Vale Cricket Club 1st X1, 2nd and 3rd X1 match reports
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Vale Cricket Club 1st X1 and 2nd X1 match reports 2018
All match report and statistics for this year's fixtures are being uploaded on to the Play-Cricket website and can be found by clicking here.
To read the match reports click on the coin symbol which will take you through to the scorecard where you will be able to view the match reports
Vale CC 1st XI v Pontymister & Crosskeys 1st XI
2nd September 2017
Captains’ stern words
Vale CC 1st XI finished the season with back to back home victories securing fourth position in the league. This is a big improvement from last season where the side battled for survival with the Thomas Carrol third division.
Captain JP Davies won the toss yet again and chose to bat on a good-looking track. Vale mixed the order for their final game of the season and were very disappointed to have capitulated to a pitiful 151 all out. There was firm resistance from James Snelson who was promoted to the number three position as he steadied the Vale ship with a well-constructed 50. Other than Snelson's innings (57) there were few highlights in Vale's batting performance. Notable contributions came from Scott McCutcheon (23) and Matthew Thomas (22). Asif was the pick of the Pontymister bowlers taking an impressive 5 wickets but Vale were generous in the way they played him and ultimately should not have given him to the honour of achieving this bowling landmark. A neutral would certainly have enjoyed Asif's final over as he took 4 wickets for only one run! Vale concluded at 153 all out.
After tea, supplied by Vale Catering, Vale CC received some stern words from their captain encouraging them to ensure that their bowling display out performed their batting efforts.
Vale openers Alex Upham and Scott McCutcheon bowled aggressively with pace and accuracy. McCutcheon beat the bat many times as was unlucky not to get a wicket in his opening spell. Young Alex Upham showed his promise as he took the first wicket with the ball of the season as he produced an inswinger that tapped the off stump leaving his victim perplexed.
Roy Cheeseman was the pick of the Vale bowlers as he took 4-24 bowling with consistency as well as the odd bit of turn. Other wickets were shared between Tom Williams, Alex Davidson and Scott McCutcheon. Backed up by keen fielding and good catching the visitors were dismissed for 110 in the 38th over.
Pontymister & Crosskeys 2nd XI v Vale CC 2nd XI
The seconds visited Pontymister and an almost mirror image of the firsts performance played out on a lovely day. The wicket was firm (although the outfield way too long) and skipper Carl Brooks had no hesitation in batting first when he won the toss.
Paul Sheppard and new opener Gareth Kelland (promoted following his excellent 92 last week) did the hard work of seeing off good opening spells and adding 42 before both surrendering rather meekly having seen off the impressive Luke Short.
Poor shot selection and execution continued until Gethin Merry joined Darren Upham, and played really well before running himself out for a well-crafted 24. Upham continued to build steadily, before exploding with two sixes before being bowled for 49 to a shot he would rather forget. The rest of the innings folded tamely to 143 all out, leaving skipper Brooks fuming and stranded, batting at 11 with more than two overs left.
The skipper’s grumpiness seemed to have an effect, as Vale came out after tea and bowled and fielded with focus and intensity. Two excellent catches by Sheppard and Mark Francis exemplified this, but highlight of the day was an absolute stunner taken by Chris Haskins at point, diving forward, full-length, to grab a firm shot one-handed millimetres from the ground. Merry was the bowler for this wicket and he proceeded to claim a further three ending a great all-round season with 4-25. Upham bowled really well to take 3-13, Glyn Jones was miserly (0-8 off 8) and Jake McNaughton got rid of the dangerous Short for 38 and the Pontymister and Cross Keys innings subsided to 98 all out.
So Vale seconds emulated the senior side, finishing a creditable fourth in the league and the prospects for next season look good.
Vale CC finished the season in style with club members both playing and on playing enjoyed a fantastic curry evening organised by diligent and much appreciated chairman Gareth.
Vale CC would like to thank all members, sponsors, volunteers and opposition for a wonderful season that has been played in a competitive spirit inspired by a desire to play fairly and uphold the values and lessons cricket teaches.
