By Matthew Slugg

COMPETITIVE cricket returned to the Athletic Field this week where visitors Cowbridge took the spoils in a tight South East Wales League encounter.

Ben Wright's innings of 70 in the visitors' 191 for 6 proved to be the difference, while Ben Wellington's superb knock in reply almost tipped the balance in Penarth's favour with the reply coming up just 16 runs short.

Penarth skipper Nick Morgan chose to put Cowbridge in and Wellington picked up the early wicket of Jack Cropper before Wright dominated a second wicket partnership of 123 to put the visitors in charge.


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The former Glamorgan man was dropped twice before Penarth fought back with a flurry of wickets to Mark Thomas, both stumped by Jack Thomas, and Steffan Crimp that saw Cowbridge slip to 146 for 4.

Heath Webb and Yodhin Punja got things moving again for Cowbridge before the excellent Will Skone claimed both men late on as Cowbridge closed on 191 for 6.

Despite the early loss of Will Skone, LBW to Rian Thomas, Penarth began their reply brightly and had reached 49 when Jack Thomas was trapped in front by Tom Williams for 28.

Cowbridge turned the screw with a further 3 quick wickets as Morgan, Crimp and Nitin Mathias fell to leave Penarth reeling at 69 for 5 and victory looking unlikely.

Penarth's hopes rested with Wellington and Richard Skone and the pair set about rebuilding with some success in a stand of 63 in 13 overs that put the match back in the balance.

The stand was finally ended when Skone was trapped LBW by Williams and the same man accounted for Nathan Piddock soon after.

Penarth hopes rested with Wellington who found a willing ally in Tom Pascoe to keep the scoreboard moving and the match alive.

The crucial moment came with 30 needed when Wellington misjudged a possible overthrow and was comfortably run out at the non-striker's end for a classy 61. Cowbridge were able to see things home from there and Penarth closed on 175 for 8, defeated by 16 runs.

In the reverse fixture at Cowbridge the Penarth 2nds had no such problems in wrapping up a very comfortable victory by 6 wickets.

Penarth were always in total control as Cowbridge limped to a total of just 77 from 36 overs. Nick Viner picked up 5 for 10 and the impressive Aaron Noormohamed 2 for 17 while Lewis Ingram, Neil Stephens and Morgan Crimp also claimed wickets. The Penarth reply wasted no time in knocking off the runs with James Erasmus and Greg Cross getting most of the job done with Ingram, Viner and Rem Noormohamed completing it.

The third XI made a trip to Creigiau and were beaten by 58 runs after a disappointing batting performance.

Having been invited to bat the hosts made a competitive 159 with Navan the pick of the Penarth bowlers with 4 for 25.

The Penarth reply got off to a disastrous start and the Bears found themselves 56 for 7 at the midway point. Some respectability was preserved through a battling half century by Sarvpreet Singh but the chase came up some 58 runs short,

Back at the Athletic Field a young fourth XI picked up an excellent win over Whitchurch Heath 3rds.

Fielding first, there were wickets for youngsters Luke Summerfield and Isaac Foster and veteran Andy Prickett as an excellent Penarth performance restricted the visitors to 141 for 4 with Boswell scoring 60 for Whitchurch.

An opening stand of 85 between Ian Summerfield and Dominic Dwyer broke the back of the reply and although a further two wickets fell quickly Dwyer blazed his way to an unbeaten 84 and Elys Johnson made 17 not out as the Bears took just 20 overs to reach their target and victory by 7 wickets.

There was a return for Sunday friendly cricket on Sunday as the Cardiff University Staff Club visited the Athletic Field and narrowly won an excellent game against a young Penarth team.

Penarth posted 155 for 7 batting first with the youngsters doing the hard work with Dan Grosfils scoring 46 not out, Kreshay Bharwani 32, Luke Summerfield 27 and Isaac Foster 15 not out. Martin Dennett bagged 3 for 8 in an excellent opening spell as the visitors’ reply wobbled but Penarth couldn’t land the killer blow as the University rallied to win by 3 wickets with a couple of overs to spare.

This Saturday will see the first team visit Malpas while the seconds and thirds host Radyr and Blaengarw respectively.