes, he was finally bowled by a sneaky top spinner. There followed a slight collapse, Matthew Bloxham going first ball, and leaving John Taylor to survive the hat-trick ball, before falling to the next delivery. Gareth Storey took on the responsibility of guiding Preston to his maiden 1st XI half century, which he brought up to much applause from his team mates before getting himself out the very next ball. Will Hume replaced Preston, but, with Storey hogging the strike, he didn't get to face a ball as Dinas closed on 156 for eight off 50 overs.
Dinas opening bowler Piddock was fired up after changing ends and picked up three wonderful wickets, all cleaned bowled, which took him to a stunning 30 league wickets for the season - the second best in the division. Not bad for a batsman.
At the other end, Bloxham toiled with no luck, with chances not quite going to hand, and a few deliveries simply too good for the batsmen. It was left to the two 1st XI debutants, Bradley and Hume, to pick up further wickets, both well deserved, and both courtesy of good work by Hannah behind the stumps. Storey brought some wily spin into the equation and, but for butterfingers Wilton, would have picked up a deserved wicket.
In the end, Dinas lost by five wickets, but ended the season with a smile on their face, a spring in their step, and a pint in their hand.
The Thirds entertained Panteg Fourths on the Common.
It was a splendid day for the last game of a great season for the mixed talent in the Thirds. Skipper Rob Tucker lost the toss (again) and was put in to bat. A great debate over the batting order was settled with skipper and junior Jack "J T" Thomas selected as openers. J T, Alex Vowles and James Ford fell to some good bowling, having amassed 30 runs between them. The skipper partnered Mike Lowe (28) and Geoff Colley (15) before falling to an lbw at 63. The tailend gave a big wag, with occasional players Pete Colley (21 not out) and Roy Davies (24 not out) playing cameos to take the total to 245 for eight off 45.
Dinas bowler Vowles struck twice in his first spell, and a wicket each from Tucker and Colley put the the home side in control. Lowe helped himself to two wickets with a controlled spell, and a second spell from Vowles brought him his first 'five for' as Dinas closed out the match. Panteg were all out for 173, with Vowles finishing with five for 19 from seven overs.
Dinas Powys CC would like to thank all their sponsors and supporters for their ongoing support this season.
Next weekend it's Dinas Powys on tour; lookout Minehead.