The 2020 cricket season stretched another week into September with four more fixtures this weekend as the Penarth senior club makes the most of the late summer sun and availability of both players and facilities.

Meanwhile the curtain has finally come down on a most unusual junior season, but one where Penarth has once again shown itself to be a leading club in the area.

In any other year junior cricket is normally completed by mid-July, but this year didn’t even begin until early August as Covid restrictions eased.

Penarth Times:

Penarth Under 9s

Nevertheless, there was still time for some excellent performances as coaches and parents pulled out all the stops to get as much cricket played as possible.

Penarth managed to field teams in each age group from under 9 to under 15, as well as squeezing in the annual All Stars programme for under 8s to run well into September.

In addition, the regular flow of younger players into senior cricket has continued and enabled the club to field six senior teams on a number of weekends.

The under 9 age-group, under the guidance of Andrew Graveson, has seen remarkable numbers attending practice and matches with many of this very young group showing tremendous promise.

At under 11 two teams have represented the club each week with distinction, stretching the season well into September with a number of additional friendlies.

Rhys Muxworthy, Owen Lewis, Evan Lendrum and James Llewellyn have represented the county at that age group while Khuush Bharwani, Harri Lewis, Rhys Lewis and Max Lendrum have done the same at under 10s.

Some excellent team performances have seen these players excel along with the consistent Nathaniel Rendell.

Penarth Times:

Penarth U-11s

At under 13s six players – Adam Akhtar, Luke Summerfield, Evan Friis, Isaac Foster, Kiran Rayani and Lewys Tollerfield – have represented the county with Luke Dennett and Will Davis joining this group as regular players in the senior teams.

Adam Akhtar managed his first senior five-wicket haul at Monmouth and Isaac Foster’s excellent performances have seen him become a fixture in the third XI.

The whole under 13 group, fielding two teams on a weekly basis, has performed admirably and shown fantastic commitment throughout the summer under coaches Adrian Foster and Kevin Davies, with the B team running out winners of the Cardiff and Vale East league.

Penarth Times:

All Stars Cricket

Peter Ingram’s under 15 group have flown the flag with distinction also, with many of the under 13 group featuring regularly as holidays affected availability.

Off-spinner Rhys Mottram has emerged as a real prospect and established himself as a 2nd XI regular in senior cricket, bagging his maiden five-wicket haul along the way, with Kreshay Bharwani also making a debut at the same level whilst picking up representative honours and Elys Johnson and Jacob Stephens have also featured regularly in senior cricket this summer.

Penarth Times:

Ben Wellington batting

Although still at this age group Zac Essenhigh has continued his development with the Glamorgan County club this summer and featured regularly in their development team against senior South Wales Premier League opponents, with Steffan Crimp being the second Penarth player to feature in this team.

The whole club would like to send its thanks to the coaches and parents who have made such a success of the junior season in the most trying of circumstances.

Penarth Times:

Four Penarth players are in the Under 11s county side

Back on the field, this weekend saw the first and second teams both play at home and pick up comfortable friendly wins.

The first team were indebted to Swansea Valley based Tawe Strikers who made the long trip to the Athletic Field at short notice.

Naman Taneja and Ben Wellington registered half centuries and Cameron Jeffers made an entertaining 23 in a Penarth total of 222 for 5, with Adil taking two wickets for the visitors.

A brace of early wickets for Tom Pascoe and another for Will Skone meant the Strikers were never in the hunt despite 31 for Swati and Jeffers and Richard Skone bagged a brace of wickets each as Penarth wrapped up an 88 run victory.

On the neighbouring pitch Jon Ellis made 55 and Greg Cross 41 in an excellent opening stand against Creigiau who fought back in the middle overs as Mike Powell took 2 for 17 and Solanki 3 for 21.

There were crucial runs from Tim Miller late in the piece with 24 off 11 balls to push Penarth to a competitive 171 for 8.

The Creigiau reply began promisingly until Greg Cross claimed an excellent direct hit run-out and Rhys Mottram and Miller got themselves among the wickets before Lewis Ingram bagged an impressive four wicket haul as Penarth knocked over the Creigiau tail quickly to confirm victory by 60 runs.

The fourth team visited Vale Cricket Club and were beaten by 30 runs in an entertaining game.

Mark Francis made an unbeaten 50 for the home side while Andrew Prickett and Kiran Rayani bagged a pair of wickets each and Elys Johnson the other as Vale made 187 for 5.

Neil Stephens and Gareth Hubback made a solid start in the Penarth reply but a steady trickle of middle order wickets meant that the target was always out of reach despite a strong unbeaten tenth wicket partnership between Rayani and Prickett which saw Penarth to 157 for 9.

On Sunday the Bay Dragons visited the Penarth and made the most of batsman friendly conditions to make 242 for 4 with Sachin Samaje making an unbeaten century and Avinash Mehrotra 65 not out with youngsters William Davis and Mari Friis claiming a wicket apiece.

Penarth almost managed to keep up with the required rate as Dominic Dwyer made an excellent 72 with Anthony and Mari Friis making 30 and 21 and Dan Grosfils 22 but late wickets swung an excellent match the Dragons’ way as Mehrotra bagged 3 wickets and Penarth fell 18 runs short with 2 overs to spare.

Weather permitting there will be one more weekend of cricket to look forward to in this remarkable season.