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COWBRIDGE CRICKET CLUB


2014 Match Reports

Saturday 30th August 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

FINAL GAME OF THE SEASON

Cowbridge made the long journey west to Llandysul for the last game of the 2014 season. Sitting in 6th position there was not too much to play for, with Landysul needing only 4 points to secure their promotion. Cowbridge won the toss and decided to bat first and try and take advantage of a track that would get slower and lower. This backfired initially when Ben Wright was out early, but Tom Merilaht (45) and Mike Lloyd (29) started to prosper after the initial early loss. They took the score to 56-2 before Lloyd was caught in the covers. As had plagued Cowbridge Cricket Club this season; wickets tended to fall at regularly intervals in succession with no consistent partnerships. A handy partnership between Matthew Keating (11) and Tom Johnson (17*) took Cowbridge to their end score of 164-9 off 50 overs.

Defending a small boundary was always going to be difficult with this score, and even though Phil Harris removed an early opener, Llandysul marched on to 117-2, between Laurie Thomas took her first 1st XI wicket with some tight wicket to wicket bowling. Only Keating with 2-12 posed any other threat and Llandysul knocked off the runs in the 40th over for the loss of 4 wickets. Cowbridge would finish the season in 6th place.

The club would like to pass out a thank you to all those players, officials and spectators that provided support for the season and welcome you back next year.


SECOND XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE 2ND XI'S SEASON ENDS ON WHIMPER


Last Saturday the 2014 season drew to a close with Cowbridge playing host to Llandysul at the Athletic Ground.  Cowbridge had already guaranteed 2nd division cricket for another year and were hopeful of finishing on high.  However, this was not to be the case with Cowbridge losing heavily in a very disappointing game.

Perhaps it was the knowledge that the season was over that was the cause for Cowbridge's poor showing.  Having lost the toss Cowbridge were made to bat first and with only two batsmen making double figures Cowbridge were bundled out for a meagre 63 runs.  Unsurprisingly, this total was simply not competitive and Llandysul romped to victory in a little over 14 overs for the loss of 3 wickets.

This was an unfortunate way to end the season but there have been many positives to come out of the season.  There have been some excellent collective performances over the season from the side and the atmosphere, whether the side has won or lost, has always been excellent.  It has been very pleasing to see such youngsters as Joe Russell, Sean Rowland and Cai Owen all progress throughout the season along with the likes of Sam Russell.  The ever consistent and dependable John Gilbert led the attack assisted ably by Michael Hordley, Ian Evans and others. There were runs from the Captain along with Ian Evans and Sean Rowland, who scored his maiden hundred for the Club, plus contributions from Darren Van Der Vyver, who was a welcome addition to the side.

Thanks must be extended to all those who have supported the side as well as to Jeff Davies who scored for the team and to David Webb and Ian Evans who have assisted the Captain greatly throughout the season.  Hopefully 2015 will bring further success for the side and provide more opportunity for the talented youngsters within the club to gain further experience of playing senior cricket.

JW


Sunday 24th August 2014

T20 FINALS DAY


On Wednesday evenings during the cricket season a Cowbridge First XI has taken part in the Cardiff and the Vale T20 League and  the Cup Competition.

On Sunday 24th August it was Finals Day of the T20 Cup and a Cowbridge XI had earned the right to appear.

In the semi-final they defeated Penarth. The scores were Penarth 155 for 7 and Cowbridge 156 for 7 (Chris Anderson 47).

In the Final they faced Cardiff but unfortunately could not repeat the previous success. The final scores were: Cardiff 138 for 4 and Cowbridge 124 for 7 (Phil Harris 58).

DL


Saturday 23rd August 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

LAST HOME GAME ENDS IN ANTICLIMAX


Cowbridge Cricket Club welcomed Bronwydd to The Athletic Field on Saturday, and instead of a vital outright win that was hoped for, yet another “winning draw” was the end result.

In one afternoon this game encapsulated Cowbridge First XI’s whole stuttering performance this season. It showed clearly the main reasons why promotion has eluded them in 2014.

Failure to make use of all the allocated overs; reliance on the first five batsmen to score most of the runs; inability to finish off opponents when in a winning position. These three major factors have contributed to the First XI finding itself just out of the promotion places.

The story of Saturday’s game is a simple one.

Tom Merilaht won the toss, decided to bat and Cowbridge scored 181 in 47 of the allocation of 50 overs. The result was that the opposition had 53 overs in which to score the runs for victory.

The home side’s total owed much to the efforts of Phil Harris (43) and Chris Willey (31). However, it owed more to the batting of Tom Merilaht. He batted for most of those 47 overs, anchoring his side to a reasonable total.

His was the ninth wicket to fall, bowled in the 45th. over for an invaluable 72 runs. Another two overs and the innings was all over for 181 runs.