Dinas Powys 1st XI v Vale CC 1st XI
Vale win nail biter
Vale CC first team continued their winning ways with a well-earned victory over Dinas Powys extending their lead over them in the table: Vale currently lies fourth.
Dinas got off to a slow start much to the hard efforts of Scott McCutcheon and Darren Upham who both bowled well, making life difficult for the openers with tight lines but with no reward. Despite this positive start from Vale it was the opposition who were the happier side at drinks taken at 89 without loss.
Shortly after the break young Alex Upham got the breakthrough as he had Gordon Hannah out for 56 hitting a leading edge to Alex Davidson at mid-off. Unfortunately, Vale were unable to take several chances to establish a dominant hold on the game. Despite these mistakes Vale continued to take wickets at intervals. Some hard work in the field helped to put pressure on the opposition who still amassed an impressive 228 – 8 off their allotted overs.
Vale’s bowlers bowled well and on a different day they could well have skittled their opposition out for a less impressive total. The bowlers shared the wickets amongst them with Davidson taking 1-27, Alex Upham 1-34, JP Davies 1-14, Joe Hodges 1-41 and James Snelson 2-42.
After tea Vale went about achieving their target of 229 to win. Davidson (19) stroked the ball to the boundary with ease but fell to the bowling of Vowles (1-29) as he edged behind. Withers (84) and JP Davies (39) added 111 for the next wicket putting Vale into a promising position.
When Withers left the crease, Vale needed 70 to win from 9 overs. Vale were optimistic as they still had the hard-hitting foursome of Hodges, Snelson, Matthew Thomas and McCutcheon to come. Hodges fell for 8 leaving Snelson (29 no) to guide Vale closer to the target with McCutcheon who got his eye in quickly hitting 28 in just three overs! These valuable runs meant that Darren Upham faced the final ball of the game needed three to win. Upham’s first and only ball was sent cascading for a boundary six as Vale went about celebrating an exciting win!
Vale 1st XI now finish their season with two back-to-back home games in Corntown where they will entertain Monmouth, followed by Pontymister and Cross Keys and they will be hoping for good results as they go about trying to finish as high up the league table as they can.
Vale CC 2nd XI v Ebbw Vale CC 2nd XI
Seconds too good for Ebbw Vale
Meanwhile in Corntown, the seconds entertained Ebbw Vale, the team that earlier in the season won in a high-scoring game at Eugene Cross Park. Mark Francis stood out with a century in that game, and although less fluent this weekend, led the Vale batting with an unbeaten 88 after the home side had been asked to bat. After skipper Carl Brooks and opening partner Gareth Andrews raced off at six and over, only for both to be dismissed caught behind for 11 and 13 respectively, Francis, initially with Steve Hiles (11) found timing difficult on a slowish pitch. Joined by the (significantly) becapped Paul Sheppard, the third wicket pair added 131 before Sheppard was caught at cover for 60. Vale reached tea with at total of 217 for 4.
After a great spread provided by Vale Catering, the home side took the field, opening up with 14 year-old twins Idris and Gethin Merry. Earlier in the day the pair had been presented with Club sweaters to commemorate their debuts for the first team during the season. They bowled frugally, restricting the visitors, allowing left-arm spinner Glyn Jones (4-23) and seamer Tom Lazarus (3-32) to work through the opposition line-up. Only skipper Simon Keane stood out for Ebbw Vale, carrying his bat for a masterly 58 in the eventual total of 115 all out.
Monkswood 2nd XI v Vale CC 2nd XI
Battling performances yield mixed results
A solid team performance by Vale Cricket Club first XI saw a home victory against Monkswood, while the second team agonisingly lost off the last ball in the reverse fixture.
At Corntown last Saturday, Vale one the toss and batted first on a damp wicket. Solid contributions from Harry Withers (37), Matthew Thomas (25) and Scott McCutcheon (25 including two sixes) saw the home side to 169 for 8 off their 45 overs. Wickets were shared around between the visiting bowlers, and their batsmen were never really in the hunt after tea. Mike Watkins contributed 60 not out to the visitor’s 150 for 7, with two wickets each for McCutcheon and Alex Upham.
