ON A weekend of mixed fortunes, the Penarth Cricket Club Firsts bounced back from a league defeat to bottom-of-the-table Tondu to comfortably defeat Premier League side Swansea in the Welsh Cup.
Penarth batted first at Tondu on Saturday and managed just 174 all out, with the main contributor being Jon Davies (77), who was ably supported by Jamie Hitchen (35).
In a closely-fought contest, the total was not enough as Tondu reached the total for the loss of eight wickets, with Ryan Sylvester taking three for 32.
However, on Sunday it was a very different story when, having won the toss, Penarth elected to bat.
With Tom Sidford and Jamie Hitchen finding the Swansea bowling to their liking, the former scored a magnificent 110 and Jamie posted an equally impressive 70 to allow Penarth to reach a very useful total of 261 for seven in 40 overs.
In reply, Swansea never really got going against a fired up and determined Penarth side. All the bowlers bowled with miserly accuracy and it would be difficult to single out anyone in particular, but Hitchen and James Docherty must take great credit for filling in for the absent Richard Skone. A mention must be made of the fielding, which was superb, including two run outs by Hitchen and Gareth Davies which crowned a man of the match performance for the former.
In the end, Swansea were reduced to 185 for nine but the game was over long before that, allowing dangerous David Stevens to bowl the last over and claim perhaps his only first team wicket.
In the semi-final, Penarth's likely opponents in a mouthwatering prospect will be arch rivals Cardiff.
The other three Penarth sides also played on Saturday and lost close encounters.
The Seconds scored 249 for eight against Lisvane, with Rob Crimp on 94 and Matt Slugg (45). In reply, Lisvane chased down the total for the loss of six wickets. Three of wickets went to Rob Crimp who was Penarth's man of the match.
The Thirds entertained Llanarth who, winning the toss, scored 206 despite excellent Penarth fielding. Mark Baxter scored 50 for the visitors and Tim Miller took three for 27 in 10 overs for Penarth. In reply, Penarth were dismissed for 108, with Chris Baker top scoring with 36 and Raj Banaras taking three for 13 from seven overs.
The 4th XI were involved in a very exciting game at Cefn Forest where Penarth, batting first, were 149 all out, over half of which came from Steve Sims (77). In a desperately close finish, Cefn Forest passed the Penarth total for the loss of nine wickets.
This weekend the Firsts and Seconds take on St Fagans home and away respectively, the Thirds travel to Upper Rhondda and the Fourths entertain the same opponents.