The Bronwydd innings began slowly and carefully as they attempted to build a decent reply.

However, wickets fell regularly and quite soon half the side was back in the pavilion with just 86 runs scored after 34 overs. Phil Harris (3for 33 in 15 overs) and Ben Wright (3 for 35 in 15 overs) kept their progress in check.

The top three batsmen contributed most to the total, and after they were dismissed their efforts just fizzled out as they settled for a draw despite the extra overs that were available.

When Phil and Ben had completed their overs Cowbridge tried hard to capture the remaining wickets they needed for the win, but their failure to do so meant that the Bronwydd innings ended on 164 for eight after 53 overs.

Not a game that will live long in the memory, although it was a memorable day for the simple fact that the Cowbridge First XI included a female for the first time in a league fixture.

Laurie Thomas was the groundbreaking young lady. Laurie remained not out at the end of the Cowbridge innings and certainly did not let the side down in the field.

DL


SECOND XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE 2ND XI MISSES OUT ON A WELL DESERVED VICTORY


On the bank holiday weekend Cowbridge travelled to rural Carmarthenshire to play Bronwydd at what is most probably the most picturesque ground in the League.  Having won the toss Cowbridge decided to bowl first.  The Bronwydd openers got off to steady start despite some good bowling from John Gilbert and Ed Hardy.  It was not until the score was on 77 did Cowbridge get the first wicket which came about through some terrific fielding from Darren Van Der Vyver who threw down the stumps at the non strikers end after confusion between the batsmen.

After this the score steadily rose but with the introduction of Michael Hordley to the attack wickets began to tumble.  Michael bowled particularly well; varying his pace which resulted in him finishing with excellent figures of 4 for 40 off 14 overs.  In the end Bronwydd finished on a good score of 198 off their 50 overs.

Such a score was not insurmountable and things started well for Cowbridge until Chris Ross was out with the score on 28.  This wicket was quickly followed by another to leave Cowbridge on 45 for 2 off 17 overs with the total of 198 some way off.  However, at this point an excellent partnership was put together between Jonty Webb and Darren Van Der Vyver.  Both found the boundary on regular occasions, and added to this good running between the wickets, meant that the score began to rise.  In the end Darren was out for a well made 47 which brought Michael Hordley to the wicket.   He took up the baton from Darren and formed a further partnership with Jonty Webb as the score continued to rise.  Unfortunately, Jonty was out for 65 with the score on 170 closely followed by Michael to leave Cowbridge in a precarious position of being 170 for 6.

Cowbridge were therefore in a quandary; go for the win and risk losing or settle for a draw.  In the end the Cowbridge batsmen were simply unable to chase down the target finishing on 184 for 7 off the 50 overs.

This was an excellent game of cricket with Cowbridge disappointingly close to achieving what would have been deserved victory.   Hopefully, with it being the last game of the season next Saturday, Cowbridge can achieve victory to end the season on a high.

JW



Saturday 16th August 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

HOPES OF PROMOTION FADE


Cowbridge First XI travelled to Swansea on Saturday to play Swansea Civil Service without any real advancement in their promotion hopes.

The Swansea club play on a cricket field belonging to Bishop Gore School in Sketty. This is just across the road from Singleton Hospital whose facilities were not required on Saturday, although one of the opposition batsmen had to leave the field injured, suffering a torn calf muscle while attempting a quick single.

Swansea Civil Service won the toss and chose to bat and in their 50 overs scored 213 runs for 6 wickets. Stephen Porter (84) contributed most to the total.

Phil Harris and Mathew Keating were the only wicket takers for Cowbridge. Phil’s figures were 3 for 62 in 15 overs, and Mathew’s were 3 for 71 in 14 overs Tom Merilaht 0 for 31 in 10 overs and Chris Willey 0 for 38 in 11 overs were the only others used.

In reply, the Cowbridge batsmen could not maintain any momentum at all in their innings and could never exert any real pressure on the home side’s bowlers. Consequently, they managed only 138 runs in their 50 overs.

Once the top three had departed for a total of 41, Merilaht (23), Lloyd (9) and Harris (19), the only real resistance was shown by Gethin Davies (13) and Chris Willey (47).

Chris tried to marshal the other batsmen to try to make inroads into the total, but they eventually fell considerably short by 76 runs.

Having gained very few points from this match in Swansea and with just two games remaining, it looks as if Cowbridge First XI’s hopes for promotion back to Division One are in desperate need of those nurses in the Resuscitation Department of Singleton Park Hospital.

DL


SECOND XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE 2ND XI SO CLOSE TO VICTORY AGAINST SWANSEA


Buoyed by the previous week’s impressive victory against Porthcawl, Cowbridge 2nd XI were hopeful of a further good performance against Swansea Civil Service who travelled to the Athletic Ground last Saturday.