Meanwhile at Monkswood, on another damp and difficult wicket, Carl Brooks won the toss for the visitors and chose to field first. The highlight of the day was the awarding of caps by Chairman Gareth Andrews to debutants and Wales under 13 internationals Aaron and Joseph Davies. Both made important contributions to Vale’s bowling efforts, Joseph taking 1 for 24 and Aaron 2 for 54. Backed up with good spells from Greg Andrews (1-30), Glyn Jones and Paul Sheppard (1-27), Vale were set 169 to win. After a good 44 from the Chairman, Sheppard and Mark Stephens settled in and seemed to have timed the victory charge well. Requiring around 7 and over off the final 10, the partnership went through the gears until Stephens (34 including two sixes) was stumped and then Sheppard perished at cow corner for 46. Greg Andrews and Chris Haskins scampered for the last two overs but were unable to score the single required of the last ball that would have forced the tie.
Next weekend, the firsts travel to Dinas Powys while the seconds entertain Ebbw Vale. The Club will be open from midday and we welcome spectators to enjoy the great facilities.
Sully 2nd XI v Vale CC 2nd XI
Flattering to deceive
Weather intervened in what looked like turning into an exciting finish for Vale CC’s first eleven last Saturday, while the second eleven lost badly due, mainly, to a very poor batting performance.
Travelling to Sully to face the Centurions, the first team bowled first and, despite picking up a wicket from first ball of the day when last week’s bowling hero Sean Rowland caught Singh off Darren Upham, were unable to cause the home team too many more problems. Darren Goodway stood out for Sully, compiling 101 not out with notable support from Gethin Hicks (29) and Russell Thomas who finished on 32 not out. James Snelson was Vale’s stand-out bowler with 3 for 55 in the home team’s total of 198 for 4. Skipper JP Davies was concerned about the lack of penetration from the bowling unit, but also knew that the target was well within the team’s compass on what is a very good wicket.
JP Davies (18) and Alex Davidson (31) started well for the visitors, and then Snelson got to work with a well-struck 33, including two sixes: he perished going for a third, caught at long-on having assembled an important partnership with Matthew Thomas. When the rains came, Thomas was well set on 27 and with the score on 142 for 6 with ten overs remaining, given the strength of Vale’s lower-middle order, they will feel deprived of a potential win which would have returned them to third in the table.
Meanwhile at a damp Corntown, entertaining Sully’s second eleven, home skipper Carl Brooks lost the toss and his side were asked to bat on a wicket that initially lacked pace. Good opening spells from Nick Jones (1-24) and Dinesh Vekariya (1-15) put Vale behind the clock, but as they had both ‘bowled through’ Brooks’ side would have expected to make good progress against the change bowlers. Initially this was the case, with Gareth Kelland (45) and Gethin Merry (28) putting together a partnership of 89. They both fell in the same over, and the remainder of the batting subsided meekly to be dismissed for 119. Nobody else achieved double-figures and with two entirely preventable run-outs, this was a really poor performance. Ewan Thomas (3-11) and Jason Hicks (3-30) will probably admit to being flattered by their figures.
Ironically, Vale proceeded after tea to put together one of the best bowling and ground fielding performances of the season. Idris Merry (2-16), Greg Andrews, Tom Lazarus, Gareth Kelland and Gethin Merry, all bowled accurately and with the right balance between attack and defence called for by Brooks. The difference was that Sully’s batsmen batted properly and sold their wickets dearly. Jason Hicks played patiently for 43 before being brilliantly stumped by Gareth Andrews off Idris Merry, and with support from Jones (14) and Oatridge (15) saw the visitors to 120-5 in relatively untroubled fashion. The home side will rue a dropped catch and a couple that did not quite go to hand, but in reality this was a tame performance. Remarkably, Vale remains third in the table (though Sully has a match in hand which will almost certainly see them overtaken).
Next week the seconds host Barry Wanderers and will need to show improvement to avoid a ‘flattering to deceive’ season. Spectators are always welcome, and the excellent clubhouse bar will be open all day. The firsts travel to the Wanderers in the reverse fixture.
