Mark Wallace: Lord's can be Glamorgan's springboard
9:02am Monday 23rd September 2013 in Sport
ON THE UP: Captain Mark Wallace, pictured running out David Hussey, believes Glamorgan will be spurred on by their Lord's loss to Nottinghamshire
GLAMORGAN, like Newport Gwent Dragons, are hopeful that bright times are around the corner.
There was to be no dream victory at Lord's on Saturday; the Welsh county were outgunned by a powerful Nottinghamshire outfit in the Yorkshire Bank 40 final.
The 87-run loss was the third time that Glamorgan had come up just short at the home of cricket following the 1977 Gillette Cup loss to Middlesex and the 2000 B&H Cup defeat to Gloucestershire.
There was a mixture of pride and disappointment afterwards, as well as a determination to challenge for silverware more frequently.
Captain Mark Wallace is a proud man of Gwent who is always keen to talk Dragons, as he did fresh from the field at the YB40 semi-final win against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl and when stood in the grand surroundings of the Lord's museum on Saturday.
On the eve of the final the Abergavenny wicket-keeper followed the latest instalment of the region's revival as they beat the Scarlets.
And he believes the feel-good factor at Rodney Parade is rivalled by the air of optimism at the Swalec Stadium.
"We are a side that was unfancied throughout the competition with very few star names, so we are proud to have got to Lord's," said Wallace.
"It's disappointing to have lost but when we reflect on what we have done, it's a huge springboard for Glamorgan and Wales.
"We've achieved a certain level by getting here and hopefully that will spur us on, with this group of players there are better days ahead.
"We've got a taste for it now."
Wallace feels Glamorgan have become a more mature side under the guidance of coach Matthew Mott, who will return to Australia after their final County Championship game against Gloucestershire.
"Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad being in the Nottinghamshire side could easily have overawed us but the chat in our dressing room was that it just wasn't an issue," he said.
"Two genuinely world class bowlers weren't given any more consideration than Steven Mullaney and Harry Gurney.
"That shows a side that is very comfortable with where it's at and our own ability rather than looking elsewhere.
"If we worried about who we were playing all season then we probably would've finished fifth in the group. We didn't."
There were two key moments in London on Saturday.
The first came when the Outlaws were having a tricky spell after being invited to bat by Wallace.
They would have been 94 for 5 had Gareth Rees held on to a tough chance off the bowling of Andrew Salter.
David Hussey made the most of that life to put on 99 for the fifth wicket with captain Chris Read.
It meant, despite a marvellous effort by Simon Jones on his first-class farewell, Notts posted a formidable 244 for eight.
Jones rolled back the years to bowl his eight overs straight through, the 2005 Ashes hero given a standing ovation after finishing with figures of two for 36.
But another former England bowler was to better that effort to win the match for Notts.
Glamorgan had been going along nicely at 108-2 to keep the dream alive with the Outlaws fielders starting to bicker and show signs of stress.
Then left-arm spinner Samit Patel – who had fanned the flames with some bullish pre-match comments – came on to change the game.
He bowled Chris Cooke and Jim Allenby with magnificent deliveries before trapping Murray Goodwin leg before.
With the chant of "He eats what he wants..." to Sloop John B booming from the stands, the portly Patel had taken three key wickets in nine balls.
His final figures of three for 21 off seven overs won him man of the match but it was England star Broad that wrapped up the game, taking the final three wickets in the 33rd over to bowl Glamorgan out for 157.
"The messages of support before the game from people setting their alarm clocks for 5.30am and getting on buses to go on the M4 was overwhelming," said Wallace.
"That we couldn't win for them is one of the main reasons we are so disappointed."
If anything, Saturday's regret has given Glamorgan even more motivation to give the fans some silverware to toast.
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