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COWBRIDGE CRICKET CLUB


2013 Match Reports

COWBRIDGE RELEGATED FROM DIVISION 1


Towards the end of August an allegation was made by officers of the South Wales Cricket Association that our Club had played an ineligible player in our 1st XI on a number of occasions.  

The SWCA then proceeded to punish us by removing points and imposing a substantial fine. The net effect was that our Club was relegated from Division One. Had this punishment not been imposed then we should have retained our place in the top division. An appeal was made and dismissed. 

The Club Committee concluded that our resources, both financial and in time were better allocated towards securing promotion back to Division One, rather than making a legal challenge, even though our advice was that we had strong grounds to believe that such an approach would have proved successful.  

Nevertheless the Committee of the Club remain dismayed by the way in which the SWCA acted throughout the process. It remains our contention that we were innocent of the charge, as presented in the Appeal proceedings, and that it is a wholly absurd and unfair process that allowed the same body that imposed the punishment to sit in judgement over an appeal against itself.  

Additionally we do not consider that even if we were guilty of an offence, which were not actually accused of, then the subsequent punishment was unfair and out of all proportion to the scale of the offence.  

The Club Committee believe that there are serious shortcomings in the governance procedures of the SWCA and we intend to play our part in bringing about overdue reform.


Saturday 31st August 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

COWBRIDGE END SEASON WITH LOSS 

It seemed the end of season couldn’t come quick enough for Cowbridge. Loss the toss and inserted to bat on a wet and green wicket against Clydach. Overnight rain helped the opening bowlers massively as Cowbridge struggled to 129 all out. Only Wood 34 and Kurobasa 23 showed any real fight with the bat. Clydach coasted to the runs, but did encounter problems for Cowbridge youngster Matt Keating with his big spinning chinamen. 3-18 an excellent return with a stunning caught and bowled catch.


SECOND XI's REPORT

A FINAL DEFEAT TO CONCLUDE THE 2013 SEASON

The one thing that can be said about Cowbridge 2nd XI this season is at least they have been consistent.  Defeat has followed defeat and regrettably Cowbridge were to end their season on the same note, with defeat away to Clydach last Saturday.

The Cowbridge Captain won the toss, and on a damp looking wicket, decided to bowl first.  Things started well for Cowbridge with an early wicket for Rian Thomas with the score only 11.  Both Rian and Gareth John bowled very well resulting in the Clydach batsmen finding it difficult to score.  Unfortunately, Cowbridge put down a couple of catches which were to prove costly as a partnership began to be built between the Clydach opener and number 3.  In the end the partnership was broken by Michael Hordley which brought the Clydach Captain; Brian Fisher to the crease with the score at 103 off 33 overs.

It became immediately clear that the Clydach Captain wanted to increase the run rate and he did this to great effect.  The Clydach Captain began depositing the Cowbridge bowlers to all parts of the ground; clearing the boundaries with ease.  Some stability was provided by Ian Evans’s bowling but this was not enough to stop the score rising rapidly.  In the end B. Fisher was out to the last ball of the game, for a well made 107, with Clydach finishing on 240 for 4.

This was a considerable total for Cowbridge to surmount and to Cowbridge’s credit they did their best in the face of some good bowling from Clydach.  Both Josh Basey (27) and John Brazier (25) acquitted themselves well but in spite of some resistance from the Captain, Alex Scot-Coombes & Ian Evan, the Clydach bowling proved too strong for the Cowbridge batsmen.  In the end Cowbridge were out for 129.

So the curtain falls on the 2013 season for Cowbridge 2nd XI.  The fact that Cowbridge 2nd XI has not won a game all season speaks for itself.  But, and it is big but, one has to put some perspective on the season.   The step up from 2nd Division to 1st Division cricket has been considerable.  Although it must be said that at times Cowbridge’s performances have been poor, the majority of the opposition that Cowbridge have faced this season have simply been too good for Cowbridge; not surprising when you have teams such as Neath and Ynystawe; both established 1st Division sides with a large membership base to call upon. 

Cowbridge 2nd XI is a side full of talented youngsters and some of the performances from the likes of Rian Thomas, Cai Owen and Joe Russell have been excellent.  The atmosphere within the side, despite defeat following defeat, was always good and every game was played in an excellent spirit; something this author thinks is incredibly important.

Thanks must be given to all those who have played for the side this season and also to Jeff Davies who, as ever, scored for the side.  This season in the 1st Division has been a salutary one for Cowbridge 2nd XI and a number of important lessons have been learnt from the experience.  2013 should be consigned to the past and the side must look to the future and 2014 optimistic in the knowledge that things can only get better.

JW


Saturday 24th August 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

SHELL SHOCKED COWBRIDGE STRUGGLE 

Cowbridge travelled away to Gowerton and didn’t put up much of a fight. A first 1st team half century for the powerful hitter of Andrew Finucane 56 not out, led Cowbridge to 145- 8 after their 50 overs. Gowerton took full advantage of the small boundary on the one side and knocked off the runs 5 down. A flurry of late wickets gave Cowbridge some hope, but it was all too little too late.


SECOND XI's REPORT

NO CHANGE IN FORTUNES FOR COWBRIDGE 2nd XI.

With the 2013 season coming to a close Cowbridge hosted Gowerton at the Athletic Ground last Saturday.  It has been a turbulent two weeks forCowbridge Cricket Club and it was hoped that a first victory of the season could be obtained.  Unfortunately, this was not to be the case.  Gowerton won the toss and elected to bat on a lovely sunny day.  The Cowbridge attack was led by John Gilbert and Michael Hordley; welcomed back from his time in Africa.

Both bowled well but the Gowerton batsmen were still able to find the boundary on regular occasions resulting in the score racing to 60 off the first 10 overs.   In the end the first wicket went down to Chris Ross (2 for 42); aided by a sharp catch behind the stumps from the Cowbridge keeper.  Although wickets continued to fall; primarily to Ian Evans, who bowled superbly throughout the day to finish with figures of 4 for 41 of his 15 overs, the Gowerton score rose steadily.  Cowbridge’s fielding was not up to its usual high standard, which coupled with some wayward bowling, meant Gowerton were able to post a good total of 224 for 8 off their 50 overs.

