By Matthew Slugg

AFTER a few disappointing weeks things took a significant turn for the better for Penarth Cricket Club this week as they picked up five senior wins from five, including vital league and cup wins for the first team.

Saturday’s visit to Gorseinon presented the first team with the opportunity to respond to the disappointment of their narrow defeat the previous week but in favourable batting conditions Penarth found themselves in the field as the home side won the toss.

Gorseinon made a solid opening partnership which was eventually broken when Ben Wellington picked up the wicket of Kieran Howells with the score at 44.

Penarth Times:

George Hatfield reaches 100

However, it was the introduction of Mark Thomas which turned things Penarth’s way as the left arm spinner collected four wickets in the blink of an eye to reduce the home side from 61 for 1 to 79 for 5, Thomas eventually finishing with 4 for 24.

Skipper Greg Fisher led the home side’s rebuilding efforts with a dogged 53 before being eighth out, bowled by Morgan Humphreys.

He was well supported by Samihan Ghanekar and Christopher Mee, before Wellington returned to pick up another couple of wickets and Will Skone one as Gorseinon reached 184 for 9 from their 50 overs.

Having struggled to chase lower scores than this one already this season that target looked anything but straightforward on paper and even less so on grass as Penarth slumped to 44 for 4 as Gafyn Donald and Mee ripped out the visitors’ top order.

With Penarth in trouble, and rain now falling, it fell to George Hatfield and Tom Sidford to bat their team back into the match.

At first the going was slow and watchful, but by the 30th over the pair were moving along freely and an unlikely away win had become more than possible. The return of Donald paid dividends for Gorseinon as Hatfield fell for 49 but with the stand worth 98 Penarth were in the driving seat.

As the rain continued there was time for one more nervous moment as Sidford fell for a superb 81 with victory in sight. It fell to Richard Skone and Llyr Morris to steer their team through the remaining 12 runs without any scares and Penarth secured victory with a comfortable four overs to spare.

There was further joy for the first team on Sunday as fellow premier league outfit Cowbridge were dumped out of the Welsh Cup in style.

Jack Thomas made 30 at the top of the order but it was Cardiff Met students Tashaffi Shams and Hatfield who starred for Penarth, with their stand of 168 taking centre stage.

Shams was eventually dismissed three short of a century but Hatfield managed get past the milestone for the first time in a Penarth shirt, finishing with 104, as the team made 259 for 4 from 40 overs.

Cowbridge were never in the hunt as Thomas, Will Skone and Neil Stephens shared the wickets around as Penarth secured victory by a huge 117 run margin to progress to the next round.

The second team welcomed Chepstow to the Athletic Field on Saturday and claimed an excellent 52 run victory with a solid all-round performance.

Nithin Mathias was the key man in an excellent batting display with a run-a-ball 85 while there were also solid contributions from Jamie Hitchen, Greg Cross, Steffan Crimp and Lewis Ingram as Penarth galloped away in the final overs to post 232 for 6 from their 45 overs.

Tim Miller bagged an early wicket in the Chepstow reply before a strong partnership of 87 between Jamie Raynor and Malith Madurasinghe kept their team in the hunt.

The introduction of Ingram to the attack paid dividends as he collected two wickets in two balls to LBW decisions, starting with Raynor, before the part-time off-spin of Jon Ellis accounted for Madurasinghe caught and bowled as Penarth made scoreboard pressure count.

With both of the established batsmen gone the home side turned the screw and there were further wickets for Ellis, Crimp and Cross and although the 10th wicket proved elusive Penarth secured a comfortable but hard-earned win in an excellent contest.

On the neighbouring pitch there was an even more decisive Penarth victory as the third team beat visiting Blackwood seconds by a massive 171 runs with some of their more experienced players enjoying a memorable afternoon.

In-form Matt Moss followed up last week’s century with 60, but it was club president Peter Docherty who starred with the bat in making a superb 107 before Huw Hudson, Nick Viner and Dan Thacker heaped more misery on the visitors to take their team to 277 for 6 at the close of the innings.

Not to be outshone by Docherty, veteran new ball pairing Andrew Graveson and Mark Frost ruthlessly accounted for the Blackwood top order with 5 for 11 and 2 for 7 respectively as the visitors slumped to 17 for 7.

Harvey Purnell, 44, and Bjorn Dyer, 31, restored some respectability for their team but were powerless to stop Penarth registering a second consecutive huge win.

The full-house of Penarth wins was secured by the fourth team with a close win at Newport.

Returning Nathan Piddock made 71, ably supported by 15 year-old Adam Akhtar with 30 and Avinash Mehrotra with 26 as Penarth were 172 all out, Muhammad Irfan taking four wickets.

Newport began their reply well enough but it was skipper Andrew Prickett who made the telling contribution with the ball for Penarth with 5 for 20 as Newport were bundled out for 145 and Penarth secured a 27 run win.

There was limited club junior action during half term but there was a chance for the U13 golds to claim bragging rights over the U13 greens in a Penarth derby.

Meanwhile several Penarth players made important contributions in a busy week of representative cricket for the Cricket Wales South region at all age groups from U11 to U15 including Issac Foster, Adam Akhtar, Will Davies, Evan Friis, Luke Summerfield, Khuush Bharwani, Lewys Tollerfield, James Llewellyn, Rhys Muxworthy and Owen Lewis.

The first team will hope to follow up their excellent weekend in their trip to Ynysygerwn on Saturday while the seconds face in-form Bridgend, the thirds visit Dinas Powys and the fourths host Tredegar.

There is a full list of junior matches in midweek while ladies’ softball cricket training continues at 5.30pm on Fridays with all welcome, regardless of experience.

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 for their continued support.