South East Wales Cricket League

Division 1

Sudbrook 1sts (202-8) lost to Abergavenny 1sts (213-5) by 11 runs

SUDBROOK Firsts suffered a setback in their bid to put pressure on local rivals Chepstow at Mill Lane on Saturday, writes Bob Cypher.

Visiting Abergavenny skipper Will Glenn won the toss and decided to bat first in what was sweltering heat.

The home side struck an early blow when Mitchell Slape had opener Greg Fury caught behind by Ross Lewis, but his replacement Adam Harrison and skipper Glenn built a slow-but-sure partnership which proved to be the match winner.

They scored regularly with Glenn reaching 52 before falling lbw to a Dean Wallace delivery while Harrison went on to make 77, eventually becoming Ryan Hudson’s only success thanks to James Hussey’s catch.

Sudbrook enjoyed two rapid successes as Gareth Burkitt and Lewis Holley departed for single-figure scores thanks to Wallace’s bowling but a defiant 32 not out by Drew Heffernan and Sam Clarke (15 not out) hauled Aber to a score which was well within the capabilities of Sudbrook to beat.

Wallace took the home side’s bowling honours with 3-22 in his 10-overs spell with Slape and Hudson - 10-wicket heroes seven days earlier - having to be content with one wicket apiece.

Expectation was high that in reply Sudbrook would be more than a match for the visitors but Matt Spencer fell cheaply while fellow opener Ross Lewis was going well when he was joined at the crease by Matty Jones.

But Lewis became the first of Geraint Leach’s five-for when he was ruled lbw when on 63 and Jones saw his partners change regularly as Sudbrook slumped from 134-1 to 137-3 before he lost his wicket one short of a deserved half-century.

The scoreboard then showed 137-4 and even then the target didn’t look beyond Sudbrook’s reach.

But double-figure scores were interspersed with single-figures and overs ran out before the batsmen did, with two men at the crease and Wallace still to bat when Sudbrook’s innings closed at 202-8.

Home skipper Jamie Watkins admitted his disappointment but was upbeat about the rest of the season.

“We are only at the halfway point so there is a lot of cricket to be played,” he said later.

“The boys have been fantastic to date, and I fully expect us to learn from this defeat and kick on stronger.

“After losing the toss and restricting Aber to 213 we were pleased, and felt the total was more than within our reach.

“When our innings started it was quite apparent the wicket was getting slower and lower, and our run rate was comfortable, but never really above the required rate.

“At 130-1 with wickets in hand we were cruising, but to lose Matty, Ross and Scott O’Leary in quick succession really restricted us and from there on the run rate was getting away from us.

“Mitchell Slape and Ryan Hudson had to change plan and get us over the 200 mark for an extra batting point.

“Obviously the boys are very disappointed after controlling the game for large periods, but it just goes to show the importance of keeping concentration throughout the whole match.”