Readers of previous reports will know that Cowbridge’s batting this season has been, to put it mildly, woeful.  Regrettably Cowbridge kept up this theme by not putting up any resistance at all and being bowled out for a paltry 52.  Few positives can be taken from this performance but at the least the whole side kept their heads up and the atmosphere continues to be good amongst the players.  With one more game left who knows, Cowbridge may finish the season on high with a victory; stranger things have happened.

JW


Saturday 17th August 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

RAIN ENDS PLAY 

Only 5 overs were possible between Cowbridge and Carmarthen before heavy rain led the umpires to abandon things with the homeside 19-0.

TM


Sunday 11th August 2013


PRESIDENT'S LUNCH REPORT

Cricket Club President, Jeff Bird, celebrated the annual President’s Lunch  with a game of his invited XI against Cowbridge.

On a fine summer’s afternoon the guests were wined and dined with a hog roast and all the trimmings.

The result of the match was of secondary importance, as the players enjoyed themselves in a game where league points were not at stake.

A raffle and sales of wine raised much needed funds for the club and a good time was had by all.

JB


Saturday 10th August 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

FIRST XI SAVE TOP FLIGHT STATUS AFTER WINNING DRAW

Cowbridge First XI secured First Division status in a game which ebbed and flowed with alarming frequency.

They gained a winning draw at Maesteg Celtic to secure the club’s place in the First Division of the South Wales Cricket Association for 2014.

The club had Phil Hams (108) and their spin trio of Haines, Collier and Merilaht to thank for the result.

Put into bat on a pitch that had a plastic sheet over it until less than two hours before play, Cowbridge’s top order found run scoring difficult.

A score of 63-3 at the 25-over mark reflected the conditions. Crucially, Phil Harris remained and when joined by Rob Carney (21) the siege was lifted, and how!

Harris hit seven sixes and led the charge to a respectable 174 all out in the 50th over; 102 had come from the last 20 overs, but it was a score based on the hard work early on, especially by Harris.

The Maesteg response was positive to say the least; the openers putting on 57 in good time. At the halfway mark the home side appeared to be cruising to victory, with 93 needed at less than four an over, with nine wickets standing.

That Cowbridge wrenched back the initiative was due to great work from Will Haines, whose off spin accounted for the top four Maesteg batsmen.

Haines took 4-37 but when his allocated 15 overs were completed, there was still work to be done and Tom Merilaht (2 - 38) and Han Collier (3 - 37) stepped up to the mark.

As wickets fell, the run rate needed increased and in the end it was the Maesteg number 11 who held out for a draw.

An absorbing and exciting game then, distinguished by some top class performances — Well done team!

JB


SECOND XI's REPORT

DESPITE AN IMPROVED PERFORMANCE, YET ANOTHER DEFEAT FOR 2ND XI

The good summer weather continued last week when Cowbridge entertained Maesteg Celtic at the Athletic Ground.  With the ground looking fantastic, testament to the efforts of the Cowbridge groundsman; Tim Williams, Maesteg won the toss and decided to bat.  Things started well for Cowbridge with some excellent bowling from John Gilbert and Sean Rowland.  This resulted in the Maesteg openers finding it hard to score with the consequence that they had to take some risks.  Luckily for Cowbridge these risks did not pay off as both openers went cheaply with the score only on 35.

This good bowling continued with the introduction of Ian Evans and Tom Scot-Coombes.  Throughout the innings the bowling from Cowbridge was exemplary; aided by some excellent fielding which has not always been Cowbridge’s strong suit this season.  Wickets fell at regular intervals to both, along with John Gilbert and Sean Rowland, which kept the Maesteg batsmen under continued pressure.  In the end Maesteg posted a total of 182 for 9 off their 50 overs.  It was disappointing to not get the final Maesteg wicket but all the Cowbridge bowlers; Ian Evans 3 for 35, John Gilbert 2 for 33, Sean Rowland 2 for 47 and Tom Scot-Coombes 2 for 43, should be very proud of their efforts.

182 was a stiff target but certainly not insurmountable for Cowbridge.  The innings started brightly with both Tim Moss and John Brazier putting on 30 for the first wicket.   Unfortunately, John was then out which brought the Captain to the crease; followed soon after by Josh Basey when Tim Moss was bowled.   Another good partnership was then built between the two but when both went in quick succession this spelt a mini collapse that put Cowbridge firmly in the mire at 75 for 5.

Unfortunately, Cowbridge were not able to extricate themselves from this self induced predicament.  Although Guy Parker (20) and Alex Scot-Coombes (12) provided some resistance; Cowbridge were finally bundled out for 116.  It was disappointing that Cowbridge’s batting did not compare to the good bowling and fielding performance.  Even so, the fact that Cowbridge were able to put in such a good showing with the ball was a big positive.  The atmosphere in the side continues to be upbeat and hopefully before the end of the season Cowbridge will put in a performance with both bat and ball that will result in the first victory of the season being obtained.

JW


Saturday 3rd August 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

WICKET CURSE CONTINUES

On a turning pitched, Cowbridge welcomed Ynystawe at the Fred Dunn hoping to turn their recent poor results around. Runs were initially difficult to come by, but Merilaht 42 and Wood 39, got Cowbridge off to a great start before Wood departed with the score at 76. Harris started aggressively and at 99-1, Cowbridge looked set to score a large first innings total. However as the ball became old, and began to spin more, Ynystawe put the pressure on and restricted Cowbridge to 157. Unfortunately for Cowbridge, the 10 wicket defeat loomed again against Ynystawe with the openers convincing knocking the runs off. Poor Rob Carney’s first (and last) ball of the season disappearing for an almighty 6 in the Broadshoard.

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER DEFEAT FOR COWBRIDGE 2ND XI

After last week’s washed out game against Neath, Cowbridge were hopeful of more favourable weather conditions for their match with Ynystawe.  Unfortunately, there had been a serious accident on the M4 which resulted in Cowbridge arriving late at Ynystawe meaning they were “informed” that they would be batting first.

Regrettably there were far too few highlights in the Cowbridge innings.  No batsman, bar Guy Parker, was able to put provide any resistance against the Ynystawe bowlers, who were accurate and probing, backed up by some fine fielding from the Ynystawe team.  The wickets fell at regular intervals with the only highlights being Guy Parker striking some lusty blows to increase the score and David Webb, making a welcome return from injury, unfurling a glorious cover drive for four that Tom Graveny would be proud of.   In the end Cowbridge were out for a paltry 73.

