By Matthew Slugg

FOR the second weekend in a row the weather wreaked havoc on the cricket schedule with less than a handful of matches possible across South Wales as a week of heavy rain took its toll.

This outcome meant that four of the five senior fixtures for Penarth fell victim to the conditions but a sterling effort from all concerned enabled the first team’s home match with Ynystawe to be one of the few to take place.

A Herculean mopping up operation from the likes of Nick Silva, Ian Summerfied and Gareth Hubbard and one final heavy downpour saw a slight delay to the start but remarkably a 44 overs per side encounter was possible.

And it was the Swansea Valley side who triumphed by 21 runs in an unsurprisingly low scoring affair, and they took advantage of being the only completed match in Premier League division 2.

There can have been no hesitation on the part of Penarth captain Nick Morgan to invite the visitors to bat first, and the decision paid almost immediate reward as Morgan Humphreys dismissed Tom Blake for just a single.

Ben Wellington bowled a terrific spell of nine unbroken overs and deserved more reward than just the wicket of Carl Roberts for 18 runs conceded.

However, it was the hugely experienced spin pairing of Richard Skone and Mark Thomas that really slowed things down for the visitors in the middle overs as Penarth took control.

Skone’s nine overs yielded just three runs and the wicket of Morgan Hodges, while Thomas grabbed the wickets of Thomas Morgan and Andrew Beasley, well stumped by Llyr Morris, at a cost of 21 runs.

With Penarth having held the upper hand until now, the lower middle order for Ynystawe managed to break the shackles somewhat as the innings drew to a close.

Matthew Blake scored a breezy 36 not out, with Luke Garthwaite and Callum Daniels making crucial contributions as the visitors got themselves to a target to defend at 129 for 6.

That target looked slightly more intimidating as Penarth got off to a disappointing start, losing the wicket of Tom Sidford for just three inside the first over.

A series of maidens followed as Lee Hicks and Rhys Palmer showed great control with the new ball before Jack Thomas was run out for the same score at the end of the sixth over.

Tashaffi Shams was the next to go, caught by Hicks off Palmer as the target began to look a rather challenging one.

From here, the combination of early wickets and damp conditions brought a near halt to the run-scoring as Ynystawe turned the screw.

It wasn’t until the 20th over that the next wicket fell, George Hatfield LBW to Alex Fletcher, but by now Penarth were falling behind the rate at 36 for 4.

It soon got worse for the home team as Morris fell to the same bowler without scoring and a long vigil from Wellington ended, caught by Morgan off Fletcher, to leave the Bears 46 for 6.

Skipper Morgan rallied briefly for 18, and Humphreys made 12 in a useful partnership with Richard Skone who completed a fine day’s work with a run-a-ball 29.

But his wicket with just a couple of overs remaining was the final nail in Penarth’s coffin and they fell 21 runs short with nine balls remaining.

Fletcher bagged 3 for 15 for Ynystawe, while Hicks and Beasley yielded just 16 runs from 18 overs combined on a day the batsmen would rather forget.

In a week dominated by the weather just one of seven scheduled junior fixtures as the U11 Greens dodged the showers to defeat Cowbridge by 70 runs in an excellent all round performance.

This Saturday sees the first team travel to Ynystawe’s neighbours Clydach, the seconds host Cardiff, the thirds are away to Bay Dragons and the fourths, yet to complete a match, welcome Porth to the Athletic Field.

On Sunday Bridgend will bring a team to Penarth for a friendly while a full programme of junior cricket is scheduled for midweek.

You can keep up with the action by following the club on Twitter and Instagram (@penarthcricket) and Facebook.

The club would like to extend their thanks to sponsors David Baker and Co, Curo and Churngold.