Rachel’s Talybont 1st XI 88 all out (22.2 overs) Lampeter XI 89 /3 (16.2 overs). Lampeter XI win by 7 wickets

West Wales Cricket Club Conference

LAMPETER produced another impressive performance to achieve back to back home wins in the Fine and Country West Wales Cricket Club Conference Championship, on a rain affected day.

Despite the forecast heavy showers, the players arrived at a sunny dry ground. The Lampeter squad looked resplendent in their new playing kits sponsored by Kekkal Retail, The Nags Head and Phillip Jones Financial Solutions only to be met with a tremendous downpour twenty minutes before the scheduled start time.

After some debate about the possibility of completing a match safely, with further showers likely, the captains agreed to a reduced over match of 25 apiece, in order to give the game its best chance of reaching a conclusion. This would prove vital in the end as time remaining to complete the match would come into the reckoning.

So it was that half an hour late, Vinod Matthew of Talybont called incorrectly and Arif Saad asked them to bat first on a damp artificial track.

Ben Harper and Joshy Thomas opened the batting and were building a solid partnership until the introduction of first change bowler Carwyn Gregson had immediate impact- Harper feathering a lifter to wicketkeeper Nicky Williams.

That brought the dangerous Mohit Mathur to the middle and he immediately showed his potential with a crunching four to get off the mark. The wicket however had lifted Lampeter and Jason Davies, who had bowled with threat throughout, finally got reward in his fifth and final over. Mohit looked to drive a swinging delivery and nicked behind to fall for 6.

Titus Matthew came out at four and after getting off the mark with a two feathered a leg side delivery to the diving Williams to give him his third catch and Davies his second wicket.

As they had the previous week, Lampeter managed to maintain the pressure when on top and take crucial wickets in consecutive overs- Gregson backing up Davies with the wicket of Bava Vasu for 0, Neil Harris in the covers holding on to a firmly struck blow.

A precarious position for Talybont turned calamitous as a mix-up between the runners in Arif Saad’s first over left Phil Abraham stranded and Hugo Douglas able to break the stumps on the run.

Joshy remained and was joined by Graison John but it was Carwyn Gregson again who did the damage- trapping Joshy (24) in front with a skidding delivery to leave Talybont 48/6 and in big trouble.

It was at this point that the heavens opened and the players huddled under cover to wait out the rain. After 45 minutes delay, the captains agreed to take an early tea interval as there looked little prospect of resuming imminently.

As players made use of the facilities kindly provided by Canolfan Lles Llambed, the captains discussed the likelihood of getting a completed match. There was plenty of time remaining in which to complete the game but with a wet outfield, players welfare was also under consideration.

It was agreed that if play could resume by 3.30pm with no further interruptions then the teams would try once more to complete the match. Luckily, through the efforts of the Lampeter team to get the grass down and with the sun emerging and a brisk breeze, the outfield quickly began to dry. Play resumed at 3.20pm as Lampeter looked to wrap up the Talybont innings.

Gregson resumed where he had left off, taking yet another wicket in his final over - Graison edging to keeper Williams to give Carwyn his fourth wicket and Nicky his fourth catch.

The experienced Vinod Matthew had a task to shepherd the tail to guide Talybont to a total which they could defend. He built a partnership of 15 with Sagar until Hugo Douglas held a sharp return catch off his own bowling to dismiss the number 9 for a valuable 10 runs.

Captain Arif Saad turned back to opening bowler Daryl Davies to try to finish things off and Daryl duly obliged with his first ball, Vinod edging behind to give Nicky bach his fifth catch of the innings- a memorable return to the side for the veteran gloveman.

Rajesh and Joby were the final pair, looking to push Talybont over the 100 mark but Hugo Douglas produced a pearler to bowl Rajesh for 4 and close the Talybont innings on 88 all out.

In bright sunshine Lampeter began their reply confidently. The opening pair of Ceri Thomas and Neil Harris had proceeded to 29 in the seventh over before Graison had Ceri LBW for 2.

Harris looked in fine form, picking up quickly on anything on his legs and finding the gaps in the off side.

The loss of Bedwyr Davies for 0 however left Lampeter at 44/2 in the ninth over- an almost identical situation to where Rachel’s had been at the same stage of their innings.

Elgan Evans joined Harris and prevented a similar collapse from happening. The pair combined powerful stroke play - Evans hitting a sweet six over mid off- with patience to see off the good balls and advance the score to 73. As Talybont’s hopes faded, Harris top edged to Bava Vasu to give Joby a wicket. Harris’ 30 runs had broken the back of the chase and Carwyn Gregson and Elgan Evans (26*) saw Lampeter home with nearly nine overs to spare.

Player of the match was a close call with Nicky Williams taking five catches behind the stumps but with 4/20, all crucial top order wickets, Carwyn Gregson took the award. 

Lampeter move to second in the WWCCC table and will look to maintain their winning streak against Aberystwyth at home next Saturday. Talybont will hope to get their title challenge back on track with victory against AU Commoners at the Vicarage Fields.