Cowbridge knew that this total would never be sufficient and this proved to be the case as Ynystawe romped to victory off 10 overs with the only wicket going to Rian Thomas assisted by a fine catch by Cai Owen in the deep.

This was, to put it mildly, a rather disappointing day for Cowbridge 2nd XI.  However, one has to keep ones perspective in assessing this defeat.  Ynystawe are an established 1st Division team with a side full of established, experienced and talented players.  This is Cowbridge 2nd XI’s first season in the 1st Division and the side is, on the whole, laudably made up of promising and talented youngsters.  The old cliché “men against boys” is trotted out all too often, however, for the vast majority of the season this has been the case; despite the presence of some experienced adult players within the Cowbridge side.  As readers will know from previous reports, defeat has followed defeat but Cowbridge 2nd XI must not lose heart.   These defeats must be put in perspective and be looked at in the context of what is, quite clearly, a very difficult introduction to 1stDivision cricket for Cowbridge 2nd XI.

JW


Saturday 27th July 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

NO SHOW AT NEATH 

The less said of this game the better. Cowbridge away at the league run away team. 82 all over and lost by 8 wickets. A very inexperienced side was shown a lesson in league cricket at the Gnoll. Back on the M4 by 4pm...

TM


Saturday 20th July 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

COWBRIDGE BRUSH LLANGENNECH ASIDE WITH EASE

As the glorious weather continued Cowbridge entertained bottom of the league side Llangennech at the Fred Dunn.  

After last weeks dominant performance Cowbridge were keen to continue their momentum in a must win game. Llanegnnech won the toss and decided to make first use of another hard and flat track with a lightening outfield.  

Merilaht and Collier opened the bowling with a lightening over rate, which was in stark contrast to the run rate as Llanegennech limped to 15-3 off 15 overs. Collier was the main danger man collecting 4-33 with some beautiful flight and quick work from stumper Sam Wood, while Merilaht returned 9 maidens in his 3-18. An excellent catch in the deep from Matthew Keating helped Will Haines picked up a couple, whilst Chris Willey knocked over the last man with his accurate seamers. A total of 108 was always going to prove an under par total. 

Cowbridge lost Wood early but Jack Harris came in to play his innings of the season. Strong straight drives led to a classy 53 before he was caught in the deep. Merilaht anchored the innings with 37 not out, whilst Willey finished the game with a flurry of boundaries including a big 6 over square leg to end proceedings in style.  

A strong all round performance by Cowbridge.

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

LLANGENNECH PROVE TOO STRONG FOR COWBRIDGE 2ND XI

With temperatures in the high 20s and the sun continuing to shine, Cowbridge 2nd XI travelled to Llangennech last Saturday.  Upon arrival it was immediately evident that the Llangennech ground had suffered with the unusually hot weather, with the wicket resembling twenty two yards of crazy paving and the outfield a biscuity brown colour.

Cowbridge fielded first and started well with Gareth John trapping one of the opening batsmen LBW with Rian Thomas having the other batman caught, to leave Llangennech on 11 for 2 of the first 7 overs.  However, despite these early successes the run rate started to escalate as the Llangennech batsmen found the boundary on regular occasions, assisted by an outfield that was incredibly quick with any ball piercing the infield racing to the boundary.  Unfortunately, the Cowbridge bowling became quite wayward which allowed for the score to rise quickly but perversely wickets still continued to fall.  The ever consistent Ian Evans picked up wickets along with a further wicket for Rian Thomas.  There were also two wickets for Joe Russell who also bowled well.  In the end Gareth John had the Llangennech number 11 caught with Llangennech all out for 248 off 47 overs.

This was an impressive total and Cowbridge knew that it would take a fine batting performance if they were to stand a chance of overhauling nearly 250.  Although the Cowbridge openers; Josh Basey and Jonty Webb, started brightly both were out in quick succession which brought about a mini collapse to leave Cowbridge tottering at 32 for 4 off 15 overs.  Some stability was then provided by an excellent partnership between Ian Evans and Alex Scot-Coombes.  Both batted very well; solid in defence but also putting away any bad deliveries when they came.  The score began to rise, aided it must be said by a number of extras, until Alex was out for a well made 31.  After this point the rest of the Cowbridge batsmen fell away with Cowbridge finally all out for 149; leaving Ian high and dry on 41 disappointingly close to a well deserved 50.

Yet another defeat for Cowbridge but it was good to welcome back Chris Ross to the side after a long absence through injury and also the performances from Alex Scot-Coombes, Rian Thomas and Gareth John were positives to take out of the game.   Cowbridge are at home to Neath next week and maybe, just maybe, Cowbridge might record their first victory of the season.

JW


Saturday 13th July 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

COWBRIDGE SHINE IN THE SUN 

Cowbridge ventured to Dafen on what was the hottest day of the cricketing year at 30 degrees.

Captain Merilaht won the toss and duly decided to bat to avoid fielding in the blistering conditions. This proved to he the correct decision as Sam Wood (21) and Merilaht put on a steady 60 runs for the opening partnership. Once Sam departed, Phil Harris came to the increase and struck the ball beautifully in a well crafted 69, milking the bowlers with ease. When Merilaht departed for 67 with the score at 170-2, Cowbridge had a very firm base to launch for the last 10 overs. Some excellent paddle sweeps from Jack Harris (28) and strong finishing from Chris Willey (19no) led Cowbridge to a very healthy 218-5 from their 50 overs.  

On a very placid and slow pitch, taking the 10 wickets was always going to be difficult. The Dafen openers started well getting to 80-0, before Harry Collier produced an excellent yorker to get the initial break through.  

From here Cowbridge really stepped up the pressure with another wicket from Collier who finished with 2-34 from his 15 overs. Step up next Will Haines returning to the side after finishing his studies, a brilliant 5-48 that included a few excellent catches in the deep from both Jack and Phil Harris. Matt Keating also joining the party with 2-19 from his 6 overs.  

Cowbridge never looked in any danger and when the 9th wicket was taken with 4 balls remaining, unfortunately they were unable to dislodge the sturdy number 11 with every man around the bat.  

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

2ND XI WILTS UNDER THE MIDDAY SUN.

