WHILE the rain caused havoc for much cricket in South Wales over the weekend Penarth were grateful to the quick-drying nature of the Athletic Field on Saturday but couldn’t make the most of it, as struggling Panteg pulled off an upset to win a low-scoring contest by three wickets.

Although heavy rain on Friday and Saturday morning put the fixture in doubt it was only one hour after the scheduled start that play was able to commence.

As is often the case in such conditions the toss was a crucial one and Panteg had little hesitation in asking the hosts to bat first.

Despite that, openers Scott Matthews and Jamie Hitchen made steady progress up front for Penarth until Hitchen was adjudged LBW to Christopher Mee with the score at 29, before Ryan Sylvester and Matthews added the same score until Sylvester was bowled by David Filer for 16. Nick Morgan came and went shortly after, before Matthews lost balance and was stumped of the bowling of Salman for 30 to leave Penarth at 70 for 4.

Things got worse for the home side with the loss of captain Tom Sidford without scoring as Panteg found themselves well on top.

As they had last week, Richard Skone and Jack Thomas set about rebuilding with Thomas looking particularly bright before being deceived in the flight by Jack Mayers to offer keeper Reid a catch behind for 14.

Another promising stand between Skone and Humphreys was ended when the former was given out leg before to Chris White for a patient 28 and although Humphreys managed 19 before falling to Mee Penarth subsided to just 151 all out. Despite the damp conditions it looked some way under par, especially given the struggling opposition.

Penarth were some way off their best with the new ball and the Panteg openers Rhys Salkeld and Salman made the most if it to set their team on the way.

The introduction of Mark Thomas did little to stem the flow of runs but at the other end Richard Skone eventually made the breakthrough, hanging on to a return catch from Salkeld with the score at 45.

Panteg again looked to be making good progress but things changes as Will Skone entered the attack with 2 wickets in 2 balls.

Firstly Salman was trapped LBW and then Yaar Baloch edged his first ball to Jack Thomas to leave Panteg at 68 or 3. Will Skone picked up his third wicket soon after, bowling the dangerous Callum Reid for 17, as Penarth began to exert some pressure.

Reid and Mee began to build a crucial partnership for Panteg and had added 27 before Mee gave Will Skone fourth wicket, caught by Jeffers, and once Richard Skone had returned to pick up the wickets of White and Mayers in quick succession Penarth sensed an unlikely victory with a further 29 required by Panteg.

It wasn’t to be for Penarth. Sylvester and Morgan Humphreys’ returned to the attack but couldn’t force a breakthrough as Reid led his team towards the target along with Rhodri Vaughan, whose valuable 12 not out at number 9, proved crucial.

Time was never a problem for Panteg and they made their target with more than four overs to spare, Reid unbeaten on 24.

The club are once again indebted to the continued support of match day sponsor Capstone Recruitment.

It proved to be a frustrating day for the rest of the club with the other three fixtures all falling victim to the weather, doubly so as all three teams find themselves in a promising position at this early stage of the season.

All teams will be hoping for an improvement in the conditions this week as the first team travel to Malpas in South Wales Premier League division 2.

The seconds and fourths host Bridgend and Chepstow respectively, while the thirds are on the road at Christchurch.