Aberaeron 236 all out (32.3 overs), AU Commoners 144 all out (34.3), Aberaeron won by 92 runs

West Wales Cricket Club ConferenceEVERYONE was happy to see that the forecast had realised into a fine day at the seaside ground, as Aberaeron looked to recover from their hick-up in Lampeter last week and rekindle their hopes of winning the Fine and Country league championship. Captain Dave Floyd won the toss and chose to bat first, opening with himself and Ollie Evans, writes Alex Pitchford.

The opening pair progressed the scoring well, with Ollie in particular hitting the ball well, to take the score to 34 before a change of bowling led to a breakthrough for the Commoners, with Farhan piercing the Floyd’s defences to bowl him for 7. Joined by Steffan Rees, they continued with measured attack until Ollie hit the ball firmly to midwicket where a catch was taken by James Carver-Hardy, giving Farhan another wicket. Steffan followed soon after in similar fashion, Amir Hassan bowling a low full toss that was hit firmly to mid-off where a difficult low catch was taken by Farhan.

This brought together the main partnership of the match, Ted Trewella and Jamie Davies. Both played in their usual aggressive fashion. Jamie combined his typical bludgeoning blows with some finer cricket strokes to amass 49 runs before he lofted a ball high in the air. James Carver-Hardy covered a lot of ground to take a good catch at cover and give Farhan a third wicket and break the 98 run stand.

Kevin Regan, as always, keen to out-do his friend Jamie, fell this time at the first hurdle, bowled by a fine, swinging ball from Jacob Hughes-Pickering. Alex Pitchford opened his account for the season, at the fourth time of asking, with a fine square drive for 4. He played fluently for a few overs before a well directed ball from Ollie Somerfield clipped the outside of the off-side to end the 16 run cameo.

With the home side on 208-7, but with plenty of overs remaining, their main hopes to put the game beyond reach lay with Ted and now Josh Roper, making his eagerly awaited season debut. He did not disappoint, making a solid start and playing a measured innings with some crunching shots. However, shortly after, Ted launched the ball delivered by Amir Hassan to deep mid-wicket where James Carver-Hardy took the opportunity to complete a hat-trick of catches, with this superb third, covering some distance to take the ball on the slide.

Liam Regan looked to continue on from his solid batting the previous week, but struck the ball directly to Mo Alsam at square leg to give Michelle Watson a wicket. This brought together Roper and Rhys Jon, who pushed the score along to 231 before Roper was beaten by Guy Baron who clean bowled him for 23.

Rhys Jon managed to add few more to add to his total of 10 not out in the last wicket partnership before the ever excitable Paul Hughes called for an unlikely second run in which he did not make his ground before Mo Aslam had thrown the ball into the Michelle at the bowling end in time to dislodge the bails.

The home side then finished on 235, with 7.3 overs uncompleted, which in previous encounters would have been woefully short. This was a good result for the Commoner’s bowling attack, in which a full 9 players took part, with most notable being Farhan with 44 for 3 and Hassan 39 for 2, and tidy fielding throughout. However, some the main contributors in the massive totals that AUC have amassed at this ground in the past were missing and Aberaeron felt that their total was at least competitive, as they also had a strong looking bowling attack on the day.

The teams enjoyed a fine tea together, grateful to Yr Castell, who were providing this for the first time. Steffan Rees, having soon to return to his duties on the farm, was particularly keen for the resumption. Also there was much anticipation for the return Josh Roper into the attack, and they got underway with this pair opening the bowling.

Mo Aslam and Guy Baron provided stubborn resistance opening the batting, with Mo taking any opportunity to punish any over-pitched deliveries. Roper took a few deliveries to get into is stride, but was soon hitting the spot and getting the ball to move around. He made the first breakthrough, , effecting revenge for earlier, ending the 23 run opening stand, bowling Baron off his pads.

Steffan was bowling with good rhythm, but struggling to find the swing he was searching for. A switch from round to over the wicket seemed to help, and allowing himself a sixth over that would have to be his last, got what he was searching for. First, he dismissed Aslam, bowled through the gate for 25, then immediately had James Carver-Hardy stuck in crease, finding the stumps behind light up. Two important wickets (Mo capable of turning any game and James having scored 79 to win the match against Lampeter a few weeks ago), that put Aberaeron into a very strong position, with the chase on 43-3.

Bill Somerfield played a few nice strokes down the ground, but then new bowler Ollie Evans found the leading edge and Roper juggled a catch to dismiss Bill for 8.

It was then for Farhan and Arshad Ghazi to try and turn their team’s fortune. They played with positivity and energy and progressed the score well with some good hitting down the ground and quick running. They put on 37 runs, before Arshad top edged a pull shot off Evans, and the fielding team heard a loud “Kev’s”, which filled them with rightly placed assurance as he took the catch at mid-on, Arshad having contributed 17 runs.

The quick running continued when Ollie Somerfield joined Farhan and this pair continued the positive approach. However, a mix up in the calling led to both batter standing at the bowlers end, and with Kev Regan lobbing the ball to the keeper, resulted in Farhan being run out.

Aberaeron were firmly on top now, when the AUC captain Jacob Hughes-Pickering came to the middle at 106-6. Despite the commanding position, a spread field was set, knowing that a great many boundaries were needed for a victorious chase. The tactic paid off when a perhaps frustrated Ollie Somerfield was bowled for 18 by Ollie Evans.

Paul Hughes entered into the attack late and looked to take some lower order wickets to build his season tally. His accuracy was rewarded with the wickets of Jacob H-P, bowled for 4, and then Hassan for 2 and later Ehtesham Siddiqui for 13, both caught by Jamie Davies. Ehtesham and Michelle Watson (5*) had put in stubborn resistance for a good number of overs, before the big hand of Jamie was raised to grab the catch that ended the match.

The pick of the bowlers for Aberaeron were Steffan Rees with his two crucial wickets for 18 runs, Ollie Evans with his 23-3 off 8 overs and Paul Hughes with his 3 for 32. But the player-of-the-match, as agreed by his team mates while enjoying the other fine refreshments of Yr Castell, was Ted Trewella for his 64 runs.