With temperatures soaring and under bright blue skies, Cowbridge 2nd XI faced Dafen CC at the Athletic Ground last Saturday.  Having lost the toss Cowbridge feared the worst expecting to have to field first on an excellent wicket with the sun beating down.  However, surprisingly, Dafen decided to bowl first.  The Cowbridge openers; John Brazier and Liam Sullivan, started brightly when John was bowled having played on to his stumps.   This brought the Captain to the crease which unfortunately didn’t stop the wickets falling as Liam was then out, followed shortly afterwards by Sean Rowland, leaving Cowbridge teetering on 27 for 3 off 14 overs.  A period of consolidation was needed and this was provided through a partnership between Jonty Webb and Josh Basey.  Under some very hostile and accurate bowling, in particular from the Dafen opening bowler; A. Herbet, both Josh and Jonty began to raise the score.

Both batsmen knew that it was imperative to see off the Dafen opening bowlers and therefore both played within themselves avoiding taking any risks.  As a result Cowbridge only reached 50 in the 30th over.  But despite the slow going, the Cowbridge batsmen were hopeful that there would be more opportunities once the Dafen opening pair were taken off.  This was indeed to be the case, as upon their departure both Jonty and Josh began to increase the run rate.  Josh was finally out for a well made 43 which brought Jon Wilks to the crease who immediately took up the baton of keeping the run rate up, as he despatched the ball to all parts of the ground.  Jon was assisted by Jonty Webb who also began to find the boundaries as well.  In the end Cowbridge were able to post a respectable score of 175 off their 50 overs with Jon finishing on 24 not out and Jonty Webb 67 not out.

This had been a hot and tiring time for both batsmen and bowlers alike and Cowbridge knew that they would have to field and bowl well to stand any chance of victory.  With the sun still shining, the Dafen openers set about the task of overhauling the Cowbridge total with considerable gusto, despite some good bowling from both Jon Wilks and Sean Rowland.  Dafen had raced to 56 for 0 off 13 overs when some brilliant fielding from Josh Basey resulted in a run out that saw one of the Dafen openers depart for 36.  This brought the Dafen Captain; R. Jones, to the crease who proceeded to then build a sizeable partnership with his partner which dented any optimism Cowbridge may have had resulting from the run out.

Try as they might Cowbridge were unable to get a wicket.  Guy Parker again bowled very well, ably supported by Zac Summer-Hayes and Joe Russell; who bowled particularly well at the end of the innings.  Unfortunately, although the bowling on the whole was good there was always that one bad ball that allowed for any pressure that had been created to be released.  In the end a wicket finally came with Jack Griffiths, who bowled very well, having the Dafen Captain, who was well set, sharply caught in the covers by Guy Parker.  This though was only small crumb of comfort to Cowbridge as Dafen were still able to reach the total of 175 in the 43rd over.

Yet another defeat for Cowbridge 2nd XI but there was still some positives to take from the game.  The application from the likes of Zac Summer-Hayes, Joe Russell and Jack Griffiths, all younger members of the side, was very pleasing to see.  These younger players, along with Sean Rowland, are the future of the Club and the exposure to this level cricket will only stand them in good stead for the future

JW


Saturday 6th July 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

TATA GET REVENGE FOR EARLY SEASON 

Another boiling hot today for Cowbridge to loss the toss and spend a long 50 overs in the field chasing leather against Tata Steel. Again, Collier was the stand out bowling. His left arm spin rarely leaving a good length he has worked hard to find, picking up 2-44. At the other end Merilaht, called to open the bowling with recent unavailability, picking up 3-33.  Tata finishing their 50 overs with an above par 185-6. Again in reply Cowbridge lost early wickets to get the chase off to the worst possible start. Willey 20, and Finucane 19, attempted to mount a middle order recovery, before wickets at crucial times meant Cowbridge slumped to 104 all over out in just 34 overs.

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

TATA STEEL PROVE TOO TOUGH AN OPPONENT FOR COWBRIDGE 2ND XI

Summer has seemingly finally arrived with last Saturday a beautiful day with the only cloud in the sky being those created by the steel works ofPort Talbot where Cowbridge 2nd XI travelled to face Tata Steel.

The Cowbridge bowlers breathed an immediate sigh of relief as Jonty Webb won the toss and elected to bat on a fantastic looking pitch.   Unfortunately, John Brazier was run out early to a direct hit which brought the Captain to the crease.  Both he and Tim Moss then proceeded to put together a good partnership; with Tim batting particularly well punishing any bad deliveries with ease.  Jonty was then out with the score on 40, which signalled a flurry of wickets, but thankfully Tim held firm at the other end.   In the end Tim was out for an excellent 53 with Cowbridge still struggling at 87 for 7.  However, at this point some stubborn resistance was provided by two stalwarts of the Club; Guy Parker and Colin White.  Guy, in Wales on his summer migration from Bahrain, plus senior Pro Colin blunted the Tata Steel attack allowing for the score to rise slowly but surely.  Through a mixture of inventiveness and good shot selection, Colin and Guy managed to take the score to over 130 when both Guy (15) and Colin (23) were out with Cowbridge being finally dismissed for 135.

Cowbridge knew that it would be difficult to protect such a low total on a very good pitch with a fast outfield and therefore they would have to field and bowl particularly well to stand any chance of victory.   The Cowbridge bowlers started well with Tom Scott-Combes picking up the Tata Steel opener caught behind with then Zac Summer-Hayes picking up two wickets in an over to two quite terrific catches by Colin White in the gully.  This left Tata Steel 30 for 3 off 10 overs and under some pressure.  However, Rhys Owen and Jack Donovan then proceeded to dig in and build a sizeable partnership.  Try as they could the Cowbridge bowlers could not remove the pair despite some excellent tight bowling from the likes of Guy Parker and Ian Evans.

The score slowly crept up with Cowbridge attempting to apply pressure on the batsmen but with so few runs to play with this proved very difficult to do.  In the end the Captain threw the ball to Cai Owen, who then proceeded to take two wickets in an over, but this proved too little too late, as Tata Steel reached the total with only the loss of 5 wickets.

Another defeat for Cowbridge 2nd XI but it was pleasing that throughout the day none of the heads of the Cowbridge players dropped and the atmosphere amongst the side was excellent.  As we reach the half way point of the season Cowbridge should try and consign the first half of the season to the past and look towards the future and better times ahead.

