BRECON Cricket Club 1st team’s visit to Tondu on Saturday was a vital encounter for both teams with the home team at the foot of the table and Brecon just the one place above.

Therefore, the losers would have plenty of work on hand to secure Division One League status come the end of the season.

On winning the toss Tondu sensibly elected to bat at the hottest time of the day. However this also proved to be an error as they found no answer to Brecon’s opening bowlers Sam Williams (5-20) and James Mitchell (4-30) as they combined to run through the home team to induce a collapse to 90 all out. John Kenchington put the final touches to the innings with the last wicket and left Tondu massively short of a challenging total.

Greg Webber (35) then led the crucial reply in a watchful manner and whilst wickets fell at the other end he accumulated runs steadily to ensured Brecon crossed the winning line but not without concerns as five wickets fell.

The victory takes Brecon 24 points clear of Tondu and one point behind Usk following the weekend fixtures.

Next week Pentyrch will be the visitors to Brecon in a fixture which offers the home team a decent chance to continue their winning run.

At home the second team recorded a hard fought two-wicket victory against Blackwood in a game sponsored by Youngs of Brecon.

After last week’s defeat it was vital for the home team to go well against the fourth-placed visitors and this they did in what proved a fascinating game of cricket.

Blackwood won the toss and, batting, made a brisk start and at the halfway mark of the innings looked likely to post a very substantial total.

However, pace off the ball proved more of a challenge to the batsmen as Brecon captain John Cooke bowled a fine spell to take 4-27, with Rob Hudman giving the main support with 3-27 and thereby combining to put the brakes on proceedings.

The other wicket takers were Ryan Morgan and Fin Starkey with one each.

Blackwood ultimately totalled 191 all out which represented a good fight back by the Brecon bowlers and gave the home team sight of the winning post.

Mark Waldeck (20) fought hard to establish the Brecon innings assisted by son Sean (22) however the run rate continued to increase and things began looking difficult for the home team.

Daffyd Edwards then took control of things with a will paced and composed innings of 55, to record his first fifty in League cricket, he was supported by Dan Marshall (22) in a stand of 42.

However, despite their efforts the run rate remained stubbornly above six an over.

It was then left to the Brecon lower order to come to the party by way of an eighth wicket stand between Ryan Morgan (21no) and Fin Starkey, both showing their all-round talent to produce a high quality unbroken match winning partnership of 35, to secure the victory with one over in hand.

Next week the second team visit Dinas Powys with the hope of keeping their narrow lead at the top of Division Two second teams.

Crickhowell v Garnons

Crickhowell’s home game against fellow strugglers Cleobury Mortimer the previous week had to be called off because the visitors were unable to raise a side, so Crickhowell made the daunting away trip, this week, to title challengers Garnons, a little short on practice and still missing several key players through injury.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat first and Crickhowell did well early on, in the sweltering heat, on Garnons’ picturesque ground where the fast outfield and short boundaries always give good value for shots.

After 30 overs, though, Garnons only had 150 on the board, which Crickhowell were reasonably happy with, but crucially Garnons also had lots of wickets in hand, so were able to double their score in the last third of the game and reach a creditable 305-5 wickets in their 45 overs. Nick Francis was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-49 off his 10 overs, and son Lloyd took the other wicket to fall, bowling opener Debenham for 111.

This was a very good innings by Debenham, with a solid start and acceleration towards the latter stages with support from Stockdale (32), Jones (44) and Williams who remained not out on 75.

With an extended tea break agreed, so that those who were interested, could keep track of the world cup soccer match being played (after all, this cricket game was being played in England), the Welsh side finally got their innings under way with openers Kinman and Kerrison looking to dig in and give their side a good start.

Thomas James though had other ideas and bowled a very testing spell removing Kinman without scoring, and finishing on 1-33 off his 10 overs.

Alan Jones also bowled tightly taking 2-15 and Carl Lewis dismissed Kerrison the other opener to finish with 1-30 off his 10 overs.

This now looked like the old familiar story with Crickhowell in danger of being skittled out for a low score, but Elwyn Jenkins (32) and skipper Francis (109 not out) rallied to the cause.

Crickhowell though, never really looked like challenging the 305 posted by Garnons, but there were still five batting points on offer and the possibility of another two if the side could bat their full 45 overs. Francis, well supported by Wallace and young Callum Tew at the end, managed his innings superbly and was only two shots away from seeing his side through to five batting points.

Crickhowell eventually finished on 214-5 and took a useful eight points from what was, technically, a loosing draw.

Garnons took 22 points from the game to keep their title challenge alive in third place on 201 points overall, with Goodrich still setting the pace with 228.

Kington, having beaten last year’s champions Luctonians on the weekend, are now second on 204 with Luctonians slipping back to fourth with 194.

Builth 1sts 98 all out lost to Luctonians 1sts 99-5

by 5 wickets

It was the best of times, worst of times for Builth 1s as Luctonians quickly avenged last week’s defeat at Builth.

Batting first, openers Winston Williams and Steve Anderson weathered the early storm before an inspired bowling change turned the game around.

Williams went for 10 and although Anderson hung on for 38 only Aled Powell 12 joined them in double figures as Pete Griffiths (5-11) and Tom Jay (5-28) tore into the Builth ranks leaving the Bulls first string 98 all out in just 27.5 overs.

Hopes were raised when Mike Williams (1-18) dismissed James Platford for 28 and soon after Dylan McPhee (1-25) bowled Duncan Platford for 4. Skipper Sam Williams (3-34) then struck to leave Luctonians at 59-5 and nerves beginning to fray.

However Matt Bengry (30no) and Pete Griffiths (27no) shared an unbroken stand of 40 to see Luctonians home at 99-5 in 23.4 overs.

The inconsistent Builth 1s will look to reverse their fortunes as they welcome Garnons to Garth Road on Saturday.

Canon Frome 2nds 205-8 lost to Builth 2nds 208-3

by 7 wickets

Builth 2s reignited their promotion bid with a comfortable win against rivals Canon Frome on another sweltering day at Garth Road. After choosing to have first use of the baked Builth wicket Canon started brightly with Matt Richards (34) making the Builth attack work hard.

Gareth Sterry (2-46) dragged his side back into contention.

At 74-5 the Bulls looked set to roll over the Canon order.

However Dave Kings (61) and Marcus Richards (28) kept them waiting in the hot conditions as they lifted their side to a challenging 205. Richard Davies (2-26) and Eurig Towns (2-22) worked hard to stem the flow of runs.

In reply Builth got off to the perfect start with the in form Ian Morgan (66) and Paul Rowe (37) setting a platform with a 102 opening stand leaving the way for Jonny Curzon (41no) and Terry Dickson (13no) to see their side cantering towards their target with overs and seven wickets in hand.

For Canon Frome James Hughes, Luke Griffiths and Marcus Richards battled in vain and shared the spoils.

Buoyant skipper Stuart Cripps praised his sides all round performance, “in the conditions we played well and in the end managed the run chase perfectly.”

Builth 2nds title credentials will be further tested as they visit table toppers Goodrich 2nds on Saturday.