The Swansea Captain won the toss and elected to bat first.  The Swansea openers made a steady but cautious start to the innings as both John Gilbert and Sean Rowlands bowled particularly well with the new ball.  Runs were hard to come by and Swansea had only reached 44 off 24 overs when the first wicket fell to the ever consistent John Gilbert.  Following this the pressure was maintained on the Swansea batsmen as all the bowlers continued to bowl well not erring in line or length.  Wickets fell at regular intervals with all the bowlers chipping in, with particular mention going to John Gilbert who finished with 2 for 16 off his 15 overs plus Sean Rowland (3 for 46) and Mike Hordley (3 for 16), which all told meant that Swansea were bowled out for 163.

This was a good performance in the field against a side riding high second in the table.  Cowbridge were aware that such a total was not insurmountable but that they would have to start well when it came to their innings.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as Cowbridge slumped to 4 for 2 meaning that a period of stabilisation was required.  This was provided by Sean Rowland and Jonty Webb who proceeded to put on a good partnership of over 50 before Jonty was out LBW with 18 overs gone.  After this the only reason that Cowbridge got anywhere near the Swansea total was down to one person; Sean Rowland.  Sean batted superbly.  With support from the likes of Ian Evans, Sean proceeded to hit the Swansea bowling to all parts.  Unfortunately, whilst Sean was batting so well, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.  Cowbridge were inching nearer the target but the wickets column continued to rise.  Sean reached a fantastic and maiden hundred which was justly deserved but the situation was still precarious for the team as Cowbridge reached 156 for 9; only seven runs short of the target.  Regrettably, the final wicket went down with Cowbridge agonisingly close to victory with Sean finishing 107 not out.

It was bitterly disappointing to have not secured what would have been a justly deserved victory.  Although the batting performance, Sean’s innings apart, was poor the bowling and fielding was of a high standard.


JW


Saturday 9th August 2014


FIRST XI REPORT

SUPERB BATTING FAILS TO PRODUCE MUCH NEEDED VICTORY


Cowbridge First XI failed to finish off the opposition on Saturday and in so doing only earned yet another “winning draw”. This latest failure plus a catalogue of dropped catches in previous matches during the season could well cost them promotion.

Porthcawl First XI provided the opposition and quite a lengthy shower at the start meant that the match was reduced to 46 overs a side.

Tom Merilaht won the toss, decided to bat and Cowbridge proceeded to a healthy score of 283 for 3 declared in 45 overs.

Tom and Mike Lloyd opened the batting and gave the side the usual sound start of 76 runs for the first wicket. Mike (26) was first out in the fifteenth over and this brought Ben Wright to the crease.

In the next 28 overs Tom and Ben put together a record-breaking partnership for the second wicket. They put on 187 runs together which broke the previous club record of 183 that was set in 1993-94.

Eventually, Ben was bowled for 100 (17 fours and 1 six) in the 42nd over.

Cowbridge declared in the 45th over and at that point Tom was 113 not out (11 fours and 1 six).

After tea the darkening sky looked threatening but produced only a few spots of rain. Both sides reflected the mood of the weather. Both threatened but never fulfilled.

Porthcawl made a token gesture of attempting to attack such a huge total, but never got near. Only one batsman, Rob Jones (54) carried any threat as they crawled to 150 for 6 in 46 overs.

Cowbridge threatened to win the match but failed, as they could not capture the remaining wickets.

The afternoon eventually drew to a yawning and frustrating close with only the dark clouds threatening any kind of result.

So another “winning draw” for Cowbridge, but in the gloom the delightful batting of Tom Merilaht and Ben Wright will live long in the memory.

DL


Saturday 2nd August 2014


FIRST XI REPORT

FIRST XI TRAVEL TO BRITON FERRY

On a much cooler day at the beginning of August, Cowbridge First Xl travelled west to play Briton Ferry Steel.

The home side won the toss, decided to bat and scored 294 for 7 wickets in 50 overs.

In reply, Cowbridge managed 229.

The small size of the ground accounts for the rather large number of runs scored.

Phil Harris was the star for Cowbridge, not with the ball, but with the bat. He scored 126 runs in the 27 overs he was at the crease

This was a stunning performance as he hit 6 fours and six huge sixes. Unfortunately, none of his team mates could stay with him for any length of time,to form a meaningful partnership to threaten the total set by the home side.

He was eventually dismissed in the 35th over with the score on 208 for 4 and the run chase effectively ended there, Cowbridge falling short by 65 runs.

In the home side’s innings, Tom Merilaht was the most successful bowler with 4 for 63.