JW


Saturday 29th June 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

A century Skipper, Tom Merilalht, and miserly bowling by slow left armer, Hari Colllier, led Cowbridge Cricket Club’s 1st XI to the halfway point of their league season with a resounding 106 run victory over Clydach. The 27 point haul puts the 1st XI in sixth place out of ten in the South Wales Cricket Association Division One. 

The victory was secured largely through Merilaht scoring a fine 100 out of a total of 196 all out. There are those who do not always agree with Merilaht’s preference for batting first but no one would suggest that he got it wrong on Saturday. On a typical Clydach featherbed of a pitch, very slow but with some bounce forcing the score was always going to be difficult. Nevertheless Merilaht and Sam Wood stated brightly with 25 coming off the first five overs. However the Clydach bowlers found some accuracy and the rate fell as the Cowbridge openers took the next ten overs to add ten runs. At 85 Wood tried to force one straight only to be caught and bowled for a well made 43.   None of the remaining Cowbridge batsmen were to make double figures, Andrew Finucane however deserving an accolade for sacrificing himself , run out, rather than let the Captain depart. As wickets fell in succession at the other end Merilaht continued to prosper. Playing within the bounds that the pitch, bowling and his style allowed he gave a master class in accumulation as he reached his hundred in the last of the allotted 50 overs. 

The feeling at tea was that a decent score had been posted. However Clydach are recognised as a good batting side led by the renowned Jason Davies. However with 12 on the board Davies played across a straight one from Phil Harris to fal LBW for 8. If  Cowbridge were happy with that they  were delirious with the next delivery as the Clydach No 3 caught the edge and Sam Wood took the catch. The score soon became 18-3 with a sharp stumping from Wood off Hari Collier. Another caught behind off Harris at 28 effectively ended Clydach’s hopes of victory as by now they had taken 17 overs. That they were so far behind the rate was due to the way Clydach were totally mesmerised by Collier. By the time he had finished his allotted spell his figures were 15 overs, 12 maidens, 9 runs and 3 wickets. It was a quite extraordinary return and reminded supporters of the influence that another Cowbridge spinner, Peter Hardwick used to exert.  

With at least a winning draw secure there was now the chance of an outright win. A wicket for Merilaht and two for another young slow left armer, Matt Keating took Cowbridge to the cusp of victory which was achieved when the recalled Phil Harris had the last Clydach batsman caught by Wood behind the stumps. Harris ended with a most creditable return of 4-30, his early wickets having played a significant part.

JB


SECOND XI's REPORT

2ND XI’S FIRST VICTORY OF THE SEASON STILL PROVES ELUSIVE

After a two week hiatus due to inclement weather, Cowbridge 2nd XI were pleased that the weather was fine and sunny for last Saturday’s game against Clydach.  What was also pleasing was the fact that Cowbridge were able to field a full strength side after previous weeks when only a depleted one could be picked.

Upon Cowbridge winning the toss, the Captain decided to bat first.  This decision initially seemed to be ill advised as an early wicket went down with the score only on 9.  However, a good partnership was then put together between Tim Moss and Sean Rowland which saw the score rise to 49 when Tim was out for a well made 25.  This thankfully did not spell a collapse, as in the past, with both Sean Rowland and Tom Scott-Combes batting very well to push the score along.  When Sean was finally out for 27, Tom continued to find the boundary ably supported by the likes of Ian Evans and Cai Owen.  Tom was finally out for an excellent 49; agonisingly close to his maiden half century which would have justly deserved.  After this although the Cowbridge tail withered slightly, despite some lusty blows from both Gareth John and John Gilbert, Cowbridge were still able to post a total of 169 off their 50 overs.

This was a good total but Cowbridge knew that they would have to bowl and field well to stand any chance of victory.  Although an early wicket went down to Gareth John, the Clydach Captain and other opening batsman proceeded to put together an excellent partnership.  Both ran well between the wickets, assisted at times from some indifferent fielding by the Cowbridge team.  Sean Rowland bowled particularly well supported by the consist Ian Evans but try as they might Cowbridge were unable to stem the flow of runs.  In the end, Clydach reached the total for the loss of 3 wickets off 42 overs with the Clydach Captain finishing on 115 not out.

Although this was another defeat for Cowbridge at least this was a far better team performance than previous weeks.  Cowbridge 2nd XI are finding life hard in the First division but the experience the younger members of the side are gaining will hopefully pay dividends for the side, and the Club, in the future.

JW


Saturday 22nd June 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

UNDER STRENGTH COWBRIDGE FALL TO GOWERTON 

A century by Gowerton opener 101 sent Cowbridge to a tumbling defeat at home. After winning the toss again, Cowbridge inserted Gowerton in the cold windy conditions. Harry Collier opened up with a miserly spell of 2-29 off his 15 overs, but unfortunately the rest of the bowlers could not back things up and Gowerton finished with 200-5. Crucial dropped catches had hurt Cowbridge badly. In reply, only Sam Wood with 31, showed any resistance as the familiar Cowbridge collapse led them to 105 all out and a heavy loss.

TM


Saturday 15th June 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

DISMAL DAY AT CARMARTHEN

Cowbridge travelled away to Carmarthen at the weekend on a wet dismal day and put in a dismal performance.  

With the start delayed due to rain and the match reduced to 45 overs, Cowbridge won the toss and decided to bowl. Harry Collier (1-41) bowled a very controlled spell with a wet ball due to the constant drizzle, and Matt Keating an economical spell when the late hitters were in.  

Stand out performer with the ball though was Chris Willey with 5-34, some excellent away cutters combined with some good catching from Andrew Finucane and Alex Kurobasa. Carmarthen finished on 165-7 with no batsmen building on early starts.  

Losing two wickets in the opening over was always going to put Cowbridge on the back foot, and with the rest of the batsmen folding like a pack of cards, Cowbridge were rolled over for 75. Only Sam Wood continuing his recent good form was last man out for 45. No other batter managed double figures.  This leaves Cowbridge 6th in the league.

TM


NO SECOND XI's REPORT - MATCH CANCELLED


Saturday 8th June 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

4 WICKETS VICTORY OVER MAESTEG CELTIC

A wonderfully patient 72 not out from Sam Wood steered Cowbridge’s 1st XI to an excellent 4 wickets victory over Maesteg Celtic. As a result Cowbridge are now 6th in Division 1 of the South Wales Cricket Association. 

