NEXT Saturday will see Dafen and Swansea, the top two sides in division one of the South Wales Cricket Association, go head-to-head in what could be a season-defining match for both sides.
And although they won’t be thinking about losing, Dafen, the
current leaders and reigning champions, know they will still be guaranteed
first place whatever happens in Carmarthenshire six days from now.
That’s because the weather actually did them a huge favour
yesterday as it hit every first division game apart from theirs and they were
picking up another win, this time at home to Llangennech by five wickets.
They dismissed bottom-but-one Llangennech for 105 with
Stuart Goddard’s 46 the only real highlight in the face of some deft bowling
from Matthew Evans (3-15), Phil George (2-28) and Andrew Rowlands (2-31).
The Dafen batsmen knocked off the runs required without too
many problems with Chris Keen, Nicky Davies and Evans seeing them home.
One of the unluckiest teams of the weekend was second-placed
Swansea, who despite the inclement weather looked to be heading for a routine
victory at Maesteg Celtic.
The hosts had little in reply to Swansea’s devastating
attack of Johnny Hubschmid (3-30), Gareth Hayden (3-1) and Jack Brogan, who
took two wickets without conceding a run as Celtic were skittled out for 58.
Even though Lee Hicks snapped up two quick Swansea wickets,
the visitors appeared to be cruising home when on 27-3 in the 10th over the
heavens opened and no further play was possible.
The three remaining fixtures in division one were abandoned
during the first innings with only Tata Steel, 146-7 after 40 overs against
Neath, having amassed some sort of score. Clydach and Gowerton, home to
Pontardawe and Ynystawe respectively, were 38-0 and 40-1 when the rain came.
It was a similar tale in division two where all bar one game
was completed, although that was at Llandysul where the hosts leapt into third
place with a 79-run victory over rivals Bronwydd.
Opener Mark Wilson blasted 87 and Gary Williams cracked 62
as Llandysul reached 191-5. Bronwydd struggled in reply and could have suffered
an even bigger margin of defeat had 33 not been put on for the last wicket.
There was a five-wicket haul for Rhodri Jones and two each
for Adrian Davies and Dean Jones as Bronwydd were bowled out for 112.
Carmarthen Wanderers and Cowbridge remain first and second
in the table following the abandonment of their encounters at Gorseinon and
Morriston respectively. The Wanderers had reduced their opponents to 63-4 when
play was stopped while not one ball was bowled at Morriston.
It is incredibly tight below the top two clubs with
Aberdare, third just a few weeks ago, now down in seventh. Geoff Derrick had
taken 2-15 for them at home to Llanelli when that clash was rained off and
Briton Ferry Steel wee 82-3 against Skewen at the close.
Top beat bottom by eight wickets in division three as Briton
Ferry Town overpowered Pwll. Craig Jewell took 4-33 as Pwll were all out for
79, leaving Yakoob Ali to hit 36 in the Town successful reply.
Porthcawl enjoyed a seven-wicket triumph at Drefach as the
hosts were dismissed for just 83 with Tom Davies (5-29) in fine form with the
ball. Steve Doherty top scored with 28 as the seasiders won with ease.
Elsewhere, Pontyberem opener Craig Howells hit a superb 90
as his side totalled 213-4 at The Park against Maesteg. The visitors were 149-7
at the close, giving Pontyberem a winning draw.
Margam were dealt a cruel blow in their home clash with
second-placed Hills Plymouth. After Anish Patel had ripped through the Hills
batting line-up, taking 7-40 to help dismiss the Merthyr outfit for 59, Maesteg
were just 18 runs from victory with five wickets down when the umpires had to
The only fixture in division four to beat the weather came
at Felinfoel where the hosts were all out for 174 batting first against
Ystradgynlais – Alex Malgat and Darren Hodge, both 16, accounted for seven of
the Felinfoel batsmen.
The home side were assured of a winning draw with
Ystradgynlais making a pedestrian 91-4 in their allocation. Cimla continue to
lead Dyffryn at the top of the table.