DL


SECOND XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE 2ND XI TOPPLE TABLE TOPPING BRITON FERRY


Last week Cowbridge entertained Briton Ferry Steel at the Athletic Ground with the pitch slightly soggy from heavy overnight rain.  Briton Ferry Steel are third in the table and therefore Cowbridge knew that they would have to play very well to stand any chance of victory.  The Cowbridge Captain, Jonty Webb, called correctly at the toss and decided to bat first; an unusual decision baring in mind the Captain’s preference to field first.  Things started brightly for Cowbridge with both the Cowbridge openers; Jonty Webb and Chris Ross, putting on over 50 before Chris was caught in the gully.  This brought to the crease debutant Rene Regis who immediately showed what an excellent batsmen he is.  He along with Jonty Webb kept the scoreboard ticking until Jonty was out for 38.  This signalled a typical Cowbridge collapse with only Rene standing firm.  In the end Rene was out for an excellent 48 which included an enormous six that cleared the hedge at the Bear Field end of the ground.  No else made a score of any substance and Cowbridge finished on a disappointing 141 off their 50 overs.

Cowbridge knew this was under par and they realised that they would have to bowl and field particularly well to stand any chance of victory; and this they promptly did.  Both Sean Rowland ( 4 for 21) and Rene Regis (1 for 30) immediately put the Briton Ferry Steel batsmen under pressure and wickets began to fall.  With the score on 71 for 5 the skipper turned to senior pros Guy Parker and Ian Evans who continued to apply the pressure with the result that Briton Ferry Steel finally buckled and collapsed to 97 all out.

This was an excellent victory against a side riding high third in the table.  It was particularly pleasing to see how the side kept the pressure up on Briton Ferry Steel and did not lose concentration.  The atmosphere in the side was as ever terrific and hopefully this winning mentality can be maintained as the season regrettably draws to a conclusion.

JW


Saturday 26th July 2014


FIRST XI REPORT

CATCHES WIN MATCHES


On a baking hot afternoon Cowbridge First XI welcomed Llanelli Cricket Club to the Athletic Field. The weather and the teams combined to produce an exciting contest with the home side gaining a “winning draw” in a match that swung one way and then the other.

Cowbridge won the toss, decided to bat and proceeded to score 214 for 9 wickets. In reply, Llanelli reached 190 for 9 in their 50 overs thereby preventing Cowbridge from claiming an outright victory.

Chris Willey (86) dominated the home side’s innings. This was by far his best, and most crucial, innings of the season. He was ably supported by Alex Kurobassa (33). Chris came to the crease in the 11th over when the score was 49 for 2 and was eventually caught when the score was 180.

The partnership with Alex was so vital in the context of the match, coming at a time when the team was in danger of failing to use all 50 overs, a sin that they have been guilty of previously this season.

Lewis Jones (4-46) was the pick of the Llanelli bowlers. Llanelli First XI’s innings was a mirror image of that the home side.

From the loss of a number of early wickets (53-4) another vital partnership took the score to 157 in the 36th over, at which point they must have thought that an away victory was within sight, thanks mainly to Sam Weeds(77).

In an increasingly tense atmosphere Phil Harris, returning for his second spell, brought to an end Llanelli’s optimism and almost claimed the victory for Cowbridge.

He captured a couple of quick wickets to stop their progress and ended the day with figures of 6-51 off 15 overs. It was a very fine spell of attacking bowling, matching the exact figures that he recorded earlier in the season in Llangennech.

Will Haines took the other wicket to fall and the others were run out. The 9th wicket fell in the 41st over and the last pair batted out the remaining overs without much difficulty.

It was a very frustrating end for the home side and their supporters when one recalls the dropped catches during the match. So fine performances from Chris Willey and Phil Harris to report; but the old adage of “catches win matches” may return to haunt the Cowbridge First XI at the end of the season.

DL


Saturday 19th July 2014


FIRST XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE COLLAPSE COSTS DEARLY

 

Cowbridge travelled to Maesteg Town on an overcast and sticky day. After winning the toss, Tom Merilaht chose to bat, a decision which instantly backfired when Lloyd was caught and bowled in the first over. Phil Harris, 49, came out blazing and swung the momentum back to Cowbridge with some powerful pulls and straight drives. A fine partnership of 80 between Harris and Merilaht was ended when the ball ripped and spun through Harris’ defence. This then signalled a cluster of wickets and an all too familiar CCC collapse, as Merilaht went for 35 and no other batsmen reached double figures. 145 all out in 40 overs; gifted Maesteg an additional 10 overs for their chase.

Collier started well for Cowbridge, with 2 early wickets, but then the Maesteg batters found some fluency in front of a loud partisan crowd cheering on every run. At 109-3, the game seemed all but lost until Harris returned to pick up three wickets in two overs, and Harry Collier held a contender for catch of the season at mid on off Matthew Keating. Maesteg had fallen to 120-8 and Cowbridge sensed an unlikely victory, but unfortunately they could not apply the killer final blow, and Maesteg knocked off the wining runs in the 57th over.

