PENARTH put the disappointment of last week’s shock defeat to Panteg behind them to win a topsy-turvy encounter at Malpas on Saturday.

On a glorious day, with the Bettws Lane ground in immaculate condition, stand-in skipper Richard Skone had little hesitation in choosing to bat and it looked a good decision as Scott Matthews and Ryan Sylvester got their team off to a flying start.

With Matthews more measured in approach, Sylvester was particularly harsh on the bowling of Aadam Hassan as Penarth reached 45 from the first 7 overs. A change of bowling brought Malpas into the game as Sylvester was adjudged LBW to the first ball of James Francis’s spell for 27.

Penarth gave 14 year old Zac Essenhigh a debut at three but he was unfortunate to edge an away swinger from Dan Jones to the keeper for a single and at 48 for 2 the match looked more evenly balanced.

Nick Morgan joined Matthews in the middle and they progressed steadily before Matthews chipped Jones to mid-wicket for 28. Morgan and Steff Crimp added 46 for the fourth wicket and looked like giving Penarth the advantage once again before Crimp was caught off Jones for 25.

Morgan had begun to score freely and deposited Dave Griffiths on to the pavilion for 6 before being caught on the boundary attempting to repeat the dose next ball, and Penarth were up against it at 141 for 6 when Skone edged the same bowler behind for 2.

Things got worse for Penarth as Morgan Humphreys fell 2 runs later and Cameron Jeffers went in the same over, driving to short cover. With 16 overs remaining Penarth were in trouble but Will Skone and stand-in keeper Matthew Slugg managed to keep the board ticking well enough to creep slowly towards a defendable target.

The pair had added 44 in 11 overs before Slugg was caught off Francis but Mark Thomas managed a brisk 11 not out at the end. Will Skone was last out for an excellent 25 as Penarth found themselves 202 all out but very much in the game.

Skipper Skone took the decision to open the bowling with his off spin and immediately set Malpas behind the rate, with Sylvester equally economical at the other end. The dangerous Francis gone LBW to Sylvester, before the equally dangerous Martin drove Thomas to Skone at short extra cover without scoring.

As Penarth rotated their bowlers opener Ward was joined by Lewis Morgan who scored a brisk 24 but was bowled by Thomas before Richard Skone returned to rip the heart out of the Malpas innings.

Skone took 4 wickets in 2 overs, three of them LBW, to reduce the hosts to 103 for 7. Jeffers bowled 5 neat overs of leg spin for Penarth before Essenhigh bagged his maiden first team wicket as Jones top edged and was well taken by Will Skone.

Any lingering hopes Malpas may have had ended when opener Ward was ninth out to Will Skone for a well-made 66 before Thomas bagged his third wicket to confirm a 58 run victory.

Old friends Newbridge will be the visitors to the Athletic Field this weekend.

The other three senior teams made it a perfect weekend for the club with vital wins.

The second team batted first against visitors Bridgend who bowled well to pick up three valuable wickets before Dafydd Manley and Nathan Piddock put together a stand of 63. Manley was dismissed for 57 but Piddock went on to make 79 not out and along with Neil Stephens, 28, took his team to maximum batting points at 227 for 6.

The returning Tom Pascoe picked up an early wicket as did Rhys McGowan as Penarth put themselves in charge. Piddock and Stephens bowled economically and with Bridgend 80 for 6 a home win seemed inevitable. James Steptoe provided some resistance with 65 before Lewis Ingram finished the game off with an excellent 3 for 27 as Penarth wrapped up a 41 run win.

The thirds travelled to second placed Christchurch. The hosts batted slowly against some tight bowling from Mark Frost and Joe Walker and some excellent fielding, including a Stokes-esque catch from Conrad Adams meant Christchurch were 38-2 at halfway stage. Some big hitting eventually helped them to 134-9 from their 40 overs with Aaron Noormohamed bowling well for 1 for 15. In reply tight bowling again restricted the scoring but Penarth weathered this and reached their target with 7 overs to spare for 2 wickets. Adams made 29, Luke Tillbrook 34no and Nick Viner 22no.

The fourths made it seven wins from seven with a comprehensive 113 run victory over Chepstow thirds.

Batting first Penarth unusually found themselves in trouble at 29 for 4 before Rob Crimp and Ishy Akhtar added 108 for the fifth wicket. Crimp made an excellent 74 while Ishy went to his first half century for the club with 54 not out. Martin Dennett added 28 not out as Penarth reached 201 for 6.

In reply Chepstow were never in the hunt as Penarth shared the wickets around to bowl their opponents out for just 88.

This weekend the seconds visit Newbridge and the fourths Machen with the thirds hosting neighbours Dinas Powys.