South East Wales Cricket League Division Four - Llanarth First XI (191-9) beat Radyr Third XI (160-8) by 31 runs

LLANARTH hosted Radyr in a hugely important battle between the basement teams in South East Wales Cricket League Division Four, with both looking for their opening victory of the season.

Despite the wicket being covered the damp conditions meant that a slow, low track was to be expected and Radyr were delighted to win the toss and insert the Trees.

The innings got off to a bad start as Tom Vaughan showed his judgement credentials, as an accredited football referee, by shouldering arms to the third ball of the innings and losing his off-stump. Allan Dewfield joined Mark Baxter (87) at the crease and seemed to settle in nicely until he unluckily played on, and when Chris Page bunted a full toss to mid off to leave the Trees at 46-3 from 15 overs some repair work was needed.

Dennis Heath (54) and Baxter dug in until drinks and then went through the gears afterwards in adding 100 runs in the next 15 overs. The partnership was broken at 116 when Baxter played all around a shooter and was plumb leg-before-wicket, while unfortunately Heath followed him back to the pavilion almost immediately after being caught in the deep.

A likely total of 220 was rapidly revised downwards as the Trees could only muster 29 runs, for the loss of six wickets, in the final eight overs with 12-year-old 1st XI debutant Will Heath finishing unbeaten on seven not out. A final score of 191-9 was very useful in the conditions, but not impregnable.

After tea the home fielders were still able to move smartly enough to elicit an early run out although there was some nervousness detectable in the fielding as a couple of subsequent chances went begging as the visitors progressed to 64-2. It took a lightning reflex catch by Baxter at short cover, taking the ball as it was nearly past him, from a hard hit drive by the dangerous Steadman (46) to get Llanarth back on track. The catch and Chris Powell’s off-spin (3-31) put the Trees on top but Radyr weren’t finished and a promising partnership advanced the score to 118-4.

The visitors required 73 from the final 12 overs and it seemed as though a tight finish was on the cards but Andrew Spencer (2-24) and D Heath (2-32) then had their, decisive, say. Firstly Spencer found a beauty to dismiss Morris and then picked up another next ball via a well judged Dewfield catch. Then Heath (2-32) repeated the trick with his own double strike, helped by a diving Keith Spencer catch. With the flurry of wickets the Radyr skipper, Simon Walters (56 not out), settled for batting points and the innings closed on 160-8 giving Llanarth a vital victory and the added bonus of moving the Trees out of the relegation zone.