Given the excellence of the outfield and a pitch that was one of Tim Williams’ best, whoever batted first would have needed to post well in excess of two hundred to have a chance. As it was Maesteg hardly got out of second gear scoring 137 – 4 off the first 43 overs. A late flourish took thee visitors to 183 –7 off their 50 overs. Credit was due to the contrasting talents of Phil Harris (2-42) and Harri Collier (1—51). Chris Willey and Tom Merilaht each picked up a couple of wickets as the stage was set for the Cowbridge reply. 

A good start was interrupted by the unlucky dismissal of the Cowbridge skipper Merilaht for 24, the ball spinning back onto his stumps. Phil Harris then upped the scoring rate with seven fours out of a rapid 29. However after this positive start, 81-2 off just 15 overs, the fall in quick succession of Jack Harris and Chris Willey caused a wobble. Nevertheless with Sam Wood as solid as a rock aided by Rob Carney the innings was stabilised. Solid progress ensued with a stand of 90 for the fifth wicket. Sadly Carney fell for 25 as the target was in sight and by now victory inevitable. It was left to the patient Sam to stroke the winning runs having reached 72. Following last week’s century it was again evidence of Wood’s ability both in terms of skill and mental approach.

JRB


SECOND XI's REPORT

FIRST VICTORY OF THE SEASON STILL PROVES ELUSIVE FOR COWBRIDGE 2ND XI

Similar to the Government’s frequent reports as to the state of the UK’s economic recovery, the reports of Cowbridge 2nd XI’s progress this season have taken on a familiar feel; all doom and gloom with a few crumbs of positively.  And unfortunately, this week’s report of the game against Maesteg Celtic is no exception.

On a beautiful sunny day Captain Jonty Webb won the toss and, conscious of the conditions, decided to bat first.  Despite an early wicket things started brightly for Cowbridge as both John Brazier and Jonty Webb put together a good partnership.  John, who had only that morning made the drive from Southampton having just returned from holiday, found the boundary on regular occasions assisted by some good stroke play from the Captain.  As a result Cowbridge were able push the score along and were in a good position at 75 for 1 at the half way stage.  However, it was at this point that John went for a well made 40 with Jonty going soon after following a lapse in concentration.  This was to signal a collapse of startling proportions with Cowbridge being bowled out for a paltry total of 115.  Although, the Maesteg bowlers bowled well many of the Cowbridge were culpable with some very injudicious shot selection.  50 overs is a long time to bat and the Cowbridge batsmen need to put more emphasis into preserving their wicket rather than trying to go for the big shot every ball.

115 was going to be a difficult total to defend on a good pitch and a fast outfield and this indeed proved to be the case.  It was pleasing to have back Umar Rafique, absent for the start of the season with injury, who marked his return with an early wicket.  In addition, 15 year old Cai Owen bowled very well picking up a justly deserved wicket along with Zac Summer-Hayes who also bowled well.  However, these were the only positives as Maesteg cruised to the total for the loss of only two wickets off just 23 overs.

This was yet again another disappointing performance by Cowbridge but as Eric Idle once sang, one must always look on the bright side of life and the performances of the younger members of the side bodes well for the future of the Club and this author is certain that Cowbridge 2nd XI’s first victory of the season is just round the corner.

JW


Saturday 1st June 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

HIGH SCORING GAME; BUT ENDS IN DEFEAT FOR COWBRIDGE 

Cowbridge 1st XI ventured to Ynystawe on a hot day with a cooling breeze looking to put aside their recent batting performances and challenge 2nd placed team in the league.  

After losing the toss, Cowbridge were put into bat and it initially that decision looked to have backfired when the openers rattled along to a hundred partnership. When Merilaht was first to depart with a patient 47 and the score at 130, Cowbridge had a strong platform in order to lead a late charge.  

After recent team scores of 66, 74 and 123, this was a strange position to be in. Sam Wood then started hitting the tiring bowlers to all parts with a majestic122, Phil Harris hitting a monster maximum in his quick fire 30, and Chris Willey running hard for a classy 20 not out. Cowbridge finished the innings very confident on 242-5.  

The Ynystawe openers started slowly and patiently waiting for the bad balls, but then slowly gained the confidence they need to chase down the large total. At drinks with Ynystawe 90-0 off 25 over’s, a few wickets could have turned the game the other way, but unfortunately Andrew Bearsley had different thoughts for the home side, and flayed the bowling to every part of the ground with a beautiful 160 not out.  

The small boundaries proved impossible to defend and Ynystawe romped home with 4 over’s left, to leave the Cowbridge side a little shell shocked. This result put Cowbridge down to 7th place in the league.

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

ANOTHER HEAVY DEFEAT FOR COWBRIDGE 2nd XI

Without wishing to sound repetitive but last week’s match was to prove yet another harsh lesson to Cowbridge 2nd XI as to the standard of cricket they will face this season.  Cowbridge played Ynystawe at the Athletic Ground on a glorious sunny day.  Ynystawe batted first and things started brightly for Cowbridge with Rian Thomas removing one of the Ynystawe openers with the score only on 10.  However, from this point on things did not go so well for Cowbridge as Ynystawe piled on the runs and the score rose rapidly.  Nothing the Cowbridge bowlers did could stop the score from rising.  Although there was some good bowling from the likes of Ian Evans, John Gilbert and Gareth John; Ynystawe were able to post an impressive total of 253 for 4 of 40 overs declared.  One positive though was a wicket for Sam Russell, making his debut for the 2nd XI, who performed very well on his debut and is a real prospect for the future.

Considering the previous performances of the Cowbridge batsmen, 253 was a significant total to have to surpass and unfortunately Cowbridge never got close to the target.   Despite some stubborn resistance from Liam Sullivan, welcomed back after an 11 year hiatus from senior cricket, and Rian Thomas; Cowbridge were all out for a disappointing 83.

Life in the First Division of the South Wales Cricket Association is proving tough for Cowbridge 2nd XI but it is hoped that things will improve as the season progresses and the experience the younger members of the side are gaining will only stand them in good stead for the future.

JW


Saturday 25th May 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

COWBRIDGE 1st XI GO FLAT AGAINST NEATH

Cowbridge Cricket Club’s First XI gave a rather flat account of themselves against the leaders of Division 1, Neath, on Saturday — going down by nine wickets.

