Cowbridge seconds slip to narrow defeat

By GEM Community Correspondent in Cricket

Cowbridge second XI arrived at Pontardawe Park, the adopted home of Llandarcy first XI, to be greeted by a wet uncovered pitch and an outfield that had been cut, but the grass not collected and therefore resembling a cut meadow.

Winning the toss was therefore crucial, but unfortunately stand-in captain David Gascoyne called incorrectly and the Llandarcy captain showed no hesitation in asking Cowbridge to bat in these conditions.

The ever-consistent opening pair of Gascoyne and Jonty Webb got Cowbridge off to an excellent start putting on 53 for the first wicket before Webb was unfortunately run out for 22.

Many shots stopped in the long dropped grass, which would have been boundaries most weeks. This was to prove crucial later in the game.

When Gascoyne was caught for a well compiled 44 hopes of a large total faded.

Apart from Naveed Younas (17) no other Cowbridge batsman got into double figures as the side limped to 124 for 8 at the end of the 40 overs under difficult batting conditions.

After the tea break the wicket had dried considerably, making batting much less arduous.

John Gilbert opened the bowling in his usual miserly fashion giving the Llandarcy openers nothing to hit.

He was ably supported by young Heath Webb. Both were extremely unlucky not to pick up wickets in the first few overs with the Llandarcy batsmen mis-hitting aerial shots tantalisingly close to Cowbridge fielders, but unfortunately none going to hand.

Gilbert eventually made the breakthrough by bowling the opening batsman.

Ian Evans was brought into the attack to take the pace off the ball and took a wicket with his first delivery, aided by an excellent catch by Anthony Isles in the covers.

Evans then bowled the other opener in his second over leaving Llandarcy in trouble at 38 for 3.

A first class spell of off spin bowling by Naveed Younas (4-33) backed up by excellent catching sent Llandarcy reeling at 97 for 9, still needing 28 to win on a difficult pitch with the last pair at the wicket.

However, with a series of unorthodox shots, the last wicket pair somehow built a match-winning stand.

An excellent game played in a good spirit ended in a one wicket defeat for Cowbridge.

After back-to-back away games Cowbridge second XI look forward to a home game against newly-promoted Felinfoel, with the hope of continuing their unbeaten home form.


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