A GROUP of amateur cricketers have finally recovered from a gruelling 180-mile cycle ride which was capped by a crippling douse of food poisoning.

At the beginning of the month, 17 riders met in Carmarthen for the first Tom Maynard Trust Cycle Ride, visiting each of the 20 South Wales Premier League cricket clubs on the 178-mile route.

After two days in the saddle, the group finally made it to Penarth relatively unscathed, until a questionable BBQ chicken pizza struck the bulk of the riders and some of their family members down with sickness.

Having burnt around 8,000 calories over the two days and with hydration levels worryingly low, vomiting and diarrhoea was hardly the ideal recovery, but having come out the other side organiser Jonathan Davies beamed with pride from his men's efforts.

The Penarth Cricket Club first XI captain said: "It was a massive effort by the boys and the pizza episode only added to the experience.

"It didn't take any gloss off what was a brilliant two days and as well as raising thousands of pounds for a lot of great causes, bonds were formed that only seem to happen through the adversity and glory of sport."

A total of £8,000 was raised for the various cricket clubs represented by the riders, and 25 percent went to the Tom Maynard Trust.

Months of training had gone into the effort, which saw the cyclists top 110 miles on day one from Carmarthen to St Fagans where the team refuelled with a fundraising quiz organised by Rhys Morgan before a 70-mile loop around Newport and back to Penarth on day two.

The western leg of the journey was led by Clydach's Steffan Davies while Ian Williams, Paul Elks, Justin Thomas and Matthew Evans all pitched in with navigating.

Ynystawe's Ceri Duke, Gareth Bishop, Steff James and Rowan Evans, Peter Hybart from Cricket Wales, St Fagans' Owain Hopkins, Bridgend duo Stuart Morris and Simon Dalton and the Penarth trio of Mark Frost, Tom Sidford and Gareth Davies made up the rest of the riders.

Bears skipper Davies added: "I have to thank everyone who helped me set up this event, and hopefully we can do something similar in the future, but perhaps we'll swerve the post-ride pizza next time."