By Matthew Slugg

PENARTH Cricket Club’s five-match wining streak came to an end on Saturday.

A depleted Bears’ team were narrowly edged out in an entertaining game at Ynystawe, before another trip west on Sunday saw the club reach the Welsh Cup quarter finals with a straightforward win over Swansea Civil Service.

Despite Saturday’s result it proved to be an excellent weekend for the club’s home-grown players with several notable contributions being made by players early in their first team careers.

On a sweltering day in the Swansea Valley, Penarth unsurprisingly chose to bat first.

Penarth Times:

Gareth Jenkins plays and misses

But they found things didn’t go to plan as Ynystawe’s Lee Hicks removed in-form batsmen Jon Ellis and Ben Wellington in consecutive deliveries in the third over before Jack Thomas was dismissed just one over later to leave Penarth in deep trouble.

Will Skone, opening for just the second time, navigated the difficult spell well but things got worse before they got better with Nick Morgan dismissed for 14 before Hicks claimed the wickets of Greg Cross and then Skone, for an excellent 42, in the space of 3 balls to leave Penarth at a precarious 77 for 6.

There seemed little hope for Penarth at this stage but they found some in the shape of an outstanding partnership between inexperienced pair Huw Hudson and Lewis Ingram who first consolidated and then counter-attacked to add an impressive 99 runs in 26 overs.

Penarth Times:

Dom Dwyer drives

Hudson passed 50 in the first XI for the first time and was eventually dismissed for 69 before the next of the young Penarthians, Morgan Humphreys, added more impetus with a useful run-a-ball 22 as the innings moved towards a conclusion.

Ingram fell for a superb 43 just before the close and it was left to Mark Thomas and Rhys Mottram to get Penarth to maximum batting points as they closed at 227 for 9.

Ynystawe’s reply began brightly but Wellington and Thomas got Penarth into contention with three quick wickets as the home side slipped to 81 for 3.

Wellington bagged another, the dangerous Andrew Beasley, and when Tom Morgan chipped Thomas to his namesake Nick Penarth were in business at 90 for 5.

Penarth Times:

Geoff Thomas in action for the fourths

Thomas wasn’t finished there and claimed Matthew Blake’s wicket for 30 to leave Ynystawe at 105 for 6.

With the pressure on, Nathan Lee and Luke Garthwaite rallied superbly in a seventh wicket partnership over the next 20 overs to move Ynystawe back into pole position.

Lee eventually fell to Humphreys for an impressive 48 with 20 runs still required but Penarth couldn’t find another breakthrough and Garthwaite steered his team home, finishing on 66 not out.

Mark Thomas completed an excellent weekend’s work on Sunday as his remarkable 5 for 10 saw Swansea Civil Service subside from 49 for 1 to 81 all-out as Penarth made the last eight of the Welsh Cup. Will Skone bagged three wickets and Nathan Piddock a brace.

Penarth found themselves wobbling at 14 for 3 in reply before Wellington steadied the ship with an unbeaten 38 and Greg Cross completed the good weekend for the youngsters with 21 not out as Penarth reached their target with 18 overs to spare.

The second team hosted Newport on Saturday and found themselves on the wrong end of a nail-biting defeat by just 4 runs.

In a match that ebbed and flowed Newport began well with Hugo Caldicott making 47, before a devastating spell of 4 for 39 from Tom Pascoe put Penarth in charge.

It seemed that Penarth would be chasing a modest target but a tenth wicket stand of 50, led by Oliver Langford’s unbeaten 60, steered Newport to a useful 224 for 9.

Penarth were back in charge as Gareth Jenkins, 51, and James Erasmus, 25, helped them to 77 without loss before a collapse reduced Penarth to 105 for 5.

Penarth’s lower middle order chipped away as Tim Miller made 15, Pascoe 24 and Andrew Graveson 11 with Matthew Slugg unbeaten on 45 at the end but unable to find the 16 runs needed from the final two overs as Newport held on by 4 runs.

The third team seemed to be cruising to victory at Miskin as Avinash Mehrotra took 5 for 34 to dismiss the home team for 180 before unlikely all-rounder Mark Frost made 51, Peter Docherty 25 and David Harrison 42 to see Penarth in control at 150 for 4.

Somehow the Bears contrived to lose 6 for 21 in the next few overs to lose by 9 runs as Paul Elks took 4 for 29 to claim an unlikely win.

There was better news back at Penarth as the fourth XI won yet another close encounter by just one wicket in the final over of their match against Abergavenny.

Skipper Andrew Prickett bagged 4 for 35 and Martin Dennett 2 for 18 as the visitors made 178 for 9.

Useful contributions from Dominic Dwyer, Ian Summerfield and Dan Grosfils looked to have Penarth in charge before a lower order wobble saw three late wickets fall before the skipper smoked the winning run with four balls to spare.

The first team will hope to bounce back with a home game against Clydach this week while the seconds visit league leaders Cardiff, the thirds host Bay Dragons and the fourths will visit Porth. You can keep up with the action by following the club on Twitter and Instagram (@penarthcricket) and Facebook.

The club would like to extend its thanks to sponsors David Baker and Co, Curo, Churngold and Quilter Financial Advisers for their continued support.