By Matthew Slugg

PENARTH Cricket Club’s first team missed the chance to build on the previous week’s excellent results as they went down to a disappointing league defeat at struggling Ynysygerwn on Saturday.

As on previous occasions this season it was with the bat where Penarth’s troubles came, as they limped to just 134 all out leaving the way for their hosts to claim victory with the minimum of fuss.

There was little sense of what was to come as Penarth added 27 for the first wicket after skipper Nick Morgan had lost the toss and been invited to bat first on a damp pitch affected by overnight rain.

Penarth Times:

Nick Morgan on his way to 50

However, the fall of Jack Thomas for 17 precipitated a top-order collapse as Tashaffi Shams was caught behind off former Penarth man Ryan Sylvester followed by Ben Wellington for 13, leaving the Bears at 41 for 3.

Nick Morgan and Richard Skone steadied the Penarth ship somewhat with a stand worth 24 before Skone was run out by some excellent work from Nathan Davies, while Tom Sidford and Greg Cross kept the captain company for a while as Penarth moved into three figures.

Morgan was impressive in passing a half century but nobody from number six down could make it to double figures as Emyr Lawrence and Gavin John bagged a brace of wickets apiece before Sylvester returned to claim another two as Penarth slumped to 134 all out, with 11 overs left to bat.

In drying conditions, Nathan Davies and Liam Davies quickly took away any hopes of a Penarth revival with the ball, taking their team to 66 before the latter fell LBW to Richard Skone.

Another couple of quick wickets to Skone and Mark Thomas made things briefly interesting before McCormack and Sylvester took the score past one hundred and although Penarth managed another three quick wickets to Will Skone and Wellington, thanks to a stunning catch by Mark Thomas at an unfamiliar second slip, there were still 15 overs remaining when Ynysygerwn passed the target for the loss of six wickets and a very comfortable win.

There was more joy elsewhere in the club as all three other league teams enjoyed comfortable victories to continue their excellent form.

The seconds hosted fellow high-fliers Bridgend town and were indebted to a sensational 121 not out from Nithin Mathias before Andrew Graveson weighed in with 5 for 41 with the ball as Penarth wrapped up victory by 54 runs.

Mathias provided the backbone of the Penarth innings after they had found themselves at 102 for 4 as no other top order batsman could capitalise on the good conditions.

Mathias eventually found support from Lewis Ingram, who continued his excellent form with a run-a-ball 53 in a hundred run partnership, and Nathan Piddock with a brisk unbeaten 33 as the in-form man brought up a fine century as Penarth recovered to post a mammoth 270 for 5.

The Bridgend reply was derailed immediately by Andrew Graveson who took the first five wickets to fall with a masterful display of away swing bowling to quickly put the result beyond doubt.

The visitors’ lower order rallied on the excellent pitch and David Knoght made a half century before becoming the first of Rhys Mottram’s four victims while Lewis Ingram bagged the final wicket to secure a valuable victory.

The third team were also comfortable winners, overcoming neighbours Dinas Powys by eight wickets at Bryn-y-don.

Luke Summerfield bowled a miserly new ball spell for Penarth, but it was the introduction of spinners Isaac Foster and Neil Stephens who put the Dinas Powys batsmen under pressure with a combined 2 for 31 from 16 overs before Nick Viner claimed 4 for 15 as Dinas limped to 140 for 9.

Although Viner fell early in the reply, Peter Docherty and Huw Hudson made light work of the meagre target with a stand of 123 before Hudson fell for a superb 81 leaving Docherty to finish 49 not out as the target was surpassed with just 20 overs bowled.

Conrad Adams was the club’s second centurion of the day, making 105 not out as the fourths posted 215 for 3 against Tredegar, with useful contributions from Ian Summerfield, Peter Edwards and Avinash Mehrotra making up the rest.

Nobody managed more than 17 in the Tredegar reply as Martin Dennett, Julien Humphreys and Nathaniel Fox claimed a pair of wickets apiece and Penarth secured victory by 102 runs.

The Sunday XI made the trip to Ebbw Vale and were beaten by 60 runs. Penarth were invited to field first, cooked in the baking conditions and when it was time to bat Keith James batted long but nobody else could as the hosts won comfortably.

The highlight of the junior week was an outstanding victory at Under 13 level over Pentyrch in the zonal semi-final of the Welsh Cup to set up a regional final against Maesteg Celtic this week.

The first team will hope for better on Saturday as Carmarthen Wanderers visit the Athletic Field while the seconds face Neath at The Gnoll.

The thirds will host Llantwit Fardre and the fourths face a trip to Newport Fugitives, with friendly action on Sunday at Llanvapley.

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.