WITH summer nearly upon us, the cricketers of Penarth Cricket Club have almost completed their pre-season preparations for the 2019 season.

Penarth will be aiming to go one better than last season when the first team narrowly missed out on a return to Premier League Cricket as Clydach pipped them to the league title.

Club captain Tom Sidford will lead his team for the first time this year as they make the short journey to Premier League St Fagans on Easter Sunday.

This is the first of two friendlies, with Penarth heading across the Severn Bridge the following week to meet Thornbury, before commencing league duties on May 4th with a trip to the St Helen’s ground to meet Swansea.

Swansea have recruited heavily this winter so the Bears will need to be well prepared for a tough opening fixture.

The second team, under Tim Miller’s leadership, also face a tough season opener as they defend their Premier League title with a strong St Fagans team due to visit the Athletic Club on May 4th.

Meanwhile a restructuring in the South East Wales league means new divisions for 3rd and 4th teams. Both these teams will open the season with fixtures against Cefn Fforest and Maesycwmmer on May 4th.

Several new faces will make their Penarth debuts in the coming weeks.

Bowler Abbas Ashraf has joined from Swansea and will be joined at the club by Luke Tilbrook, Nitin Mathias and Joe Walker.

The arrival of new sight-screens in the coming days is one of several investments in facilities being made which will enhance the club’s growing reputation in the region.

The club are once again grateful to Ali Bukkhari for the use of his All Square Sports facility for winter training. Outdoor training will commence again next week on Thursday evenings at 6pm.

Junior training for Under 9 to under 15 will also move outside in the coming weeks and we the club will once again host the All Stars cricket programme for 5-8 year olds this summer. Registration is available at www.ecb.co.uk