WITH the sun shining, Dinas Powys Cricket Club were back in action at the weekend but, unfortunately, the Thirds missed out when their opponents defaulted.
A somewhat depleted 1st XI travelled to Ponthir and, opting to bat, openers Gordon Hannah and Nathan Piddock laid a solid platform with some fine shots before, with the score on 48, the latter was caught for 21. Leading from the front, Hannah continued to prosper on a difficult wicket , with chief support coming from Jeff Mitchell (41). When Hannah was dismissed for a fine 53, the runs and wicket column took a real hit with the fall of another two quick wickets. Mitchell received good support from Jason Harries and the pair put on 49 for the fifth wicket before the latter was stumped on 26. Unfortunately, Dinas quickly fell by the wayside and were bowled out for 175.
In reply, Ponthir started strongly thanks to two Piddock looseners. Opening from the other end, Louis Clarke, fresh from his four for 29 in the Welsh Cup clash with Barry Athletic, again bowled well without much luck. The introduction of Upinder Singh brought three wickets, but, by this stage, opener David Wilson (64) was well set. Dinas' change bowlers offered little in the way of wickets, but the re-introduction of Piddock and Clarke offered some real impetus, with the former getting two wickets, including the dangerous Wilson. Although skipper Hannah turned to himself and Jack Preston after injuries to two of his frontline bowlers, the change worked and gave Dinas a sniff as both bowlers took their maiden 1st XI wickets through good catches by Piddock.
This brought the game to a very interesting finale, with Ponthir just edging it by three wickets.
The Seconds entertained Newport Fugitives at Bryn y Don in the first of a double header weekend.
Home skipper Andy Ford elected to bat and, after giving early chances, openers Lloyd DiMauro and the seasoned Mike O'Donovan buckled down. In a tight opening spell, progress was slow, but, as the opening bowlers tired, the batters got on top. Some lovely strokeplay allowed both openers to reach their 50s, with O'Donovan's half century much deserved after a rough run. Both then fell quickly, bringing skipper Ford and Stuart Jones to the crease. Whilst the former was content to play a holding role, punishing any bad balls, Jones gave a display of brutal hitting that changed the course of the game. He scored 95 in less than 12 overs with a flurry of maximums and fell just short of what would have been a fantastic century. Some big shots at the close enabled Dinas to post a massive 291 for five, with Ford run out for 49 off the last ball of the innings.
Newport, unfortunately, lost one of their players with concussion after he fell trying to catch a Jones six.
Big though the total was, Dinas couldn't be complacent and, short of quick bowling options, Ford was quick to ring the changes. With opening bowler Ali struggling with his line, the skipper turned to the more experienced slow dobbers of Simon Hiscocks and he quickly made the first breakthrough via a smart catch from wicketkeeper Ford. The Fugies, though, bided their time and, with slow bowling the only real options for Dinas, they just waited for the bad ball; and there were enough of those to keep the visitors in the game. Hiscocks snatched another wicket, courtesy of a great catch by Dan Pearce who fielded superbly all afternoon, and then there were two huge moments. Firstly, Gareth Storey, running in from the long on boundary, took a brilliant catch diving full length (so good a catch that the batsman actually walked over to congratulate him), and then Rob Tucker took a stunning caught and bowled to get rid of the dangerous Hales, but dislocated his finger in the process. Both were key wickets of well set batters. Tucker bravely refused to go off, continuing to bowl and field one handed.
Fugies, however, got the rate down to about one a ball inside the last 10 overs and it looked like it was going to be tight. Ford rang the changes again, bringing back Ali, who gained more control in his second spell and took a vital wicket, while, in a 34-run victory for the home side as Fugies finished on 257 all out, slow left armer Storey mopped up the tail with three for 27.
Having had an exceptional result on Saturday, the Seconds looked to make it two out of two on Sunday against Malpas in what turned out to be a very one-sided game.
Electing to bat, Malpas started positively before a run out brought the first wicket with the score on 40. The introduction of two second team debutants, Nathan Piddock and Alex Vowles, soon brought the scoreboard to a standstill with the economical Piddock (one for 10 off nine) playing a supporting role to the latter who took two good wickets, ably assisted by the excellent hands of Harries - three catches in total. The introduction of Harries and Storey changed the game dramatically and, with five wickets between them, the visitors finished on a below par 109 all out.
After another scorcher of a tea, Brychan Tudor and Lloyd Di Mauro went about the run chase in a positive manner, knowing that some rain was expected. Tudor was the main aggressor, finishing not out for a score in excess of 50, but was very well supported by Di Mauro (33) who played some lovely straight drives following on from his half century the previous day. Di Mauro eventually fell with the score on 102, allowing Red Todd-Bennett to come in and do some running for Tudor, who hit the winning runs in the next over.
All in all, a very clinical display from Ford's men, with this win adding to the previous day's excellent result.
Dinas would like to thank Go-Surveys Ltd for their continued support.
Next fixtures - Saturday, June 21 - 1st XI v Vale (Bryn y Don, 1pm), 2nd XI v Rogerstone (away) and 3rd XI v Sully Spartans (Common, 1.30pm); June 22 - v S Wales Sri Lankans (Common, 2pm); June 23 - U11s v Miskin Manor (Common, 6pm); June 24 - U13s v Penarth (away, 6pm); June 25 - DPCC v Penarth (Common, 6pm); June 26 - U15s v Miskin Manor (away, 6pm).