Presteigne 233-5 lost to Builth 2nds 234-6 by 4 wickets


Builth won the bragging rights in this Mid Wales derby in the Marches League encounter at a balmy Garth Road.

After choosing to bat first Presteigne were under immediate pressure as Ben Cripps (2-61) and Martin Hurst (1-24) removed the visiting top order leaving then struggling at 74-5. Enter the Chilman cousins, James and Greg who between them took their side to a better than handy 233-5 with James racking up 72 while Greg remained unbeaten on 68.

Presteigne made immediate inroads into the Builth line up with in form Ezra Tattersall departing in the first over. Ian Morgan (54) continued his rich vein of form and with Martin Hurst rebuilt the innings.

Hurst and Paul Rowe (37) then added 123 for the 4th wicket and took them to the brink of victory before Hurst fell agonisingly short of three figures on 94. A minor wobble saw three wickets fall with five required before Gareth Sterry and Richard King saw their side over the line with Presteigne sensing an unlikely triumph. James Wilson (2-20) Chris Price (2-24) and Lee Traylor (2-52) attempting to keep their side in it.

Builth skipper Stuart Cripps mused: “We were cruising at three down but then nearly shot ourselves in the foot so was I glad to see the winning line.”

Builth 2nds will seek to continue their good form as they visit Bartestree and Lugwardine 3rds while Builth 1sts will get back into action as they welcome the powerful Luctonians 1sts.

Crickhowell v Luctonians

Having registered their first win of the season against Dales last week, this week saw Crickhowell faced with the daunting task of taking on title challengers Luctonians at home.

At least Crickhowell seem to keep winning the toss, and they did so again, and asked the visitors to bat first on a good-looking wicket. When a team isn’t in very good overall form, batting second can at least give the team the opportunity to score more bonus points, by batting out ‘time’ for a ‘loosing draw’ especially if chasing a large total. This was the plan at any rate, as Luctonians are always a very strong batting team with the opening pair of Platfords, James and father Duncan, amongst the best in the league.

They duly posted 81 for the first wicket, before young Lloyd Francis bowled James for 52 and another youngster, Dan Bowden, then bowled Duncan for 32. Skipper Nick Francis had to juggle his bowling resources with two youngsters in the line up and one or two other front line bowlers still missing through injury and other commitments.

The bowlers though, stuck to their task well, in the sweltering conditions, and tried to keep a good line and length which showed, with the ‘extras count’ this week, a lot lower than of late. Luctonians though, do have a very strong middle order, and pushed on for a final score of 273-7.

On a small ground though, this was reasonable enough, with both sides being fairly happy.

Luctonians had the maximum five batting points and Crickhowell three bowling points. Will Maud top scored for Luctonians with 60, and it was young Lloyd Francis who had the best return of the day for Crickhowell, finishing on 3-48 from his 10 overs. Nick Francis (2-51), Ben Bowker (1-60) and Dan Bowden (1-37) were the other successful bowlers and wicketkeeper Wallace, had a very good day with the gloves, taking two catches and completing a sharp leg side stumping off the skipper’s quick bowling. After an enjoyable tea, the task for Crickhowell was then to bat out their overs and to see how far they could eat into the Luctonian’s score. The way the bonus points system works gives one point for every 25 runs past 125 (up to a maximum of 5) but also two points for the team being ‘not out’. In addition, getting to within 80% or 90% of the total being chased, can give extra points too. So in theory, there were a lot of points to play for if the team could just occupy the crease and bat out 45 overs.

This however, is becoming a task that is eluding them week after week and of course with a young and inexperienced tail, once the opposition is through the middle order, then the fragile lower order can not be expected to do, what the more experienced top order have already failed to achieve.

All out for 84 before the drinks interval, therefore, is a very sorry tale indeed, but to be fair, there are two sides to this coin as the Luctonians strike bowlers are bowling out most teams in the league with Imalka taking 3-45 and Bengry 3-25 on this occasion. First change bowlers Griffiths (3-9) and Clarke (1-0) also showed that they do have some strength in depth. At least Crickhowell did try to inject a little more backbone into their batting with four of the more experienced batsmen reaching double figures.

Nick Kinman (19), Ryland Wallace (18), Elwyn Jenkins (14) and skipper Francis (12) all showed good intent, but no one could go on to construct an innings of note, and the team again failed to score a single batting point.

The coaches would also pick up on the fact that seven of the dismissals were all bowled which can often reveal that defensive techniques need to be improved.