TM


SECOND XI REPORT

MAESTEG TOWN SWEPT ASIDE BY COWBRIDGE 2ND XI

Last Saturday Cowbridge 2nd XI entertained Maesteg Town at the athletic ground on a hot and humid day.  Cowbridge won the toss and with the conditions ideal for swing bowling the Captain had no hesitation in bowling first.  This proved to be a wise decision as from the outset the Cowbridge openers; Sean Rowland and John Gilbert, put the Maesteg batsmen under immense pressure.

With the score only on 5 John Gilbert struck first; which was to be the prelude to a quite superb spell of bowling.  Ably supported by Sea Rowland, who picked two wickets himself, and Ed Hardy; John Gilbert cut a swathe through the Maesteg batsmen.  No batsman was able to cope with his accuracy and swing and wickets tumbled.  In the end John finished with terrific figures of 7 for 32 off 11 overs with Maesteg bundled out for a paltry 62 off just 20 overs.

Cowbridge knew they had plenty of time to get the Maesteg total but were conscious of the forecast for bad weather to come in later in the day.  As a result both the Cowbridge openers; Jonty Webb and Darren Van Der Vyver, set about the run chase in a positive fashion.  Runs came quickly with both batsmen peppering the boundary.  Darren was finally out for a rapid 26, with the score on 44 which brought Sean Rowland to the crease who along with Jonty Webb, 24 not out, saw Cowbridge home in what was a comprehensive victory.

This was an excellent performance by the side with special mention having to go to John Gilbert.  

 JW


Saturday 12th July 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

       FOUL WEATHER IS THE ONLY WINNER


On a day that was certainly not ideal for cricket Cowbridge First XI travelled to Llangennech and endured an extremely frustrating afternoon.

For the record Llangennech First XI was put into bat and in a reduced overs match were bowled out for 130 runs in 25 overs. In reply, Cowbridge had reached 63 for 2 off 24 overs when the game was abandoned.

The match started late owing to intermittent heavy drizzle and was reduced to 39 overs a side, but after a few more delays was reduced to 34 overs a side.

Eventually, there was some continuous play and during the next hour or so Llangennech were bowled out for 130 runs in 25 overs.

Phil Harris and Joe Hodges inflicted the damage with Phil recording his best figures of the season (6 for 51) and Joe (4 for 71) mopping up the remainder.

So if the weather held Cowbridge would have 43 overs to reach the winning target.

This proved to be a forlorn hope.

Constant drizzle and the gathering gloom brought a premature end to the run chase.

Cowbridge ended on 63 for 2 after 24 overs with Tom Merilaht and Chris Willey not out having scored 23 and 34 respectively. In the end the weather had the final say.

DL


SECOND XI REPORT

LLANGENNECH PROVE TOO STRONG FOR COWBRIDGE 2ND XI


Last Saturday Cowbridge 2nd XI entertained Llangennech on a warm and blustery day hopeful that the bad weather that had been forecast would not curtail the game.  Jonty Webb called correctly and invited Llangennech to bat first.  The Cowbridge attack was led by the ever consistent John Gilbert and the talented Rian Thomas; who was first to strike removing the Llangennech opener when the score was only on 22.  This wicket came about through an excellent catch by the Cowbridge wicketkeeper; Darren Van Der Vyver, who was making his debut for Cowbridge 2nd XI, and who was to keep superbly throughout the whole match.


Despite this early wicket, the Llangennech batsmen still were able to find the boundary on regular occasions aided; it must be said, by some uncharacteristically bad ground fielding from the Cowbridge players.  Wickets did still continue to fall though, with Sean Rowland picking up two, along with Rian Thomas taking a further two wickets to finish with 3 for 29 off his 8 overs. However, Llangennech had been able to score at a good rate and by the 45 over they had reached a total of over 200 and at this point they decided to declare; probably mindful of the weather forecast for heavy rain to come in later in the day.


The Cowbridge innings started brightly until Darren Van Der Vyver was unluckily caught down the leg side with the score on 20.  This brought to the crease Rian Thomas who, along with Jonty Webb, put together an excellent partnership of over 50.  With the score on 75 Jonty Webb was bowled but thankfully the baton was taken up by Sean Rowland who continued to form a further good partnership with Rian.  Both batted excellently and it was quite clear from the Llangennoch players that concern was mounting as the score began to rise.  Unfortunately though Sean was out for a well made 30 which then signalled a flurry of wickets with Cowbridge slumping from 150 for 3 to 151 for 7.  When Rian was finally out for an excellent and justly deserved 68 the remaining Cowbridge batsmen fell away with Cowbridge finally all out for 161.


This was a disappointing outcome for Cowbridge who at one point looked set on surmounting the Llangennech total.  However, the performances of both Rian Thomas and Sean Rowlands were excellent along with that of Darren Van Der Vyver; who we extend a warm welcome to.  Hopefully Cowbridge will be victorious next week when they play Maesteg at the Athletic Ground.

