CHAMPIONS Newport aren’t hitting the panic button despite being in the strange position of propping up Division One of the South Wales Premier League.

The Spytty Park side have lost four of their five games and are in need of a boost when they entertain Pontarddulais this weekend.

The gap to one-from-bottom Ammanford is 10 points and tomorrow's visitors, who are second, are 35 points clear.

That comes after a six-wicket hammering at Neath last weekend when a Newport line-up, without captain Matt Norris because of his job as analyst with the Wales Under-20s rugby team and stalwart Michael Clayden because of Glamorgan work commitments, was skittled for 136.

It could have been worse as they were reduced to 10-6 as Adam Sylvester made the most of useful conditions before the lower order gave some sort of respectability to the scoreboard.

However, the bowling attack didn't have enough to play with and they were condemned to defeat at the Gnoll.

“It’s pretty much the same team as last year when we were champions, although we haven’t been able to get the full side on the field” said coach Mike Knight.

“I think that we have been a little bit unlucky and been put in on a couple of wickets that have done a bit – at Mumbles we faced Timm van der Gugten and last week it was Adam Slyvester.

“I don’t believe the table is a reflection of the side, we haven’t become a bad team overnight and there is no panic; the players are confident that we will turn this around.

“Hopefully we can start putting things right this weekend and, even though we are missing two big batters in Matt Norris and Michael Clayden, there is enough experience there.

“I think that our position just goes to show how good the league is – all sides can beat each other and you come unstuck if you are slightly off your game.”

Newport, who were captained by Imran Hassan at Neath in the absence of Norris and Clayden, are hoping to have the services of all-round Callum Taylor, whose exploits last season earned a Glamorgan contract.

The 20-year-old struck an impressive 81 for the county's seconds in a drawn three-day encounter with Hampshire at Spytty Park at the start of the week.

St Fagans are setting the pace and head to Bridgend while one-from-bottom Ammanford travel to Clydach, who are a place above them.

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It's Newport Fugitives and Panteg who need a change of fortune in Division Two, with mid-table Malpas and Newbridge aiming to stretch away from the drop zone.

The winless duo suffered fifth defeats last week, the Fugies losing at Ysysygerwn and Panteg being edged out by Malpas.

The Newport side travel to fourth-placed Gorseinon while Panteg, who had a more encouraging performance with the bat when posting 251 last time out, entertain Gwent rivals Newbridge.

‘Bridge have made a steady start to life in the Premier League but suffered a third loss on the spin against unbeaten leaders Carmarthen Wanderers, so will be keen to stop the rot on the short trip on the A472.

Sixth-placed Malpas are just seven points off third and head west to Ynysygerwn aiming to leapfrog their hosts, who suffered relegation from Division One last year.

Sudbrook continue to set the pace in Division One of the South East Wales Cricket League thanks to six wins from seven games.

Last weekend they beat Miskin Manor by five wickets and they head to Cardiff Gymkhana aiming to consolidate, or even stretch, their 16-point lead.

Chepstow and Blackwood are chasing hard, the former ahead on net run rate, and both have home advantage this weekend.

Chepstow, who left Pontypridd with a 19-point haul after a 24-run win at Ynysangharad Park, entertain bottom club Brecon.

Blackwood won a high-scoring clash with Croesyceiliog last week by 52 runs with Huw Wilcox hitting 137 off 108 balls before taking three wickets.

They welcome Usk, fresh from easing to a 198-run win against Brecon, to Highfields.

Abergavenny slipped up against Monmouth in a match dominated by the bat, suffering a six-wicket loss despite Andrew Jones and Morgan Evans hitting centuries in 305-2, and aim to respond at Ponty.

Croesy travel to Miskin knowing that victory will lift them above their hosts and out of the drop zone while Monmouth, who had a double success with triumphs against Abergavenny and Brecon last weekend, have home advantage against Pentyrch.