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Vale of Glamorgan Mid- Week

 T20 League Report

Hugh Williams

Cowbridge T20 Team Manager

The 2017 season was extremely disappointing for one reason or another with long spells of inactivity, poor weather and cancelled fixtures likely to have contributed to generally poor performances on the pitch.

At the League's AGM, it was decided again to divide the Cardiff and the Vale League into two divisions – East and West. Wick had already withdrawn from the League and Barry Athletic withdrew at the start of the season which left the West League with the following teams – Barry West End, Cowbridge, Llantwit and Fontygary. As a result, only six home and away fixtures were available to teams in the West League.

Cowbridge's T20 team played its first game on 10th May, its second on 31st May and its third on 12th July, providing no continuity to our season.

In spite of these difficulties, some excellent cricket was played. Against Barry West End at home, Cowbridge included a debutant who starred in the match. Batting at number six, Dr

Daniel Thomas played a faultless innings of 45 unbeaten out of a total of 112 for four. He then took two magnificent catches in the outfield that would grace any cricket ground but his valiant efforts failed to stop the opposition from gaining victory in the 18th over for the loss of six wickets.

In the next game, Cowbridge had another hero in the form of opening bat, Andy Harrison. Having been dropped first ball off a difficult catch, Andy carried his bat for a faultless 108 which included ten fours and five sixes out of a total score of 183. Sami Khan in his first season with the club gained two wickets along with young Heath Webb but the hero of the day was again Andy, who polished off the visitors with three wickets in his only over to secure victory by 76 runs.

Having failed to fulfil their home fixture, Fontygary visited Cowbridge in mid July. Good batting by Matt Harper (44), Joe Russell (34) and Rian Thomas (55 not out, included six sixes) took Cowbridge to a total of 142 for three. This proved never enough as the competent visiting batsmen replied with a winning total of 146 for three, secured in the 18th over.

Our next game was away to Llantwit Major and resulted in Cowbridge gaining its only double success of the season. Having scored 12, Owen Ruttley retired early through injury but Joe Russell (58) and Rian Thomas (61 not out) produced a 117 run partnership out of a total of 145 for the loss of one wicket. Despite Llantwit Major captain, Julian Griffiths, hitting 101 not out, our seven bowlers ensured that the home team remained behind the clock and led to victory by eight runs.

The visit to Barry Island saw the Harper brothers, Tom (27 not out) and Matt (24) contribute most of the runs along with Joe Russell (30 not out) in a total of 125 for four. This proved never enough, as the West End batsmen eased past our total for the loss of five wickets.

With all league games completed and no play-off position, the team turned to the Cup competition and a visit to Dinas Powys. 1st XI captain Chris Willey ventured home to lead the side and saw a job well done. Opening the batting, Chris scored 76 runs and, assisted by fellow opener Andy Harrison (22), took Cowbridge to a total of 114 for five.

Despite a fine 44 by Todd-Bennett, the home team always remained behind the scoring rate and ended on 98 for 6. Worthy of note is that Siân Russell took her first T20 wicket in the game.

Another away fixture in the semi-final saw us travel to Cardiff Cricket Club where fine bowling by Andy Harrison, Rian Thomas, John Welch plus Sam and Joe Russell restricted the home team to 118 for two, an achievable total, we all thought. When our top three hard-hitting batsmen, Rian, John and Andy, had all been dismissed with 44 runs on the board, it was left to Chris Anderson (20) to provide some hope of victory. However, it was not to be as the tail did not wag and Cowbridge was all out for 92.

The statistics show that we played seven, won three and lost four in 2017 but I am sure that we will enjoy a better season in 2018 as the talent is there.

It was good to see Huw Mason and Peter Cartwright playing once again belying their age. My thanks go to Huw and to Jon Brazier for helping with umpiring and to Sarah and Siân for keeping an immaculate score book.

T20 Team v Cardiff CC in Cup Semi-Final

T20 Team versus Llantwit Major 19th  July 2017

T20 Team versus Fontagary 12th  July 2017