JW


Saturday 5th July 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE FALL SHORT IN CHASE FOR RUNS


Last Saturday Gorseinon First XI visited the Athletic Ground and with Cowbridge First XI produced an exciting and enjoyable match of over 400 runs to begin the second half of the cricket season.

The scores at the end of play were Cowbridge 209 for 7 and Gorseinon 222 for 5.

In the absence of Club Captain, Tom Merilaht, Mike Lloyd took over the captaincy, won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. They scored 222 runs for the loss or 5 wickets in their 50 overs.

This was an excellent performance in the light of the fact that one of the opening bats was out lbw in the first over without a run on the board.

The innings was held together by Ashley Pass, who batted for practically the whole innings and ended with 88 runs to his name. This was particularly annoying for the home team as he was dropped when he had scored 50 runs. His remaining runs proved to be crucial to the result.

When Cowbridge began their innings it was very pleasing to see Liam Sullivan walking to the crease to open the batting with Mike Lloyd. Liam last played for the First XI some fifteen years ago and the Club hope that he will not wait so long for his next innings.

It was not a fairytale return for Liam as he departed after scoring 10 runs when the score was 50. Unfortunately, Mike was out soon after in the sixteenth over, when the score had moved forward to 58. He had scored 38 including 7 fours.

This brought together Chris Willey and Mathew Smart, who remained together until the 44th. over. When both openers had left relatively cheaply it was important that they stayed together to rebuild the innings patiently and carefully without taking any risks.

This they did admirably until Chris was out when the score was 171.

He had batted patiently at the start while gradually speeding up as the situation demanded. He was out for a well-made 60 (4 fours and a six).

Chris and Matt enjoyed a partnership of 111 runs, which had brought the side close to the target.

Unfortunately, Matt was brilliantly caught only a few overs later for a patient and careful 63 runs (4 fours and one six).

It was left to Harri Collier, John Hodges and Andy Finucane to carry on the fight but they all fell rather cheaply in the quest for runs. Sean Rowlands (7 no) and Richard Finucane were left to bat out the last over making sure that they lost no more wickets in the chase for runs. It was a courageous and entertaining attempt, but one that fell short.

Both sides must be congratulated for providing such an entertaining game. However, it was disappointing that Cowbridge could not quite reach the target even after a frantic run chase in the last 10 overs.

Reflecting after the game the skipper suggested that “there was plenty to work on in the field, but plenty of batting positives”.

The result of all this was a “losing draw” enabling Cowbridge to remain in the top two of the division.

DL


Saturday 28th June 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE TOP OF THE LEAGUE HALF WAY THROUGH THE SEASON

Llandysul Cricket Club was the opposition for Cowbridge at home on Saturday. A sharp shower at the start delayed the game until 2.45pm, consequently it was a reduced contest of 39 overs per side.

The visitors won the toss and elected to field because of the tricky conditions, so the Cowbridge opening bats prepared themselves. Tom Merilaht and Mike Lloyd put on 68 runs for the first wicket when Tom was bowled for 15 in the thirteenth over, and Mike followed in the next over for 41 (5 fours and one six).

The innings eventually ended on 155 for 7 wickets thanks mainly to Harri Collier (5 fours and one six). Harri held the latter part of the innings together with valuable contributions from Sean Rowlands (9) and Andy Finucane (12).

Llandysul’s innings started well with the first wicket falling when the score had reached 65 in the twentieth over. At this point they appeared untroubled and looked to be on course for a victory.

However, Cowbridge fought back hard after the breakthrough and in the next 14 overs took a further 7 wickets to break the back of the opposition. They held on to finish 108 for eight with Phil Harris (4-24), Harri Collier (2-58) and Tom Merilaht (2-9) doing the damage.

So the game ended as it began with rain beginning to fall and the result was a strangely termed “winning draw” for Cowbridge, keeping them at the top of the table.

The umpires must be commended for remaining on the field for the last few overs as rain fell and all involved wish to thank Ceri for providing fabulous food.

DL


Saturday 21st June 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

Cowbridge made the long journey west to Bronwydd where they continued their impressive start to the season. After losing the toss on a blistering hot day, Cowbridge were invited to bat and lost Mike Lloyd early on. This brought to the crease Phil Harris, who made a majestic 83 with beautiful placement and timing. He and Tom Merilaht contributed a partnership of 97, before Tom left with the score at 101-2. A slight wobble in the middle order led to some outstanding finishing from Jamie Pursey, and a game changing 40 run partnership from Matt Keating, 22*, and Tom Johnson, 15*, taking Cowbridge to 192-7 off their 50 overs, Bronwydd looked a tired team walking off.

