11:01am Monday 26th August 2013
Whitchurch Heath 136 all-out
MONMOUTH Cricket Club have taken their promotion bid to the wire – after securing a hard-fought four-wicket win in a low-scoring battle at Whitchurch Heath.
The border outfit were led by captain Paul Swingwood and kept their hopes of a top-two finish alive with an outstanding fielding and bowling display in Cardiff last weekend.
Monmouth are now fourth in the table after their ninth success – and they must overcome lowly Machen at the Sports Ground this Saturday in their final match of the campaign.
And Monmouth will be hoping that rivals Cardiff Gymkhana, who are now second in the table, and Lisvane, who are third, slip up in their last round of the matches.
Swingwood is the leading wicket-taker in the Thomas, Carroll Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League Division Three this term and his 4-31 helped to shoot out Whitchurch Heath for 136 on a damp pitch last Saturday.
Alim Hansraj (2-19 from 10 overs), Matt Lovett (2-36 from 10), Richard Shaw(1-14) and Jonathan Jones(1-35 from 10) all shone for Monmouth, sponsored by JD Wetherspoon.
Only home captain David Tibbs (68) offered any resistance for Whitchurch, who needed to win to maintain their own promotion aspirations.
Hansraj (2), Martin Newell and Jones held good catches for Monmouth.
Monmouth’s batsmen were soon reduced to 68-4 on a tough pitch with Lovett hitting 14, before Swingwood (30) joined Josh Grey (30) and they steadied the visiting ship.
Seventeen-year-old batsman Henry Breeze (18) looked extremely composed as he joined Swingwood in a vital partnership of 50.
Both batsmen fell in quick succession leaving Hansraj (15 not out) and Jones (11 not out) to secure victory for Monmouth with three overs to spare.
Jones wrapped up Monmouth’s much-needed victory with a six over long on and helped the visitors to an 18-point haul in their penultimate outing.
Spinner Dan Zaman took 2-11 from nine overs, while Tom Salmon (2-39) and Reynalds (1-11 from 10) bowled well for the impressive Cardiff outfit on a turning pitch.
Meanwhile, Monmouth Second team’s home match against Whitchurch Heath Seconds was called off last Saturday morning due to a waterlogged outfield.
Monmouth Seconds, sponsored by Ancre Hill Vineyard, will round off their 2nd XI Division Three programme with a trip to lowly Machen Seconds this Saturday.
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