The cricket season finally got under way for both Brecon sides on Saturday.

Report by Derek Osborne

For the firsts it was the third time of asking and the relief of a sunny day was only slightly tempered by a long trip to Vale Cricket Club outside Bridgend.

On a large sloping field Vale won the toss and elected to field, no doubt expecting some inconsistent early season behaviour from their wicket.

A relatively steady start saw openers Ceitho Williams (10) and Rowan Starkey (5) quietly accumulating but then falling without going on to make a reasonable total. Rhys Pritchard was unusually restrained for his 19 in 50 balls but helped pave the way for the Mitchell brothers Iain (41) and James (24) to come in and strike a few lusty blows, pushing the run rate up considerably.

Youngster Jac Kenchington was the first of four Kenchingtons to walk to the wicket – the first (and possibly only) time that all four will play together in the firsts. Include cousin Rhys Pritchrd and this is almost a record for a close family representation.

Jac played with increasing maturity and his 27 included four 4s. Sam Williams made a relatively brief appearance for 9 with John ‘JK’ Kenchington (6) following shortly afterwards.

It was left to coach Ben Kenchington to play a good back-end innings of 23 not out (including four 4s) in partnership with his uncle Steve ‘just one’ Kenchington (7 no) and bring up a competitive total of 192 for 8. Andrew Kinsey was left in the hutch.

When Brecon took to the field Vale were pinned down from the start as Sam Wiliams and Iain Mitchell bowled economically with Sam trapping one of the openers LBW early on and the Vale no 3 departing ‘run out’ shortly afterwards.

John Kenchington belied his advancing years with a tidy spell of 9 overs straight through alongside his spin-king nephew Jac who picked up the vital wicket of opener and captain Jarrad Davies, who at that point had accumulated 43 in just 37 balls and was looking to take the game away from Brecon.

This prompted a steady flow of wickets to fall with Jac getting a further 3 to give him excellent figures of 4 for 37. James Mitchell chipped in with a further 2 in a very tight spell of bowling and Buffy Kenchington rolled back the years to take the other wicket to fall. Brecon were the winners by 34 runs.

James Mitchell - Brecon Cricket Club
James Mitchell bending his back to generate pace when bowling (.)

The 2nds were at home against a relatively strong Sully 2nd team. After the difficulties of raising a side last year and the ensuing double demotion to division 8 it was a relief to field 11 players and to see a mixture of youth and experience and some promising performances.

Brecon inserted the visitors due to their late arrival and Tom Marshall and skipper Ryan Morgan bowled excellent early spells with Morgan having one of the openers caught behind.

Dan Witcomb returned after a 10-year hiatus and despite being a bit rusty showed that he still has the ability to bamboozle batsman. Gwyn ‘the legend’ Price put the brakes on the scoring with his craftily flighted slow right armers and produced figures of 2 for 31 from his 8 over spell. It was unfortunate that the remaining 8 overs, shared between 3 bowlers were expensive and led to a late flurry of runs. Sully finished on 174 for 6 with opener Zaheer carrying his bat for 69.

Other highlights for Brecon were Mike Haires’ throwdown of the stumps to run out the Sully no 6, James Davenports 3 catches and a very good all round fielding performance particularly from George Alp-Williams and Freddie Melzer. Dan Gee proved to be a livewire in the field scaring the proverbial out of the home fielders with his enthusiastic shies at the stumps.

The Brecon innings couldn’t have got off to a worse start. In the face of some good bowling 4 wickets fell for just 13 runs and only 7 of those came off the bat. Gwyn showed his class with a steady 15 that allowed Dan Witcomb to play his way in and then open his shoulders consistently. Although the game had effectively gone Dan bashed his way to 57 not out taking the team score to a respectable 128. Onward and upward!

Brecon Cricket Club wish former player Mark Waldeck a speedy and complete recovery after his collapsing on the field while playing for Glangrwyney on Saturday.