Pontymister and Cross Keys 1st XI v Vale CC 1st XI
It is testament to the progress Vale Cricket Club has made over the last year or so that it was able to field two competitive teams last Saturday despite the absence of six first team regulars and three who form the mainstay of the seconds. Such absence just a year ago would have almost certainly have seen the default of the second team fixture.
On days like this it is important to recognise the contribution of stalwarts whose commitment to the Club should never be taken for granted: players like Andy Knight, who made his debut for the firsts despite his trepidation, and Mark Harvey who will always turn out for the seconds if short even though he would rather not. Andy was joined in the first team by run machine Mark Francis (406 runs at 80.6 for the 2s so far this year) and 14 year-old debutant Gethin Merry who has thoroughly earned his promotion through consistent displays with ball, bat and in the field.
The firsts travelled to Pontymister to play against newly-merged Pontymister and Cross Keys and were put into bat on what looked like a decent deck. After the dreadful collapse last week the orders from Captain JP Davies were to settle at the crease and play yourself in. Davidson (26) and Withers (15) went about their work trying to punish loose bowling, a task that proved to be difficult with the agricultural outfield slowing the ball down meaning that the pair of them didn’t get full reward for some well-timed shots. Withers fell first hitting a full toss straight to extra cover off the bowling of Davey (1-32). If Vale were to be successful today, they needed partnerships. Openers Withers and Davidson managed a below par 38 for the first wicket with Davidson and JP Davies adding 31 for the second.
The most impressive partnership of the day was the century stand between Joe Hodges (92no) and in form club man Mark Francis (49). Hodges and Francis showed great patience and maturity, working the ball around (perhaps having to run more singles than the pair would have liked) and punished the poor deliveries
Once Francis had gone, the big hitting Snelson (17no) joined Hodges at the crease with seven overs to go. The pair sent the ball to all areas of the ground securing maximum batting points for the Vale with an unbroken partnership of (59). The pair dominated the bowling side and stretched the fielders and Vale finished with 244-4, a massive target for their opposition to chase down thanks to some excellent hitting and partnerships between Hodges, Francis and Snelson. The bowling of C Jones for Pontymister and Cross Keys should be commended as he bowled consistent and tight lines for his 1-29.
After tea, Father and son combination Darren and Alex Upham took the new ball. Both caused the batsman trouble but on this occasion Darren (0-32) will have to let his son take the headlines. Fifteen-year-old Alex Upham (4-26) continues to impress teammates and opposition alike with his talent and is now becoming a first team stalwart and surely one of the first names on the team sheet. Alex’s second over saw him remove D Jones (3) by destroying his off stump and Armstrong (0) caught behind by keeper Harry Withers who would snaffle two more behind the stumps all off the bowling of Alex Upham.
Once again, Vale allowed their opposition to settle and build momentum in the middle section as Ahmed (50), Ali (57) and J Baker (55) all did well as they tried to chase down their target. Ahmed was removed by all-rounder Snelson (1-30) a useful wicket to get at the time as he was looking very capable of scoring boundaries in his unorthodox style. Ali was removed by Davies (1-46) and Baker was sent from the crease by Davidson (3-29).
Special mentions must go the rumbustious Joe Hodges for his excellent 92no, Mark Francis for his well-played 49 and excelled fielding (that shoulder seems better) and Alex Upham for his tenacious bowling and debutant Gethin Merry for his excellent catch and accurate throwing.
Shorn of so many regulars, the seconds competed well at Corntown against their counterparts from Pontymister and Cross Keys. On a wicket that look good, but played less well, skipper Carl Brooks elected to bat first. Brooks went early, run out, followed by Mark Stephens, leaving the only two remaining regular batsmen Gareth Andrews and Steve Hiles at the crease. The going was initially slow due to some very accurate bowling – particularly Short (1-11) and Gregory (3-20) – and the vagaries of the pitch. After a partnership of 40, Hiles was tragically run out, followed soon by Andrews, bowled for a very good 45. This left Mark Harvey to shepherd the callow tail, which he did effectively, remaining 21 not out, supported by some good hitting from debutant Matthew Lazarus (15 not out). Although the final total of 133-8 was below par, after tea Vale took wickets steadily. Max Collis, returning from ‘paternity leave’ for his first game of the season, bowled really well to take 3-26, and when he hit the top of opener Neil Turner’s (47) off stump, leaving Pontymister and Crosskeys at 102-5, a shock victory was in sight. However, away skipper Ryan Davy batted sensibly for 17 to see the visitors home. Vale will rue the 38 extras and two dropped catches and have slipped from top of the league, now headed by Crumlin whom they visit next week.
