PENARTH will go into their biggest match of the season this weekend looking to bounce back from a 65-run defeat at Carmarthen Wanderers.

The Bears sit eighth in South Wales Premier League Division Two, a dozen points ahead of Ynysygerwn, the team they host on Saturday.

It was no surprise to see Carmarthen choose to bat first on a glorious afternoon, but Ali Bukhari struck early to remove Robbie Crawford, as Penarth exerted a degree of control despite the batsman-friendly conditions.

Penarth handed 15-year-old left-arm spinner Isaac Foster his first-team league debut and the youngster was into the attack early on his way to 10 overs for 43, with Penarth having to wait for their second breakthrough, Mark Thomas dismissing Owain Binding for 43, until the 34th over.

Opener Ifan Knott reach an impressive century for the hosts before being dismissed on 117, but Penarth still retained a degree of control until the very late stages.

An injury in the field to Nithin Mathias saw Adrian Foster, father of debutant Isaac, take to the field for unlikely 12th man duties.

As the innings neared its end, Gareth Thomas (58) and Liam Rogers, with 20 off eight balls, made a decisive move to steer their team to a useful, though by no means unassailable, 257-4.

The conditions meant the target was by no means out of reach, but the Bears’ reply could not have got off to a worse start.

Firstly, Jack Thomas was caught at slip off Turrell without scoring, before the same bowler breached Adeeb Ilyas’s defences for one and then ran out Ben Wellington for nought to leave Penarth reeling at 5-3.

Skipper Nick Morgan and Bukhari did a solid rebuilding job and added 62 for the fourth wicket, only for the latter to be caught off Moore for 35.

Huw Hudson, Llyr Morris and the injured Mathias all made useful contributions in support of Morgan, but none could hang around long enough and when the captain was finally dismissed for an excellent 68 there was too much work left for the Penarth tail.

The final four wickets eventually fell for just 10 runs and Penarth had almost six overs remaining when the end came on 192.

Meanwhile, the second team won their third consecutive high-scoring nail-biter, as table-topping Bridgend were defeated by 22 runs at the Athletic Field.

James Erasmus (38), Jon Ellis (20) and Nathaniel Bell (26) got Penarth off to a solid start, but a flurry of wickets in the middle of the innings threatened to derail things as they slipped to 160-7.

An excellent knock of 48 from Kreshay Bharwani, alongside 20 from his fellow 17-year-old Rhys Mottram, put Penarth back in the driving seat and despite late wickets falling they closed on a useful 246.

Rhys McGowan grabbed the early wicket of Matt Russell but Chris Bushell and Alex Dalton built a highly impressive century stand that threatened to take the game away from Penarth.

Tom Pascoe returned to the attack to finally find the edge of Bushell’s bat, well caught behind by Bell, before Mottram, excellent with the ball once again, lured Dalton down the pitch for Bell to do the rest behind, stumped for 66.

With the game turned upside down, Mottram finished with 3-33, while Tim Miller grabbed 4-50 as Bridgend’s hopes subsided and Penarth quickly wrapped up a vital victory.

The third team have been in fine form and continued it on the neighbouring pitch with victory over Abercarn by a massive 168 runs.

Penarth’s innings began disastrously as they found themselves 20-3 before the returning James Docherty made a fine 92 to restore his side’s hopes.

Their cause was helped by a handy 26 for Dan Thacker before all-rounder Andrew Graveson weighed in with a brisk unbeaten half-century to move the Bears on to a very useful 241-8.

Two wickets apiece at the top of the innings for Graveson and Mark Frost quickly put paid to any hopes of an Abercarn run-chase and with Navan Kathir picking up 4-15, and a wicket apiece for Avinash Mehrotra and Docherty, the visitors were dismissed for just 73.

Penarth move up to second in the league.

There was a similar tale at Blaengarw where the fourths amassed a mammoth 260-8 before wrapping up victory by a huge 196 runs.

Dominic Dwyer made 34 at the top of the order but after a quick flurry of wickets, Pratik Lokhande with 84 and Nathaniel Fox with 55 got Penarth back on track, while Martin Dennett’s lively 35 at the end put them firmly in charge.

Dennett then set about devastating the home side’s batting with a remarkable spell of 6-14 as Blaengarw could muster just 64 in reply, Julien Humphreys bagging a brace of wickets and Luke Dennett another.

The first team host Ynysygerwn this weekend while the seconds make the trip to Chepstow.

The thirds have a local derby at Sully and Monmouth are the visitors for the fourths.