By Matthew Slugg

PENARTH confirmed their status among the leading community cricket clubs in Wales over the weekend with no fewer than six senior teams selected for action, a remarkable feat for the club.

The first team marked the occasion with a return to winning ways, coming out on top in a tight encounter against Malpas at the Athletic Field, a result which should confirm Penarth’s continued involvement in the South East Wales mini-league beyond the group stage.

Having chosen to bat first Penarth found themselves up against it as openers Jamie Hitchen and Naman fell early to James Archer and Daniel Jones, both caught behind by Mason, and after a brief rally Ben Wellington followed for 16 off the bowling of Ryan Ward.

Penarth Times:

Nick Morgan with Stewart Humphreys, representing Kidney Wales

Father and son pairing Richard and Will Skone took the score to 72 before the younger partner fell LBW to David Griffiths for 19, leaving Richard and Llyr Morris to build the most significant partnership of the innings.

Morris was his usual busy self, scoring with freedom, and the pair had added 54 in a little over 10 overs before Skone was smartly stumped by Mason off James Gill for 31.

Wickets fell regularly in the closing overs as Penarth attempted to press on and Morris eventually fell to a run out in the penultimate over for a run-a-ball 58, including taking 16 from one over, as Penarth were all out for 172 with 4 balls remaining.

The Malpas reply began steadily, if a little slowly, against Nathan Piddock and Wellington before the introduction of spin in the shape of Mark Thomas and Richard Skone paid dividends.

Penarth Times:

Nick Morgan with Stuart Munro of Curo Advisers             

Firstly Skone dismissed Roahn Mohindru for 3, before Thomas accounted for Archer in the next over, smartly stumped by Morris without scoring.

Thomas was in the action again two overs later as he picked up opener Ryan Ward for 24 to put Penarth in charge.

As Penarth rotated their bowling options a dangerous partnership of 65 developed between Michael Martin and Lewis Morgan until the reintroduction of Thomas paid instant dividends as he trapped Morgan in front for 42 with his third ball.

Skone returned and struck again soon after to dismiss Jones and finish with remarkable figures of 2 for 7 before another dangerous partnership was ended with Tim Miller accounting for Martin for a well made 44.

Wellington bowled Ross for 12 before the end and Penarth saw out the final overs to claim victory by 12 runs.

Penarth Times:

Sixth XI wicketkeeper Richard Skone

A young second team were on the road at Newport CC and found themselves on the wrong end of a 4 wicket defeat in an entertaining game.

Having been asked to bat first, Penarth found the going tough in the early stages as Phil Maclean and Alex Davies bowled extremely tight opening spells.

Only James Erasmus made any impression at the top of the order with 25, before Lewis Ingram with 42 not out, Nick Viner with 13 and Rhys Mottram with 17 not out helped Penarth to 147 for 6 as Crabbet claimed 2 for 6 for Newport.

The Newport reply began under similar pressure to Penarth’s innings with Ali Souch and Rhys McGowan excellent with the new ball.

McGowan claimed the wickets of both openers early on as Penarth clawed their way into contention.

The third wicket pairing of Maclean, with 37 and Noah Rice 58, swung the game back Newport’s way against the change bowling before young off spinners Mottram and Kreshay Bharwani changed the complexion again, Bharwani accounting for both the set batsmen in quick succession.

Mottram claimed another couple of quick wickets but the suspicion that Penarth had been a few runs short with the bat was confirmed as Newport got home with four wickets in hand.

The thirds were also in Newport, this time at the Newport Fugitives Cricket Club, where the home side won a narrow victory in the final over of the match.

Having elected to bat Penarth slipped to 96 for 5 against the experienced Steve Durston and Rob Simkins despite Singh’s 24 and 23 from Matt Moss.

The innings was rescued by an unbeaten 64 from Huw Hudson and 23 from Chris Mortimer in an unbroken stand of 80 which took the Bears to a competitive 173 for 5 from 40 overs.

Early wickets fell to Singh and the excellent Isaac Foster who bowled superbly against experienced opponents, before Ed Ryall made 50 to bring the Fugitives back in charge.

Another stand between Franklin and Joshua Mason took the Fugitives towards their target but both fell quickly with the finish in sight, leaving Durston and Dylan Norman to edge them over the line in the final over.

The fourth team managed to make an excellent 174 for 9 in their match against Dinas Powys 3rds thanks to an opening stand of 85 between Dominic Dwyer, 70, and Ian Summerfield with 20.

The Dinas reply never got going against some tight bowling from Penarth, led by 5 for 19 from Neil Stephens, and Dinas could only manage 135 all out as Penarth ran out winners by 39 runs.

Unfortunately the opposition for the much awaited 5th XI never showed up for their fixture on Saturday leaving the final action of the weekend to the Sunday 6th XI trip to Southerndown to face Great Western.

Penarth batted first and after a solid start from Conrad Adams and Nick Viner slipped away to 91 for 6 before the experienced Richard Skone added lower order runs with 62 not out and Andy Prickett made 17 as Penarth reached 181 for 8.

Great Western never recovered from a disappointing start where 13 year old Adam Akhtar took 2 for 8 in an excellent spell to remove both openers.

It is not unusual to see left arm spin and off spin in tandem in Penarth colours and it was the junior section who provided the manpower here as Isaac Foster with 1 for 16 and Rhys Mottram an excellent 5 for 25 gave a glimpse of the future as Great Western were sent spinning.

Veteran Andy Prickett claimed the final two wickets as the hosts were bowled out for just 95, Penarth winning a highly enjoyable encounter by 86 runs.

The club are indebted to shirt-sponsors David Baker and Co, Curo and Churngold and were pleased to welcome them to Saturday’s first team game along with the club’s chosen charity Kidney Wales.