Monmouth 1st XI v Vale CC 1st XI
“A bad day at the office” is how first team skipper JP Davies described Vale CC‘s trip to Monmouth last Saturday. Electing to bat first on what looked like a good pitch (but which turned out to be trickier to bat on than expected), the Vale top order failed to fire, slipping to 49-3 with the cheap loss of prolific Alex Davidson and JJ Davies. This became even worse at 113-8 with only JP (23) getting into the twenties. However, James Snelson shepherded the tail finishing on 55 not out, with support from Alex Upham (15). Vale ended on 159 all out leaving 9 overs unused. Home team bowlers Ben Davies and James Taylor each took three wickets.
Despite a tight opening spell from Matthew Williams (2-18 off 9) including the early wickets of the openers, a good knock from home skipper Adam Roberts (72) saw Monmouth home to 160 and a 4-wicket victory in the 39th over. The result sees Vale slip to fourth: they travel to Pontymister next week and will look for a much-improved performance.
Vale CC 2nd XI v Monmouth 2nd XI
Sat 24th June
At Corntown, meanwhile, an exciting finish saw the seconds win by two runs, with Gethin Merry taking Monmouth’s final wicket in the last over. This was fitting as the 14-year-old Merry was the stand-out player throughout the match.
Asked to bat first, Vale’s key run-makers failed to impress. Apart from 31 from prolific Mark Francis, some good bowling and ordinary shot-selection saw the home team slump to 63 for 4 and then 80 for 5. Batting at number 4, Merry watched the chaos calmly from the non-strikers end, and when skipper Carl Brooks joined him, the pair batted sensibly to recover the situation and take the score to 120. Looking to maximise the final few overs, Brooks departed to ambition for 24, and it was left to a seven-ball 18 not out from Rhys Bradshaw to accompany Merry (37 not out) and achieve a below par – though acceptable in the circumstances - 158 for 8. Ben Pilot was the visitors’ stand out bowler with 3-27.
After tea, Vale’s response in the field was excellent. Led by a great first spell from Greg Andrews who conceded only two runs in his five initial overs and backed up by Bradshaw (1-20), the Vale were buzzing in the field. Paul Sheppard took two very good catches at slip then debutant Glyndwr Jones’ miserly left-arm spin (2-20) kept the visitors in check. However, good batting from Pilot (40) and Ben Burnett (30 not out) got Monmouth within three runs of their target until the calm Merry (3-20) cleaned bowled George Burnett to conclude a great victory. Vale remain top of the league by a slim margin and will look to improve their batting performance at home against Pontymister and Cross Keys next week.
Vale CC V Barry Wanderers
3rd June 2017
Both sides in strong promotion push
This weekend saw both Vale CC 1st and 2nd XIs get back to winning ways with a double over local rivals Barry Wanderers. These victories see the first team remain in pursuit of a promotion place as they reside in third while the seconds are top of their league.
The firsts were at home and Vale captain JP Davies won the toss once again electing to bat on what appeared to be an overcast day with the promise of sunshine later on. Openers Davidson (22) and Withers (40) built a solid platform scoring at a good rate for this stage in the game as they added 45 for the first wicket. The keeper brigade of Horton (34) and Withers continued to add runs before the quick footed Horton was bowled by a ‘jaffa’ from Harris (1-36).
Either side of drinks, Vale lost wickets in quick succession as Withers and Snelson were both caught on the off side after looking comfortable at the crease. Captain JP Davies (43), Matthew Williams (19) and then the swashbuckling Joe Hodges (40) settled the Vale ship for a while scoring in all areas of the ground as Wanderers fielders underwent some intensive cardiovascular training chasing the ball to all corners.
