Golds strike at the end of a successful season
6:02pm Monday 16th September 2013 in Penarth sport
PENARTH Cricket Club's two under-11 teams are celebrating a successful season.
Both Penarth sides qualified for Sunday's Cardiff & Vale Junior Cricket League finals day at St Fagans and, following their win in the U11B West League, Penarth Bears, coached by Tony Duffy, faced Cardiff B, East League winners.
In a rain-affected match, a conclusion was possible, with Cardiff coming out on top. Although Penarth scored 61 runs to Cardiff’s 27, the Bears lost nine wickets to their opponents' two. The pick of the bowlers were eight-year-old Kreshay Bharwani and Lewis Ingram, aged nine, while top scorer was Rhys Knapper (14). The fact that such a young team won the West League and reached the final bodes well for next year. The squad was Karanvir Lutchman-Singh, Joseph Duffy, Matthew George, Billy McCullagh, Adam Grosfils, Iwan Morgan and Tom Griffiths. Special thanks go to Rohan Rayani who agreed to be reserve but didn’t play.
All players received trophies and have set their sights on winning the final next year.
After a successful campaign, Penarth Golds (A) under-11s also faced Cardiff, this time the A team, in their final. With five players still able to play in the age group next season, reaching the final was an achievement in itself.
Early morning rain made it a bad toss to lose and Penarth were put into bat. After a solid start by opening batsmen Gabe Howard and Greg Cross, no other batsmen seriously troubled the scorers. With a pairs total of 215 (you start at 200 and lose six runs for each wicket lost) and only one pair left to bat, the signs for Penarth were not good.
Steffan Crimp and Ethan Mulcahy took on the best of the Cardiff bowling (including the Wales under-11 captain) and added 34 runs in their four overs to post a score of 249 which at least gave the prospect of a contest, even if the odds were still very much against the local youngsters.
The team spirit, fielding prowess and bowling talent of Penarth was once again evident and, at the halfway stage, Cardiff were seven runs down on Penarth’s score at the same stage. Wickets for Aled Rees and Greg Cross, a wicket maiden for the dramatically improving Louis Spencer, two outstanding catches from Will Skone and three sharp run-outs gave Penarth hope where there had been earlier despair.
To surpass Penarth’s score, Cardiff were now going to have to replicate or surpass the end of innings run surge that Penarth produced. And, against the potent force of Wales pace bowlers Rhys McGowan and Ethan Mulcahy, the odds had definitely swung in Penarth’s favour. A thrilling finale was assured. Aided by some superlative wicketkeeping by Gabe Howard, the pace duo ensured a comfortable 12-run victory for Penarth.
Even those with long memories struggled to remember the last time a Penarth junior team had tasted such success. The best guess is 1993 and the 20-year wait makes victory all the sweeter.