AS cricket stretches into the autumn of this most unusual season one player entered the Penarth Cricket Club record books this weekend with an extended run of his own.

At a youthful 75 years old, club stalwart Geoff Thomas became the oldest player in the club’s 169-year history, taking the mantle from its previous holder and good friend Alan ‘Slim’ Drew.

And to show that this is a record he’s likely to extend some way beyond its new level he marked the occasion with an unbeaten 40 in Sunday’s fixture against Llandaff at a sun-drenched Athletic Field.

Penarth Times:

The Under-11s played their last game of the season and won at St Fagans on Sunday

On Saturday the first team missed their opportunity to extend the season to one more competitive match as they were comprehensively beaten by premier league newcomers Chepstow in their ‘mini-league’ semi-final.

Penarth were outplayed in all three disciplines in this encounter and were dismissed for just 135, with only Naman’s 49 offering any significant resistance.

Chepstow made light work of the chase as Richard Skone bagged two of the three wickets to fall as the home side cantered to a seven-wicket win.

At the Athletic Field both seconds and thirds played host to Radyr, with players from all four teams coming together before play to observe a minute’s silence for Margaret Haines, wife of Radyr stalwart and league umpire Phil, who died tragically last week.

In the second team game it was the more experienced visitors who came out on top in an excellent encounter between two youthful sides.

Bowling first Penarth turned in a top class display in the field to restrict their opponents to 150 for 8.

Rhys McGowan and Ali Souch set the tone with the new ball, Souch dismissing O’Neill for 12, before the introduction of Rhys Mottram paid dividends as he claimed the wickets of Wilbraham and Morris, both stumped by Matthew Slugg, to give Penarth the edge.

Andrew Graveson picked up Rogers for 10 before Clegg and Mander added 55 for the fifth wicket as Cameron Jeffers brought control with his leg spin.

Mottram returned to the attack to split the partnership with the wicket of Clegg, a third stumping victim for Slugg, before bowling Jones and Burns to complete his first 2nd XI five-wicket haul.

Souch collected the final wicket from the very last ball of the 40 overs with Mander unbeaten on 31.

Radyr’s strong bowling attack hit back immediately as both Penarth openers fell cheaply, and after Nick Viner and Lewis Ingram followed soon after Penarth looked in real trouble.

Greg Cross and Jeffers led the fightback, with Cross watchful and Jeffers impressively busy, as Penarth battled back and by the time drinks were taken they had reached 80 for 4 with the result very much in the balance.

Unfortunately leg spinner Mander accounted for Cross for 22 shortly after the break and precipitated a calamitous flurry of wickets that took the game decisively Radyr’s way with a spell of 4 for 19.

Jeffers remained Penarth’s one hope and he reached his 50 shortly before becoming Jones’ third victim as Radyr claimed victory by 47 runs.

In the neighbouring third team game there was more joy for Penarth who made light work of a chase of 128 thanks to a typically brisk 62 from Robert Crimp.

Radyr looked on course for something more substantial at 66 for 1 despite some miserly new ball bowling from Mark Frost and Crimp before the run-out of Iwan Llewellyn saw Penarth take control.

There were 2 wickets apiece for Tom Parkinson and Navan Kathir while Crimp finished with 3 as Radyr never broke free despite 45 from Dan Stone.

The Penarth reply was an altogether different matter after the early loss of Conrad Adams as Crimp dominated matters for his 62 before perishing with the finish just 9 runs away.

Matt Moss got himself to 50 to continue his fine run of form and Penarth reached the target from just 23 overs.

The fourth team visited St Fagans and won a nail-biter by slimmest of margins, winning by one wicket with just a single ball to spare.

St Fagans’ innings of 152 was built around 50 by skipper Paul Carter while Elis Shepherd made 30 and former British and Irish Lions star Simon Easterby 22 not out at the death.

William Davis and Elys Johnson picked up a wicket apiece with the new ball while Gareth Hubback and Nathaniel Fox claimed three each and skipper Andy Prickett the final two as the home side were all out with six overs unused.

Neil Stephens and Martin Dennett got Penarth off to a steady start but a rush of wickets in the middle order put the home side in pole position.

It took a great effort from the Penarth tail to give the Bears a chance as Fox made 18 and Hubbard 11 before last pair Adam Akhtar and Prickett were left to get Penarth over the line, 13-year-old Adam bagging the winning runs from the penultimate ball of an highly entertaining encounter.

There were almost 1,000 runs scored in two fixtures on Sunday as Penarth recorded victory over Great Western at Southerndown but couldn’t mark Geoff Thomas’s big day in style as Llandaff ran out winners at the Athletic Field.

Penarth made a mammoth 265 for 8 at Great Western despite having been 10 for 2 in the early stages.

Dominic Dwyer made 78 as the visitors fought back but Naman Taneja grabbed the headlines with a fine 103 before Dan Grosfils chipped in with 28 to push Penarth towards their total.

Great Western also lost an early wicket but a massive partnership of 187 between Gavin Vigus, 103, and Phil Cadagon, 89, put them right in the hunt.

Rohan Rihani picked up the wicket of the centurion before another Penarth veteran Keith James grabbed a crucial 5 for 40 as the chase ran out of steam and Penarth ran out victors by 22 runs.

Another excellent encounter was in action at the Athletic Field as visitors Llandaff took the spoils in another high scoring game.

Batting first, Penarth made 232 for 9, an innings built around an excellent 84 from in-form Huw Hudson.

Record-breaker Geoff Thomas made 40 not out, much of it in partnership with Wales Girls’ international Mari Friis who made an impressive 27 as Penarth posted a useful looking total.

Friis completed an excellent day with an equally impressive bowling spell alongside Martin Dennett but Llandaff were always on course once a dominant partnership flourished and they got home with three overs to spare.

The Under-11s played their last game of the season and won at St Fagans on Sunday.

The season will continue further into September this weekend with fixtures against Creigiau and Tawe Strikers on the horizon.