In this instance, the Vale tail failed to ‘wag’ as they suffered a disappointing finish to their innings; slumping to 224 all out. Despite collecting maximum batting points, Vale were left feeling a little downhearted at tea as they felt a bigger score was on the cards, this is testament to the development and depth of their squad as well as the strength of the club’s second team.
Wanderers should be commended for the commitment and determination in the field with special mentions going to bowlers Hatton (3-55) and Hasset (4-17).
After a delicious tea, provided by Vale Catering, both sides took to the field to thrash out a result.
After a blistering opening over from fifteen-year-old Alex Upham (who took the new ball in the absence of his father) it was his fellow opener Sean Rowlands (1-35) who struck first taking the wicket of Blundall. Seam bowlers Upham (1-22) and Rowlands continued to bamboozle the opposition with pace and accuracy where leather and willow made little contact. Wanderers settled for a short time mostly due to Allen (43) before he became the first victim of spin twins Jimbo Thomas (4-20) and Matthew Williams (1-19) who claimed five wickets in 18 overs only conceding 39 runs between them. Both spinners bowled well with turn and bounce. The club were especially happy to see Jimbo live up to his reputation bowling his way to his best figures of the season so far with plenty more to come.
Other spells from JP Davies (1-22) and Davidson (0-20) helped to pile on pressure but in the end Vale missed out on maximum points as they failed to claim ten wickets.
Next week Vale CC travel to Monkwood as they look to continue to apply pressure the both Sully and Cumlin at the top of the table.
Meanwhile at Barry Wanderers’ quaint Hayes Point ground, stand-in skipper Mark Francis won the toss for Vale and decided to bat. After the early loss of Gareth Andrews, Paul Sheppard and Francis ticked the scoreboard over nicely before the fluent and consistent Francis was surprisingly bowled for 21. This paved the way for a 123-run partnership from Sheppard, who dug in to graft uncharacteristically for 89, and Steve Hiles who crafted an excellent 58. Big hitting in the final overs from Gareth Kelland (24 not out) and Mark Stephens (who hit each of the two balls he faced for four) saw Vale achieve maximum batting points as they finished on 238-5.
After tea, the Wanderers’ batsmen, with the exception of Parry (30) struggled against a good all round bowling display and great commitment and attitude in the field . Led by Greg Andrews (3-22), and Tom Lazarus (2-13), the Barry side were dismissed for 125. Maximum points attained from the excellent performance means that Vale 2nd XI leads the division 3 table.
Vale CC V Sully CC
27th May 2017
Francis makes his mark
A superb unbeaten 114 by Mark Francis for Vale CC 2nd XI was the highlight of an otherwise disappointing weekend for the Club. The 1st XI (172 all out) failed to chase down Sully Centurions’ 211-9 at home, while the seconds endured a five wicket defeat at Sully.
After being asked to bat, Francis came to the wicket in the third over after the dismissal of Paul Sheppard. Receiving scant support from the recognised batsmen, Francis organised his innings brilliantly. Only the Merry twins, Gethin (16) and Idris (18) stuck around for any length of time, while Francis batted serenely to end up on 114 not out. Late order hitting from Andrew Knight provided some further entertainment and Vale completed their innings on 175-8, at least 25 runs below par on a very good pitch.
There were few problems for Sully’s batsmen and despite good bowling efforts from the Merry boys and Paul Gilbert, and enthusiastic fielding, notably from Tom Evans and Rhodri Owens, the home side reached their target for five wickets with four overs remaining. Despite the loss, Vale 2nd XI remain top of their division.
Both sides will want to get back on track next week, the firsts host Barry Wanderers while the seconds travel away to the reverse fixture.
Vale CC V Machen CC
20th May 2017
Vale CC’s winning ways continue
Another good weekend saw victories for Vale CC’s first and second teams as they took on Machen. As a result, the firsts lie third in SEWCL 3rd division while the seconds stand at the top of their league.
