MONMOUTH Cricket Club 2nd XI lost by 23 runs in a hard-fought fixture away to promotion-chasing Brecon on Saturday (15th August) in the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League Division 3.

Monmouth skipper Rick Parkes won the toss and, given the recent heavy rain on Brecon’s uncovered wicket, took to the field. Although the wicket was unpredictable early on, Monmouth’s quicker bowlers struggled to contain the home side, with just spinner Aubrey Stubbs (1-26) suppressing the run rate and managing a break-through. There was also a sharp run-out for 15 year-old Josh Hughes, but a couple of missed chances for Monmouth proved expensive as Brecon’s Pritchard (85) and the experienced Kenchington (55 not out) threatened to take the game out of sight.

Monmouth continued to work hard in the field, but despite bowling spells from Luke Bowley, James Taylor, Ben Pilot and Martin Newell and tidy wicket-keeping from Jon Despontin, only Aled Jones (2-36) was able to strike as Brecon finished on an imposing 214-4 from their 40 overs.

In reply Monmouth struggled to score and lost early wickets despite the improving wicket and drying outfield. At the 20-over drinks break the away side were some way behind what was required at 71-3, but its youthful batting line up then set about upping the run rate as first opener Aubrey Stubbs (42) and then Jake Bowley (24), Ali Hay (27), James Taylor (18 not out) and Luke Bowley (27 not out) combined quick running with intelligent shot making. Monmouth secured maximum batting bonus points as a result and, while there was just too much to do to overhaul Brecon’s total, finished on a very respectable 191-6. The result means that Monmouth’s own promotion ambitions are now a distant prospect, but there have been many highlights in a much improved season so far and the club is looking forward to two fixtures in two days this coming weekend- away at struggling Pentwyn on Saturday and then home against Machen on Sunday as the season draws to a close.