The Athletic Ground looked magnificent and the pitch was perfectly true; all the ingredients for the home side to post a big total.

Faced with the most accurate attack in the league, somehow Cowbridge never really got going.

A poor start contributed, losing two early wickets. A recovery stand of 55 between Jack Harris (44) and Chris Willey (18) saw Cowbridge threaten to get going, only for the latter batsmen to fail to get to grips with the task in hand.

The loss of wickets on a regular basis meant that Rob Carney (17 no) had to be somewhat circumspect in his approach as Cowbridge were finally dismissed for 124. The main menace to the batsmen was Neath’s Glamorgan Academy player Keiron Ball, who took 5-30.

Set this modest target, Neath took their time scoring 51-I off 25 overs, the wicket, a fine catch by Harri Collier off Phil Harris. However, with wickets in hand, the result was never really in doubt as the Neath’s batsmen saw the visitors safety home.

JRB


SECOND XI's REPORT

COWBRIDGE 2nd XI OUTCLASSED BY NEATH

It has been a disappointing start to the season for Cowbridge 2nd XI.  The introduction to 1st Division cricket has been an eye opener to Cowbridge and last week against Neath was to prove the clearest example of the standard of cricket that they will face this season.

On another lovely day Cowbridge travelled to the Gnoll in Neath whereupon Captain Jonty Webb lost the toss and Neath decided to bat.  Thankfully this week Cowbridge had been able to get a full complement of players out onto the field and the attack was being led by the talented youngsters Zac Summer-Hayes and Rian Thomas.   Rian struck early to remove one of the openers and then further to wicket was to fall after a terrific piece of fielding by Cai Owen; who threw down the stumps to run out the other Neath opener.   Unfortunately, things then started to go South for Cowbridge as a sizeable partnership was put together between the Neath number 3 and their Captain. 

With a quick outfield and a good pitch, coupled with some indifferent catching by the Cowbridge fielders, the Neath batsmen began to push the score along.   Despite this, on the whole, the bowling was good with fine performances from the likes of Rian Thomas (3 for 49), James Middleton, Cai Owen and Zac Summer-Hayes; all relatively inexperienced to this standard of cricket.  As ever a modicum of control was brought by the bowling of Ian Evans who finished with figures of 3 for 57 of his 15 overs.   However, Neath managed to post a formidable total of 245 of their 50 overs.

Cowbridge knew that is was going to be a challenge to overhaul a total of 245 and in all honesty Cowbridge never looked like reaching this total.  The Neath opening attack was consistent in their lines and lengths, bowling at a good pace backed up by sharp fielding.  Wickets went at regular intervals with both openers going cheaply with only Ian Evans and Cai Owen providing any resistance.  In the end though Cowbridge were bundled out for only 52.

This was a very one sided encounter with Neath far more superior in every department.  However, there were some positives to come out of the game.  The bowling from the likes of Rian Thomas, Cai Owen, James Middleton and Zac Summer-Hayes, all under the age of 16, was very promising. At no point did they let their heads drop and they stuck to their task admirably.  These players are the future of the Club and coming up against a side such as Neath will have only highlighted to them the standard of cricket that they will face this season.  It is hoped that these players will continue to improve and put in further good performances throughout the season.

JW


Saturday 18th May 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

Ist XI BATTING FRAILTIES EXPOSED 

A disappointing display by an under strength Cowbridge first team meant that they lost their top of the table status away at Llangennech.  

Losing the toss on a very wet and slow wicket after some Friday night hail storms immediately put Cowbridge on the back foot. This played perfectly into the hands of the Llangennech medium pacers, with batsmen guilty of playing too early and gifting simple catches to the close in fielders. Sam Wood dug in initially with a patient 12, but only Harry Collier with some lusty blows for his 18, and Chris Cox with his lofted late drives pushing Cowbridge to a disappointing 75.  

This was always going to be difficult to defend but again Harry Collier bowled beautifully picking up 4-30, which should have been more but for a number of simple dropped catches. A debut first team wicket for 14 year old Matthew Keating with his spinning ‘chinamen’ was about the only other positive as Llangennech hit the winnings runs 5 wickets down.  

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

FURTHER DEFEAT FOR 2nd XI DESPITE SPIRITED PERFORMANCE

The theme so far this season has been a lack of players through injury, work and studying for A Levels and GCSEs and this was to continue last Saturday when Cowbridge played Llangennech at the Athletic Ground.   Despite considerable efforts having been made to find an XI, unfortunately Cowbridge were to start the game with only 7 players.   With the sun shining, and the ground looking terrific, Captain Jonty Webb made the decision to bat first.  The innings started brightly with Jonty Webb and John Brazier putting on over 20 for the first wicket.  Unluckily John was then out to an excellent catch by the Llangennech Captain which brought David Webb to the crease.  Webb Senior and Junior proceeded to put together a partnership with David Webb blunting the Llangennech attack with good defence and sound judgment.   Unfortunately, David was out with the score on 54 which signalled a flurry of wickets, which with Cowbridge only having 7 players was a bit of a concern.

Fortuitously Jon Wilks, who readers will know is Cowbridge’s Town Crier, turned up at the ground with his son to use the nets having recently returned from the USA.  On sighting Jon, a message was relayed from the middle to see whether he could play and with that Jon donned a pair of whites and Cowbridge went from 7 players to 8 which was of great assistance.

Whilst this was going on Jonty Webb was joined by Gareth John (11), and then by Andy Brace (20), with both contributing to further partnerships with Jonty.  However, the fact that Cowbridge only had 8 players was to prove a considerable hindrance with the 7th and final wicket of Jon Wilks going down with the score on 151 off 40 overs leaving Jonty Webb with 84 not out.

151, with only 8 players, was a total beyond the expectations of Cowbridge to have set Llangennech but Cowbridge were acutely aware that it would not be easy to defend such a target with only 8 players.  And this was to prove the case.  Despite an early wicket for Jon Wilks, who bowled with excellent control throughout, and 3 good wickets for Andy Brace there were simply too many holes in the field to stop the score rising rapidly.  The consequence being that Llangennech were to reach the total of 151 off 29 overs with the loss of 5 wickets.