Vale CC 1st XI travelled to Machen and on a damp wicket Vale skipper JP Davies elected to field. Machen attacked from the very first ball but they were soon to realise that attack was not the best form of defence. Openers Hibbs (35) and Reeby (15) scored quickly but kept Vale in the game with risky attacking play. Left arm seamer Scott McCutcheon (3-43) struck first and from then no batsman settled. Jones (13) and Fussell (17) were found wanting as McCutcheon and Alex Davidson (4-21) bowled tight and accurate lines causing many problems for their opposition. Eventually, Machen fell for a total of 143 all out using only 28 of their allotted 45 overs. Special mentions must go to Davidson and McCutcheon for their wickets but also to the young and promising talent of fifteen-year-old Alex Upham (2-19) who once again bowled excellently.
After tea Vale set about chasing Machen’s total. Openers Davidson (29) and Withers (15) put on 27 for the first wicket before Withers was out caught in the covers for the second time in two weeks. Captain JP Davies (40) and in form all-rounder Davidson put on a very useful 56 run partnership before Davidson was out LBW at the hands of Harris. Off spinner Harris continued to tie down an end making life difficult for Vale batsmen who looked to score whenever the opportunity arose and with an increasingly calm sense of authority as they closed in on their target.
As the visitors looked sure to win, Davies was caught superbly at square leg. James Snelson (30no) marked a return to his ‘big-hitting-ways’ with including a well struck six that cleared the ground’s practice area as well as the boundary. Snelson and Matthew Thomas (5no) saw Vale reach the required total with plenty of overs to spare as they won by 6 wickets securing maximum points for the day.
The 2nd XI hosted Machen at Corntown, and skipper Carl Brooks elected to bowl first on a wicket with a green tinge. Good bowling from Greg Andrews, Idris Merry (2-35) and Gareth Kelland (1-25) restricted Machen to a very slow first half of the innings. Only Rob Ashcroft (77) troubled the home team, and good bowling from Gethin Merry (2-1), Chris Haskins and Tom Lazarus (who took his debut wicket) meant that Machen ended up with an unimposing 158-7.
Batting second, the early loss of Gareth Andrews and Paul Sheppard proved inconsequential as fluent Steve Hiles (54 not out), in partnerships of 67 with the consistently classy Mark Francis (37) and then an unbeaten 61 with Kelland (28 not out) saw the table-toppers home by 7 wickets with four and a half overs remaining.
Next week the firsts will entertain current leaders Sully Centurions at Corntown while the seconds travel to Burnham Road. We would like to welcome all cricket and sports fans as well as those who enjoy relaxing in the sun to our home ground just off the A48 for what promises to be an interesting encounter from 1pm on Saturday 27 May.
Harry Withers and Carl Brooks
Vale CC V Crumlin CC and Vale CC V Creigiau CC
An encouraging start
Vale Cricket Club got off to an encouraging start over the first two competitive weekends of the 2017 season. The first XI narrowly lost the season opener off the last ball and bounced back last weekend to claim a win, while the second XI sit at the top of their league after two victories.
Playing away against Crumlin two weeks ago, the firsts were put into bat. After a tricky start that saw the loss of skipper JP Davies and opening partner JJ Davies (20) early on, Ben Horton (31) and debutant Alex Davidson (57) steadied the innings, which allowed Scott McCutcheon (40*) and Joe Hodges (50) to let rip at the end, Vale finishing on 244 for 7. Ieuan Veall took 4-27 for the home team. After the loss of early wickets Crumlin proceeded steadily through Hopkins (79) and the excellent Simon Veall (93). Their dismissals gave hope, but big hitting from Ieuan Veall (26*) hit the winning runs off the last ball of the match.
At home, the seconds were put in and scored 201 for 7, largely through the efforts of Paul Sheppard (69), Matthew Thomas (39) and a swift 27 not out from Greg Andrews. Consistently good bowling from Andrews, Alex Upham, Chris Haskins and Thomas (3-34) kept Crumlin behind the rate, and despite middle order hitting Lee Parker (41) and Haines (38), the visitors fell 10 run short on 191-9.
Last weekend, the firsts were at home against Creigiau. Skipper JP Davies elected to bat on winning the toss, and with Davidson again to the fore with a second half century (61), supported by JP (39), Vale closed on 205-8 (Martin 3-28). Creigiau were never in the hunt, and despite 69 not out from Dafydd Taylor, ended on 133-9. Alex Upham bowled well to take 3 for 25.
