West Wales Conference title still up for grabs

Thursday 28th July 2022 8:42 am
Steffan Rees topped scored in the run chase with 40 not out seeing Aberaeron home against Aberystwyth II 24/07/22
Steffan Rees topped scored in the run chase with 40 not out seeing Aberaeron home against Aberystwyth II (Cambrian News )

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West Wales Conference, 23 July

Aberaeron (109-4) beat Aberystwyth II (107) by 6 wkts

Aberaeron proved comfortable winners in a rapid match that was over in less than 35 overs. Aberystwyth won the toss and captain Ceri John chose to have a bat.

Aberaeron opening bowlers Paul Hughes and Hywel Rees both had the orange ball moving around from the start; Hywel was particularly threatening, with some accurate out-swingers forcing the batsmen to be watchful. It was Hughes however who struck first in his second over - an uppish drive from Ceri flying to point where Ifan Rishko reached to his left at full stretch and made the grab.

This was a big wicket for Aberaeron, as the captain departed and it brought Ollie Somerfield to the middle. Hywel’s swing defeated the youngster’s defence and clattered into his pad before meeting the bat, to trap him LBW for 0.

At 8-2, Matt Salter decided to counter attack. An entertaining knock of 24 featuring 4 fours and 1 huge six was eventually brought to an end by Hywel. Leaving a gap at deep midwicket, where Salter had hit most of his boundaries, Hywel tempted Matt to hit against the swing in search of more boundaries. The trap worked to perfection as the ball beat the bat and clattered into off stump.

Salter had increased the run rate and hit Hughes out of the attack. Steffan Rees joined his father and quickly picked up the wicket of Rhys Jones bowled for 7. Hywel was not finished, as he picked up the wicket of Graham Saunders in almost identical fashion to that of Salter. Aberystwyth were struggling at 51-5 but with the experienced Sion Meredith and Sohaib Syed in the middle and Austin Thomas to come they still has some batting to come.

Hywel turned to his younger bowlers, Morgan Ashton and Ifan Rishko, to attempt to pick up the final wickets and they produced the goods. Sion was looking set and after hitting two fours, attempted a lofted drive over Hywel Rees at mid-off.

The Aberaeron skipper tracked the ball as it looked to be flying over his head before nonchalantly sticking out a hand and plucking it out of the air. A stunning catch to break a promising stand and give Aberaeron hope of wrapping up the Aberystwyth innings.

Sohaib and Austin added a further 28 runs as Aberystwyth approached their century but Morgan then struck twice in two balls. Sohaib, after some fine strokes, was first to go, bowled by a textbook off spinners dismissal, the ball cutting back to clip the off stump.

Young Henry Meredith attacked his first delivery but only managed to hit it back to the bowler who held on to set up a hat-trick delivery.

The field came in with silly mid-off, short leg and leg-slip added to the men around the bat. Last man Dan Graison faced the hat-trick ball and couldn’t believe his luck as a short delivery sat up for a pull shot which he smashed into Paul Graham’s knee at short leg.

The ball popped up off the unfortunate fielder and fell agonisingly out of reach of him and leg slip to deny Morgan an unlikely hat-trick.

Ifan Rishko picked up the final wicket – Dan bowled for 0 - shortly after to leave Aberyswyth 107 all out before the drinks break.

With the unexpected early finish of the first innings, the captains decided to take an early tea and enjoy the spread provided by Tafarn y Cadwgan. A target of 108 should have posed little problem but Aberyswyth have some promising young bowlers and they made Aberaeron work to reach it.

As in Aberaeron’s bowling effort, the opening bowlers made the new ball dart about. Sohaib Syed bowling out-swingers and Dan Graison hooping the ball back into the right handed opening pair of Alex Pitchford and Steffan Rees.

Sohaib struck early to have Alex Pitchford well caught from a fine nick to keeper Matt Salter for 6. Kevin Regan looked good for his 8 runs with two well-struck fours before spooning a catch into the off-side for Sion Meredith in the covers. At 19-2, Aberaeron needed to make sure they didn’t lose any more quick wickets and Ted Trewella was the perfect player to send out next, having hit 181 not out against the same opposition a month previously.

Aberystwyth were not helped by an incoming shower that made the ball slippery and seemed to curtail the swing they had been finding. The players attempted to play through but as conditions worsened but were forced off for a 30 minute delay.

When the players re-took the pitch, Trewella went into his usual attacking mode, three powerful fours taking Aberaeron up to 50 before Sohaib struck again, another fine catch by Salter behind the stumps dismissing Ted for 15.

Arif Saad joined Steffan Rees and the pair took Aberaeron up towards their target with little difficulty. Rees was the dominant partner in a 50 run partnership with some powerful straight drives for four and a massive six.

As the target drew nearer Saad also produced a couple of lofted drives for four but fell attempting a heave to leg off young Henry Meredith, the ball ricocheting of fore-arm and the back of the bat to loop up to the keeper for the simplest of catches.

Ifan Rishko was promoted to 6 to finish the job and did so with two crisp blows to the boundary to take Aberaeron to 109-4 and the win. Steffan Rees topped scored in the run chase with 40 not out seeing Aberaeron home. Three bowlers took 3 wickets in the match, Sohaib 3-36 and Hywel 3-16 but the player of the match was awarded to Morgan Ashton for his 3-8.

Aberaeron’s run of three victories on the trot, coupled with Aberystwyth 1st XI’s two losses in two, has opened up the league completely with five teams in the running with a month to go in the season.

Report: by Arif Saad

Aberystwyth (74) lost to UWA Commoners (75-1) by 10 wkts

ABERYSTWYTH chose to bat but were blown away for just 74 runs and condemned to their second defeat on the bounce.

The only resistance was offered by opener Gareth Lanagan who posted 23 after being bowled by Faysal Shahzad.

The only other double figure contribution was offered by Dave Wilcockson who was caught by Ian Lawton on 15 off Nial Nizar’s bowling.

Lawton took four wickets, with two wickets apiece by Nial Nizar, Faysal Shahzad and Arshad Sher with Aberystwyth all out for 74 after 26.3 overs.

Commoners made light work of the run chase getting to the mark in just 15 overs for their third consecutive victory.

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