Whitchurch Heath 241-9 Monmouth 231 all out

MATTHEW Jones struck a fine half-century but Monmouth Cricket Club crashed to an agonising 10-run home defeat against Whitchurch Heath in a high-scoring thriller at the Sports Ground.

The Cardiff visitors amassed 241-9 from 50 overs after a lacklustre bowling and fielding display from Monmouth in last Saturday’s entertaining affair.

Despite the efforts of in-form opener Jones (58), Alim Hansraj (33) and vice-captain Ben Turner (27), Monmouth were shot out for 231 with seven balls remaining.

Jonathan Jones (16), Wayne Etheridge (15), Gareth Hughes (13), Josh Grey (11) and Tej Saran (10) all made contributions for a battling Monmouth, while Mike Richards snapped up 3-30 for the visitors.

It was Monmouth’s fourth defeat in seven matches and last season’s champions have slipped to sixth place in the Thomas Carroll Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League Division Three.

Monmouth, sponsored by JD Wetherspoon, travel to Machen this Saturday, which marks the half-way stage in the league season.

The border club picked up nine points from last weekend’s loss but must find a greater level of consistency to mount a promotion challenge.

Turner bagged 4-36, while skipper Paul Swingwood (2-35), Hansraj (2-48) and Jonathan Jones (1-40) all took wickets after Monmouth had won the toss and inserted Whitchurch.

Whitchurch’s Raheem Ali (53) and Alex Webb (25) laid the bedrock of the visitors' challenging total before David Tibbs (56) played a captain’s innings to push along the score.

The visitors slipped to 206-8 before a late flourish of runs took them to 241 which proved to be crucial in a hard-fought battle between two well-matched teams.

Monmouth’s Second team are scheduled to host Machen 2nd at the Sports Ground this Saturday in 2nd XI Division Three.

Mike Turner’s men were frustrated last weekend after their trip to Whitchurch Heath 2nd was cancelled after heavy overnight rain had saturated the pitch. They have slipped to fifth.

Senior training continues at the Sports Ground this Friday, from 6pm, and for more details about joining Monmouth Cricket Club call Jon Despontin on 07966015609 or e-mail:jdespo@aol.com