Early wickets from both Harris and Merilaht put Bronwydd on the back foot, and Keating, 3-39, and Sean Rowlands, 2-19, worked in tandem to send the Bronwydd middle order back for early showers. The score quickly changed to 55-6 and Cowbridge sensed a victory. However, Bronwydd decided to shut up shop early and after being fed some runs in an attempt to prize out a few wickets, they finished on 137-8.

A great all round team performance, with Jamie Pursey a stand out in the field.


Saturday 14th June 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

A blistering hot day welcomed Swansea Civil Services to the Fred Dunn, where Cowbridge won the toss and decided to bat. This proved to be a good decision as Mike Lloyd came out striking a very clean ball, as Cowbridge raced to 50 from just 8 overs. When Merilaht departed with the score at 71, Lloyd had scored 50 of them. A flurry of wickets meant that Matt Smart, 28, and Phil Harris, 20, had to do a bit of a rebuilding job. Unfortunately the tail end of Cowbridge didn’t offer any resistance and the score plummeted from 130-4 to 147 all out in just 42 overs. Cowbridge are really struggling to bat the allocated overs lately.

It would take another sterling effort by the bowlers and fielders in order to restrict SCS. Matt Smart struck with an early wicket to remove their dangerous opener, but SCS looked solid as they reached 50-1. The game then changed with some smart bits of fielding, a good low catch at mid off from Zac Summer Hays, a run out from the captain, and some good straight bowling from Chris Willey reduced SWC to 64-5. Cowbridge could sense victory but it wouldn’t be easy getting the final 5 wickets. As SCS started to play more conservatively, it took ‘the run out of the season’ by Richard Finucane swooping in one handed from deep square leg with a direct hit to leave the shocked batsmen tantalizingly short of his crease. After a bit of a worrying last wicket partnership of 30, Smart returned to clean up the tail enders stumps to leave Cowbridge victorious by 17 runs. Cowbridge remain top of the table.


Saturday 31st May 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE FLY TO TOP OF TABLE 

Cowbridge entertained Briton Ferry Steel in an early season table topping clash. On a warm but overcast day, Cowbridge choose to bat first and got off to a flier with Mike Lloyd, 39, and Tom Merilaht, 42, putting on a rapid opening partnership of 79. As the BFS bowlers began to fight back, Chris Willey steadied the middle overs for 15 runs, while wickets fell around him. Useful runs by Jamie Pursey and Zac Summer Hayes meant Cowbridge finished up 135 all out from just 44 overs. BFS would require 136 runs in a maximum of 56 overs.

What would follow would be a complete team effort in restricting BFS. Phil Harris, 3-28, swung the early momentum towards Cowbridge with some fine length bowling. Outstanding catches from Lloyd, and a huge swirling take from Gethin Davies meant BFS fell to 50-4. On a slow pitch run scoring was difficult, and game changer Harry Collier used this to his advantage with a miserly 4-37 that meant BFS would struggle to get the runs. However a late 10th wicket stand pushed BFS closer and closer, until Chris Willey returned with the last ball of the 55th over to trap the batsmen dead in front LBW. Cowbridge win by 9 runs and go top of the table. It was an excellent team performance, especially in the field with no run given away, in which the opposition captain commented, ‘It felt like you had 14 out there’.


SECOND XI REPORT


Cowbridge travelled to Briton Ferry Steel for only their second game of the season to be greeted by an understandably wet wicket and cloudy overhead conditions.

The toss was therefore vital, but unfortunately the stand in Captain called incorrectly for the second successive game. The Steel Captain had no hesitation immediately inserting Cowbridge.

In perfect seam bowling conditions on a wet slow wicket the experience Steel attack ripped through the early Cowbridge batting order. An excellent combination of right arm away swing from one end and left arm in swing from the other, supported by excellent fielding reduced Cowbridge to a demoralising 13-5. At that stage 20 looked a long way away.

Worse was to come as Cowbridge lost another wicket to make the score 21-6. This brought the experienced John Gilbert to the wicket to join the stand in Captain Ian Evans. A combination of stout defence and careful slot selection allowed the score to steadily rise until the 50 partnership was reached with the shot of the day – Gilbert hitting the opening bowler back over his head one bounce for 4.

At 71 both Gilbert (16) and Evans (27) were dismissed and Cowbridge were reduced to 75 all out with extras being the only other double figure score.

After a hearty tea Cowbridge took the field knowing that only quick wickets would get them back into the game. Attacking fields were set and all 4 bowlers used took a wicket, but the total was too small to defend with the Steel winning by 6 wickets.

Excellent catches were taken by Richard Owen behind the stumps and a sharp chance at 1st slip by Joe Russell.


Saturday 24th May 2014

Both 1st & 2nd XI matches cancelled due to the weather


Saturday 17th May 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

The hot sunshine finally arrived for the cricket season as Cowbridge entertained Maesteg Town at home. Credit has to be given to the groundsman for producing a hard surface and flowing outfield, after everything had been under water the week before.

