MONMOUTH Cricket Club 1st XI suffered a 121-run home defeat against a strong St Fagans 3rds in their South-East Wales League Division 7 opener. 

Teenagers Will Hickmott, Kit Skailes and Sam Brennan, and newcomer Harry Desroy all produced spirited displays against last season’s Division 7 champions. 

Before the match, players from all teams involved in matches at Monmouth came together on the main pitch for a minute’s silence in memory of scorer Tony Wilson, who sadly died earlier this year. 

Tony’s family were present at the minute’s silence and it was a fitting tribute to a popular man who will be remembered by all his friends at Monmouth Cricket Club. 

Monmouth, sponsored by Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, bowled without luck against St Fagans after winning the toss on a soft pitch at the Sports Ground. 

Skipper Gareth Jones (2-51) was Monmouth’s most successful bowler and held a spectacular one-handed catch. 

Desroy (1-19 from eight overs) was the pick of the Monmouth attack, while Brennan (1-27 from eight), Paul Brooks (1-22), Hickmott (1-44) and Skailes (0-35) all bowled well. 

Wicketkeeper Barry Jones held a smart catch, while Jake Teague, Richard Cotton and Sam Uttley were sharp in the outfield. 

Visiting openers Harry Burrows (92) and Matthew Pugh (42) rode their luck at times but did a superb job for their team with a first-wicket stand of 102 in 23rd overs. 

With a strong foundation laid, St Fagans kept the momentum going through Richard Elliott (25 not out) and they closed on an impressive 204-6 from 40 overs. 

In reply, Monmouth’s rusty-looking batters struggled on the slow pitch. 

Only Hickmott (27 not out), Skailes (16) and Ian Morgan (14) reached double figures as the hosts were dismissed for 83. 

Meanwhile, all-rounder Kieran Shaw struck a superb unbeaten 58 and snapped up 2-20 in Monmouth 2nds 57-run defeat at old friends Llanarth 2nds in Division 12 East. 

Fine knocks from Peter Wilson (57) and Gerry Stentiford (52 not out) lifted Llanarth to 172-7 from 40 overs after Monmouth had made early inroads. 

Sean McCluskey held a wonder catch to remove Llanarth skipper Nick White (11), while captain Neil Saunders (1-31 from eight overs) clean-bowled former Monmouth player Jon Despontin, one of the most influential and committed players to have represented the town. 

Spinner Nick Holt (2-20 from eight), Tony Brennan (1-33 from eight) and Simon Kidd (1-40) all picked up wickets for the visitors. 

Wicketkeeper Russell Giblin made a stumping, while Andrew Dobbie, Tom Willgoss and Helen McGloin did well in the field. 

After the interval, Piers Bisson (5-15) and Andy Lloyd (3-17) put Monmouth 2nds, sponsored by Latorre Consultancy, on the back foot. 

However, Shaw batted beautifully for his half-century, while Brennan (16) and Kidd (11) chipped in as Monmouth battled to 115-9.  

In Division 13 East, a three-wicket haul from Jim Barker was the highlight as Chris Powles’ Monmouth 3rds went down by six wickets to Malpas 3rds at Chippenham Fields. 

Guest Chris Margetts (29) and Ben McCluskey (14) showed defiance with the bat against a good Malpas attack, led by Alby Roberts (3-5) and Ffion Bassett (3-21), before the hosts were bowled out for 80. 

After the break, Barker (3-6 from eight overs) and Margetts (0-5 from four overs) pegged Malpas back and then Steve Vickers (1-13) claimed his maiden wicket for the hosts, sponsored by Monmouth Dental Practice. 

Malpas recovered through Lewis Rouse’s quick-fire unbeaten 37 to reach the target, but Monmouth’s spirits remained high with Becky Townsend, Greg Thomas, Joe Atkinson, Rob Pendleton, Lucas Barker and Andrew Wilson all working hard in the field. 

Monmouth resume their Newport and District Midweek League programme tonight (Wednesday, May 17) at home to Newport Royals (6pm start). 

The 1sts travel to face Dinas Powys 2nds on Saturday (May 20, 12.30pm start), while the 2nds host Abercarn 2nds at the Sports Ground (12.30pm), and the 3rds travel to play Blaina 2nds. 

To sign-up for All Stars & Dynamos, junior or senior cricket, please contact chairman, Dave Walters, by emailing [email protected]