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Vale of Glamorgan Mid- Week T20 League Report

Hugh Williams

Cowbridge T20 Team Manager

In 2016, the league was split into two sections – East and West - to facilitate travelling, with the top two teams in each section competing to take part in the final league play off. The Cup competition remained as a straight knock out.

Cowbridge was selected to play in the West league which comprised also Llantwit Cavaliers, Fontagary, Barry West End, Wick & District and Barry Athletic with every team playing one home and one away game.

Apart from great enjoyment, the midweek team offered cricketing opportunities for both young and old. A hard core of Owen Ruttley (captain), Rhys Williams, John Welch, Andy Harrison, Chris Anderson, David Kendrick and Rhidian Thomas provided the mainstay of the team. These players were joined by youngsters Joe Russell, Rian Thomas, Quinn Silk, Zac Summerhayes and brothers Tom and Matthew Harper. If all were available for a match, then a selection drawn from the above made a formidable team.

Our first fixture was against the Cavaliers in Llantwit Major, a pitch notorious for its setting sun. Although this did have an effect on us, it was no excuse for a paltry score of 63 all out. Opposing captain, Julian Griffiths, scored 39 runs to steer his team home to a comfortable seven wicket victory.

With Fontagary unable to field a side, we played Penarth next in the first round of the Cup. Batting first, Penarth knocked up a respectable 161 for 8 with Zac Summerhayes proving the best of our bowlers, taking 2 wickets for 5 runs. In reply, only Owen Ruttley (31) and John Welch (13) got into double figures in a total of 83 all out.

Our next home game against Barry West End brought our first victory. Rhidian Thomas (45 not out) and Jack Harris (33) gave the team a fighting chance with the innings closing at 138 for 7. In reply, West End was restricted to 121 for 3, giving us victory by 17 runs with Jack Harris taking a creditable 3 wicket for 24 runs.

The delightful setting of the village green at Wick saw us record our second league victory. Batting first, Cowbridge reached 126 for 6 thanks principally to Zac Summerhayes (27), John Welch (23) and Andy Harrison (19). Tight bowling - particularly from Quinn Silk - restricted the home team to 111 for 5 and a welcome win for Cowbridge.

A home game next against Barry Athletic put paid to our winning streak. John Welch (40) and Matthew Keating (25) scored well to reach a total of 119 for 7. This was never enough, with two Barry players scoring 38 runs each to see the visitors home with time to spare in a total of 121 for 6.

In our return match against the Cavaliers at home, Rhys Williams recorded the best innings of the season, reaching 109 not out in the 14th over. His knock included eight 6s and nine 4s towards a total of 175 for 9, with John Welch supporting well with 39. This formidable score allowed Cowbridge to give all players a bowl with David Kendrick and Andy Harrison taking a brace each in restricting the visitors to a total of 136 for 8.

Our first double success of the season came at home against Wick. Having restricted the visitors to 91 for 6, our opening pair of Matt Keating 30 not out, and Matthew Harper 35 not out, saw Cowbridge home in the 14th over.

Our second double was achieved away against Barry West End. Cowbridge batted first with Rhidian Thomas (35), Tom Harper (35), Andy Harrison (27) and Matt Keating (21) contributing to a total of 176 for 6. Again, all our players were given a bowl with the wickets shared in Barry's total of 101 all out.

With Fontagary again pulling out of their fixture, the last game of the season was back at Barry to play against the Athletic. Batting first, the home side accumulated a formidable total of 161 for 3. Although Matthew Harper (38 not out) and Rhys Williams (19) pushed the score along, victory was never on the cards against the season's best bowling attack and the team finished at 100 for 8.

The final statistics show that we played nine games and won five. To improve on this, we need a better start to the season with all players available from the outset if Cowbridge is to push for T20 honours.

However, when all is said and done, enjoyment is the name of the game and that was evident in abundance against friendly opposition.