In the reverse fixture, the seconds gained maximum points (albeit in a slightly scruffy performance). Bowling first, Vale’s opening attack was wayward and Solanki (25) and Rowlands (58) got off to a good start. However, good middle innings bowling from Gethin Merry and Paul Sheppard wrested back control to allow Idris Merry (4-13) to finish off the innings with a spectacular 4 wickets in 5 balls, all bowled and including a hattrick. Creigiau’s 138 should not have been a particular challenge, but the early loss of skipper Carl Brooks and Sheppard (23) meant that calm and composed batting from Mark Francis (55 not out) was required to ensure victory.
Brecon CC V Vale CC 2nd XI
4th June 2016
Vale Cricket Club 2nd XI put in an encouraging performance in their away defeat to Brecon by 57 runs last Saturday. Despite the vast gap in experience between the two teams, the performance of a number of Vale’s youngsters stood out.
After being asked to bat by Vale’s skipper Carl Brooks, the home team were bowled out for 214. Outstanding bowling by both Idris (2-30) and Gethin (1-25) Merry – who both play for Vale’s under-15s – meant that Brecon never really dominated. A good knock by the experienced Kenchington (58) ensured a par score. Late wickets came to Mark Francis (3-40) and debutant Greg Andrews (2-37). A near flawless fielding performance featured tireless work from two other under-15s, Jac Burne and Ollie Piper, and 12th man Sunil More, who came on to replace injured Kevin Jones, chipped in with an excellent run out and catch.
After tea, Vale lost the early wicket of Huw James for 15, then Brooks (24) and Francis (25) came together in a productive and entertaining partnership of 46. Both departed either side of drinks to shots they would rather forget. After Andrews chipped in with a useful 10, the under 15s played really well to get additional batting points. Gethin Merry (13), Burne (7) and Idris Merry (10) all played good cricket shots, and a final flourish from Joe Merry (7) saw Vale to 157 all out.
Vale 2nds entertain Machen next Saturday and will hope to build on this promising performance
St Fagan's CC V Vale CC Under 15's
26th May 2016
Our last fixture against St Fagans was one of the best performances by the side resulting in a comprehensive 9 wicket win over a very good side. With all junior sides now restricted to 3 overs per bowler the depth of bowling is now a key factor. Ollie Piper lead the way for Vale with 3-13 off of his 3 overs and there were other excellent spells from Rory James 1-10, Alex Upham 0-10, Idris Merry 0-10, Gethin Merry 0-10. Our fielding was again of a high standard with Jac Burne setting the bar in the field and Ceri Vaughan-Jones having another good game with the gloves. Our efforts in the field restricted St Fagan's to 104 off of their 20 overs.
In reply Gethin and Iestyn opened the batting and put on 47 for the first wicket. When Iestyn departed in the 9th over for a hard hitting and well-constructed 23 the game was still in the balance but an unbroken partnership of 59 between Alex Upham (30 not out) and Gethin (19 not out) resulted in Vale passing the required target with an over to spare. Alex played some delightful drives and punished any bad deliveries. At the other end Gethin built his innings around careful batting and good running between the wickets playing a great anchor role.
Probably the best U15 team performance I have seen - congratulations to the side.
Vale CC vs Crumlin CC 2nd X1
7th May 2016
With Vale in first to bat, low on personnel relying on Junior members to field a team the situation was made worse by 2 quick wickets. However Mark Francis and Huw James set up an outstanding partnership scoring 93 and 67 respectively. Francis only caught when unselfishly hitting out in the final overs. Vale finished with a respectful total of 223.
Crumlin were immediately put under pressure by our junior pairing Gethin and Idris Merry with a brilliant opening spell, taking 4 wickets inside the first eight overs, Gethin taking 3 that included an outstanding catch by his twin brother Idris.
C Williams put up some resistance with 49 not out but Vale will count themselves unlucky when heavy rain halted the contest when Crumlin were 95 for 5 needing an unlikely further 129.