This was a disappointing result for Cowbridge but it has to be looked at in light of the fact that Cowbridge had only 8 players.  It was always going to be a difficult task for Cowbridge and yet they gave Llangennech a good game and did not give up throughout the match.  Hopefully in the weeks to come Cowbridge will be able to field a full complement of players and chalk up their first victory of the season.

JW


Saturday 11th May 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

COWBRIDGE WIN CLIFFHANGER AT THE FRED DUNN

 Cowbridge entertained Dafen for their first home game of the season and what a cracker it proved to be. Cowbridge won the toss and decided to bat on a sunny but windy day. 

Initially this backfired terribly as a spate of ducks reduced the home side to 10-4. Chris Willey (21) and Rob Carney, the latter making his first appearance in over two years, dug in and provided some stability in the middle order and showed all that this pitch was actually a good one. A few lusty blows from the Finucane brothers and Cowbridge eventually stumbled to 67 all out. Carney standing firm at the other end 10 not out, battling a hamstring injury that led to him having a runner for the end of his innings.  

Instead of taking tea, Dafen resumed their innings immediately and what happened over the next 30 overs was extraordinary.  

Step up Phil Harris, bowling his Glenn McGrath like off stump good length deliveries. 15 overs, with an unbelievable 6-20. Not one batsman looked comfortable against him. Whilst Dafen could not lay a bat against Phil, at the other end Harry Collier (2-25 off 15) with his accurate left arm spin provided no let up.  

The turning point of the game was an edge to third man for what should have been a comfortable two, but as the batsman completed the first, the non striking batsman had a bout of sniper like cramp and seized up sending his partner back. Sam Wood, picked up the return and gunned down the middle stump leaving the batsman short. Ironically the batter than had to act as a runner for his team mate who had in theory just run him out.  

At 55-7 the game was still in the balance, runs hard to come by, but wickets equally until Collier tossed one up and Willey at cover took an outstanding diving catch. Another breathtaking catch by Wood (to add to the 4 he already had) and Dafen needed 4 to win with one wicket left.

Willey, also battling a groin niggle completed the dramatic turnaround with a dead straight ball, and the umpire duly raised his finger to send the batsman marching.

Crazy celebrations would follow as victory had definitely been snatched from the jaws of defeat. A few hours later Cowbridge would be sitting on top of the league, with next weeks game away to Llangennoch. 

TM


SECOND XI's REPORT

At Dafen's ground, the 2nd XI could not match the heroics of the 1sts. Falling for 64 against an accurate pace attack the innings was well anchored by Matt Keating with 29, Sadr with 11 being the next highest.

Keeting took a wicket as did debutant, young Elis Bird, who became the fifth generation of his family to play senior cricket for the club.

JB


Saturday 4th May 2013


FIRST XI's REPORT

Tata Steel welcomed the newly promoted Cowbridge on a sunny, but very windy, first day of the season.

 The toss was won by the Cowbridge captain who elected to bat and it proved to be a very wise decision. Captain Merilaht batted through the whole innings playing some excellent shots all around the wicket to score 102 not out. He was ably supported by new signing, Cardiff UCCE product Phil Harris who smashed 68 off 53 balls, the returning Jack Harris (28) and the usual cameo provided by Andrew Finucane (17). Cowbridge posted a huge total of 257-6 which was always going to be a tough challenge for Tata to chase down.

 Cowbridge got off to a great start reducing the home side to 67-5. Phil Harris was bowling with precision from one end and picked up 2 for 27 off his 15 overs but there was another debutant bowling from the other end, who also caught the eye. Zimbabwean Joe Hodges playing his first game in 12 years was a constant threat to the Tata batsmen beating the outside edge on a number of occasions and was rewarded with figures of 3 for 45 off 15 overs. The opening bowlers of Cowbridge had left Tata in a position where winning was not an option and they decided to try and bat out the remaining overs for a draw. Merilaht picked up two wickets for 30 and the probing away swingers of Chris Willey took another Tata wicket. Despite encouragement from youngster Sadr and a good catch from Keating, Tata managed to finish on 163-8 leaving Cowbridge with a winning draw.

 This was a great start to the season for Cowbridge and hopefully this performance will be built upon in their forthcoming fixtures.

CW


SECOND XI's REPORT

FIRST DAY DISAPPOINTMENT FOR 2nd XI

The 2013 cricket season is now upon us and Cowbridge 2nd XI started their campaign against Tata Steel at the Athletic ground last Saturday.   With it being early in the season selection had been an issue, with a number of absentees through injury and prior commitments, but an XI was finally found. On a lovely sunny afternoon with the ground looking terrific, a testament to the hard work of groundsman Tim Williams, Captain Jonty Webb lost the toss and was invited to bat first.  The innings did not get off to the best of starts with John Brazier going early but a certain degree of stability was then maintained as a partnership developed between Jonty Webb and Sean Rowland.

Unfortunately, Sean was out for an enterprising 24 with the score on 53 off 15 overs.   This brought Ian Evans to the crease, and along with Jonty Webb, a further partnership was built.   The innings was progressing nicely, with both Ian and Jonty keeping the scoreboard ticking, however; with the score on 100 the Captain went having scored 41.  This signalled a rather catastrophic collapse with the final 7 wickets falling for 20 runs with the only resistance coming from Ian Evans, David Webb and Alex Scott Coombes.  From having been 100 for 3, to be then bowled out for 120 was a very disappointing way to end up.   Cowbridge knew that they would have to bowl well to stand any chance of victory.

The Cowbridge opening bowlers; Gareth John and Sean Rowland started well, with Sean in particular getting the ball to swing and bowling a good line and length.   Sean picked up an early wicket but the Tata Steel batsmen continued to find the boundary on regular occasions.  With the score beginning to rise the Captain turned to spin with the introduction of Cai Evans and Ian Evans.  Both bowled very well especially Cai who had not bowled for the 2nd XI before and certainly not in the First Division of the SWCA.   Wickets did fall, with one for Cai and a further three to Sean, but 120 was simply not enough runs.  In the end Tata Steel got the total for the loss of 6 wickets with plenty of overs to spare.

This was a below par performance by Cowbridge to start off the season despite the good showing by both Sean Rowlands and Cai Evans.  Things could have been quite different if the side had scored 30 to 40 runs more and Cowbridge will know that they will have to bat far better in the future if they are to stand any chance of success this season.

JW