Maesteg won the toss and decided to insert Cowbridge but this soon backfired as Mike Lloyd, 69, took a particular liking to the opening bowlers with some clean strikes down the ground. With the score at 82, Merilaht departed for 25 and this brought in a busy Ben Wright. Ben and Chris Willey, 25, continue to run the Maesteg fielders ragged as they tired in the scorching sun. After some lusty blows from Joe Hodges, Ben held up the other end before falling for a very attractive 71.

Cowbridge finished their 50 overs with 222-6, their second consecutive score of over 200.

Early wickets would be key to defending this total, and Joe Hodges (1-19) had the first wicket, brilliantly caught by Alex Kurobasa at extra cover. Willey (1-32) then followed it up with a late swinger that went straight through the defences of the number 3.  

Maesteg slowly started to build a partnership before some more great work in the field by Hodges led to a freak run out, brilliant cleaned up on the second attempt by keeper Michael Lloyd. Matt Keating (1-35) then got the key wicket of the set batsman with a tidy caught and bowled effort. Wright (2-32) then began to strangle the batsmen, and with just 3 overs remaining Merilaht (4-37) returned to mop up the tail.

Maesteg all out for 177, and full quota of 28 points for Cowbridge. Next week Cowbridge travel away to Llanelli full of confidence.


SECOND XI REPORT

After two cancellations, one due to the opposition conceding and one game lost to weather Cowbridge seconds travelled to Maesteg on the 17th of May for their first match of the season. There was not a wisp of cloud in the sky, and the ground bakes in a bowl in the centre of the town, needless to say Maesteg won the toss and elected to bat.

Tom Johnstone and Jon Gilbert opened the bowling both being economical with Tom giving less than three runs  an over and Jon less than two, but Jon also taking three wickets. Tom undoubtedly deserved more than his singleton. Ian Evans then took over supported by some of the younger players who worked hard against some experienced and aggressive batting.  Ian’s figures show once again how invaluable his role is with 8 overs, and 5 wickets for only 15 runs.  The fielding was enthusiastic and committed to the end, good catches were taken and only some difficult low hard balls dropped. The wicket keeping was a notable feature with Richard Owen who was standing in for Jonty Webb having to have his dislocated finger corrected on the field by the club’s playing medic after the second ball, and then going onto make two stumpings.

Jon Brazier and Jamie Pursey started off well with 41 off the first 8 overs.  Jon then took a second run while the ball was pursued at a slow canter by a Maesteg fielder only for it to be returned directly onto the stumps; all credit to the fielder, but it was a most unlucky way to be out.  At the other end Jamie continued to score well and eventually made 43, his return with bat and ball is going to be very welcome. There then followed a fallow period with the score remaining on 65 for the next four wickets.  Fortunately Jo Russell was applying himself well, and when joined by David Webb, who adopted a policy of boring the opposition into frustration, the score not only mounted but the possibility of batting out the required overs  was increased as no further wicket fell for 16 overs  by which time  88 runs were on the board.  Jo continued to apply himself and despite a courageous effort by young Sam Russell it was left to Jo (33 not out) and Jon Gilbert with 15 runs to bring the score up to 126. It was a hard fought match in a good spirit and the ten players who made up the team are to be congratulated.

The absence of younger players due to exam’s, and that of the captain and highest run scorer, due to best man duties meant that Maesteg had opportunities to score which should have been denied to them, and, of course, Cowbridge only had nine wickets to bat with. To come away with both batting and bowling points in such circumstances is quite an achievement.



Saturday 3rd May 2014

FIRST XI REPORT

COWBRIDGE START SEASON FLYING 

Gorseinon hosted Cowbridge for the first game of the 2014 season in Division 2. On a typical early May track, Cowbridge skipper Tom Merilaht elected to bowl after winning the toss.

Gorseinon came out all guns blazing, taking a brace of boundaries off the opening over. The Cowbridge openers regained some control with Lloyd Bishop (1-56) picking up the first wicket with the score at 40. Gorseinon continued to power along until the introduction of Chris Willey (2-45) halted proceedings. A nagging length with a bit of movement made scoring runs difficult, as well as a great run out after the batsman had launched one back at him. Another run out in the last over meant Gorseinon were restricted to 203-6.

Cowbridge came out in force with Mike Lloyd leading the start with 24 before unluckily given out with the score 53-1. This then brought in our returning Glamorgan star, Ben Wright, who made batting look very comfortable, striking a run a ball 69, with 5 monstrous sixes. This allowed Merilaht (94*) to anchor the innings at the other end and when Philip Harris (6*) knocked off the winning runs, Cowbridge had reached their target with the loss of two wickets in just 33 overs.

Next week the club welcome Llangennech at home, with all support welcome.


SECOND XI REPORT

GORSEINON CONCEDED THE MATCH