So, at the half-way point in the season, the team’s half-term report makes for sorry reading indeed. It’s not so much a case of ‘can do better’ more a case of ‘must do better’ otherwise relegation is almost inevitable.

They have to find a way of squeezing more points out of games against the top teams and they will have to win a few more games against those teams around them near the foot of the table.

Hopefully they can start doing that next week when they take on new-comers Cleobury Mortimer at home who are currently fourth from bottom on 88 points with Crickhowell floundering below them on 59 points.

In footballing parlance, this game will be the proverbial ‘six pointer’, as a win for Crickhowell means the gap remains quite small and manageable between the two, whereas a win for Cleobury would open up a sizable chasm that could be difficult to close, given the form of the team so far this season.

Cardiff Gymkhana v Brecon 1sts


Brecon Cricket Club’s 1sts visit to Cardiff Gymkhana produced a combative encounter but ended in disappointment for the visitors as they fell to a three wicket defeat.

On winning the toss Brecon’s captain Matt Williams had no hesitation in batting and he then worked hard to give the innings a solid start with a resolute fifty as they posted 188-8. Whilst wickets fell around him regularly Williams did find a solid partner in Tom Jones (49). Then later in the innings Will Trumper made a valuable 36 as the innings went the full course of 50 overs for the first time this season.

The Brecon bowlers made the Gym fight hard to take the win and with wickets for Sam Williams (2-34) and Tom Jones (1-27) both using the new ball well early pressure was exerted. Matt Williams then bowled a quality spell of spin to take 2-22, however despite the constant loss of wickets the Gym kept playing shots in their usual style and crossed the line with 10 overs in hand. The other wicket takers for Brecon were Ceitho Williams and Rob Hudman with one each.

The defeat sends Brecon to the foot of the Division One table which makes next week’s home game against League leaders Miskin Manor a vital challenge.

The second team at home to Barry Athletic recorded a comfortable eight wicket victory in a game sponsored by Somerset County Sports. The win was based around an excellent bowling display with the visitors only able to muster 90 runs.

On the warmest day of the season, brothers Dan and Tom Marshall gave Barry a hot reception opening the bowling with pace which resulted in Dan taking three quick wickets for 12 runs and inflicting damage from which the innings never recovered. Ryan Morgan (2-22) then bowled another quality spell and with Steve Kenchington (2-25) bowling his spin expertly there was no release for the batsmen. The veterans Derek Osborne (2-5) and John Cooke with one wicket then polished the innings off.

The Brecon reply was dominated by rapid 44 runs from Sean Waldeck, with powerful shots to all parts of the ground, he set-up 52 run partnership with his dad Mark which set the foundations for an early finish. Mark stayed to the end for 20 no and in partnership with Dafydd Edwards finished the day off early with 19 points in the bag.

The win means the 2nd team have now won eight games on the bounce with next week’s visit to Cardiff Gym bringing up the halfway mark of the season.

¦ Representative game

Brecon Cricket Club are delighted to announce that next Thursday, June 28, they will host the Wales 70 plus team in the County Championship game against Devon. Play commences at 1pm at the Brecon Sports Association Ground.

Glangrwyney 1sts v Knighton-on-Teme 1sts

The first team’s game was cancelled by the opposition (who maybe preferred watching the World Cup) resulting in a maximum 25 points to Glangrwyney and a 10 point fine for Knighton.

Glangrwyney remain top, 20 points clear of second place at the season’s half way point.

Kington 2nds v Glangrwyney 2nds

Glangrwyney’s first away win of the season by three wickets was based on a first five wicket haul for the club by Graham Paton whose excellent figures of nine overs, four maidens, 5-9 restricted the home team to a modest 124 all out in 32.3 overs after being put in to bat.

A youthful Kington got off to a brisk start with 13 coming off the first over but found the going harder against Paton and Haydn Davies whose figures were nine overs, three maidens, 3-18. Regular wickets fell before Kevin Palmer returned to claim the last two wickets for 2-33.

In reply, Glangrwyney started slowly, content to see the bowlers toil in the sun and at 46-2 were well placed to grind out a win. However, regular wickets fell with notable contributions from Nick Games and Jack Peach who both made 22 and it was finished off by the Hooper boys, John and Jack, who were 19 and 6 not out, the latter hitting the winning four runs.

An excellent win for Glangrwyney who showed they can win away from camp and who are now fifth in Division Four with a game in hand over the teams above them.