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COWBRIDGE CRICKET CLUB


2020 Match Reports


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CLUB NEWS


There will be no Annual Dinner this year. This inevitable decision was taken at the weekend as it would have been impossible to run it with two metre social distancing.

Happily we can look forward to the visit of MCC on 21st May and on the following day there will be an old player’s reunion. We shall officially open the Scorers’ Pavilion on that day. An Inter Club 6-A-Side tournament and mega barbeque is planned for the Sunday.

Further improvements will be made to the facilities with the installation of a 15’ set of bi-fold doors in the function room during the autumn.

The Under 13’s brought great honour to the club winning the West Division of the Cardiff and Vale Junior League.

Finally for now it was at Miskin on Sunday morning that our first Ladies fixture since 1910 took place. It was a terrific pleasure to see what fun was being had and it seems that there will be a full fixture list next year.


5th September 2020


THE NARROWEST OF MARGINS!


The 1956 Grand National is remembered as the race where the Queen Mother’s horse, Devon Loch slipped up on the run in when comfortably in the lead. Her Majesty was apparently sufficiently dignified in her response to congratulate the connections of the horse, ESB that had taken advantage of the royal bad luck.

On Saturday Cowbridge’s  cricketers, boosted by a fit Yodhin Punja, gave Newbridge  a beating by 105  runs and having been superior to their hosts in every department it was thought the 1st XI were top of the Pool. A home quarter final appeared to be their reward. However  as every club had finished on three wins out of six Cowbridge’s heroics over the past two weeks they were like the ill fated horse, they could see the victory but at the very moment they were expecting to have it confirmed it was snatched from their grasp.

 Cowbridge’s skipper Chris Willey was informed on Sunday that his men were not going to get to the finish in the lead. A margin of  0.3 of a run was all that they were lacking or looked at anther way an extra five  runs scored or just one wicket retained over the six pool matches would have seen Cowbridge through. The two clubs to go through will be Malpas who beat Cowbridge twice and Penarth who Cowbridge also beat twice.

No complaints, that’s the way things go sometimes.  Nevertheless it was all bitterly disappointing for a side had found itself in the past fortnight.

The match itself was one that will be long remembered as Yodhin’s Match.   With one day international honours for the UAE already behind him he had not been fully fit since joining Cowbridge at the start of last season. Now he was. Whatever had inspired Joe Calzaghe (it was at Newbridge that arguably the greatest of Welsh boxers was trained) was till in the air and it gave Yodhin 33 fluent runs in his unfamiliar position of opener. This was after an unusual occurrence; Ben Wright was dismissed by the first ball of the match so the pressure was on Yodhin but the man who had all the answers.

Yodhin and Chris Willey (29) put on 65 and then Tom Williams (17) and Matt Smart (38) saw Cowbridge to a total that would be competitive on a slow damp pitch and an uncut outfield. A cultured ten from Rhys Davies gave the Cowbridge cognoscenti something to shorten the winter as the one time professional golfer showed the class which had made him an England development squad cricketer in the company of Sir Alastair Cook and a host of others of that ilk. Cowbridge had batted with resolution and care, which was precisely the way to go about things given the conditions.

That Cowbridge would win became obvious as with the last ball of the first over Yodhin bowled with speed and accuracy to take Wellington of the first over with a beautiful yorker. He proceeded to follow this up with four of the next five wickets to fall. There was scarcely a bad ball in what turned out to be a seven overs spell. He finished with figures 5 for 20. The Cowbridge President who has seen more 1st XI cricket than anyone over forty years could not recall a better spell of bowling for the club.

There was praise too for Sam Russell who removed the dangerous skipper Davey and for Tom Williams who followed up his batting with 4 for 11 clearing out the tail.

They will not relish meeting the Dubai Destroyer who will be looking forward to returning to Newbridge in league action next year. Indeed Cowbridge as a team will know that they have nothing to fear in the Premier League.

This year the disruption  caused by Tom Merilaht’s absence this year was a big factor in the batting not working as smoothly as had been the case  when the paring of the old schoolmates Ben and Tom were in their pomp in  the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Cowbridge had hoped to have Justin D’Sousa to bat at three this season. He is another Dubai based student but he had returned there before there was any thought of cricket actually occurring in 2020. The Captain will have to work out his batting strategy for next season as Michael Cowdery and Rian Mohammed will almost certainly be eyeing up spots in the middle order.

With the ball the arrival of Rhys Davies and the full fitness of Yodhin will be a great boost.  As things stand it would appear Brad Evans will not be allowed to play for Cowbridge next season as he is no longer a student. However the bonus of the six games played by Matt Smart and Lewis Sevenoaks was proof that having players from each end of the scale of experience created a terrific team ethos. The policy of at least one of the elite young players’ squad playing with their elders. You cannot buy that.  

Devon Loch’s jockey was none other than thriller writer Dick Francis. He went onto fame and fortune after the tragedy of Aintree.  Cowbridge’s jockey and Captain behaved with the dignity of the Queen Mother on discovering his team had not achieved the success they believed they had. Let it be a pointer to fame and success in 2021.

JRB


29th August 2020


The makeshift competition organised by the South East Wales Cricket League to bring some competitive competition to the season has been a great success in most respects.  Indeed the administrators could not have wished for a better outcome as any one of the four sides can still win the group with one game left.

It has been fun for Cowbridge to play home and away against two  clubs they have not played in many years and to have welcomed Newbridge to the Athletic Ground.  A double  over Penarth, a double defeat by Malpas, and a loss against Newbridge means that the Cowbridge 1st XI need to beat Newbridge  by something like fifteen runs and hope Penarth  can beat Malpas. The winners go through to the knock  out stage.

Whether any of this is of any relevance to next year when the clubs will compete in  the Premier League Division Two is anybody’s guess.  Cowbridge will be looking at Merilaht to return, Desouza to come in at No 3,   Nick Wood to be fit again and a couple of recruits of some significance to make up for the loss of Brad  Evans who is back in his native Zimbabwe. There is also the chance of Mike Cowdery joining for half a season in a cox and box arrangement with Rian Thomas now a medical student. Of the youngsters coming through the biggest success has been Lewis Sevenoaks a left arm seamer from Llanblethian.

Perhaps we  are getting too far ahead of ourselves. A win at  Newbridge will focus the mind firmly on the current.

JRB