ABERAERON maintained their place at the top of the West Wales Cricket Conference as they beat Aberystwyth by three wickets on Saturday (Jun 23).
Aberaeron won the toss and elected to field and they restricted their opponents to just 161-6 in their 40 overs.
Ceri John and Zaid Khan made a good start for Aber in their innings as Khan scored 45 before he was caught by Louis Fice off the bowling of Neil Snowdon.
John top scored for the visitors with a score of 61 which included ten fours and a six but he was caught by Hywel Rees off the bowling of Paul Hughes.
Hughes then had Anthony Burrell caught by Dave Floyd for a score of 1 and Ted Trewella departed for the same score when he was caught by Fice off the bowling of Snowdon.
Gareth Lewis scorted 26 to try and improve Aber’s score but he was then stumped by Floyd off the bowling of Steff Rees.
Snowdon returned to pick up his third wicket as he had Tom Constantine caught by Chris Strange.
Ioan Morris finished not out on 10 for Aber but they had made a modest total of 161 and knew they would need to bowl well to defend it.
With 23 runs on the board for the first partnership, Aberaeron lost David Grinszpan when he was stumped by Robert Rudge off the bowling of Gareth Lewis.
J Fice and Chris Strange shared 42 runs for the second wicket before Strange was caught off the bowling of Lewis for a score of 32 which included five fours and a six.
Steff and Hywel Rees then both fell victim to the bowling of Constantine with Steff caught by Rudge and Hywel trapped leg before.
Fice and Snowdon then shared 45 runs for the fifth wicket before Snowdon was caught off the bowling of Ted Trewella for a score of 15.
Soon after Fice, who had hit nine fours in a score of 54, was caught off the bowling of Titus Mathew and that left Aberaeron on 138-6.
Sion Lewis then made 12 before he was run out by Zaid Khan leaving Aberaeron on 151-7.
However, Louis Fice finished not out on 10 and Dave Floyd not out on 5 as Aberaeron crept over the line.
On Sunday (June 24), Talybont earned their fourth win of the season as they beat Tywyn and District by one wicket.
Tywyn won the toss and elected to bat first making a good total of 184-5 from their 40 overs.
Callum Taylor made 12 early on before he was caught off the bowling of Josheff Joshi and James Bradbury-Willis only made 9 before he was caught by Dave Shaun.
Richard Rees batted well for his score of 38 before he was bowled by Philip Abraham.
Dave Jenkins and Ed Iffla made an excellent partnership before the latter was caught by Kevin Jenkins off the bowling of Sojan Varghese for a score of 41.
Matthew Maslin also fell victim to Varghese when he was bowled for a duck.
Dave Jenkins was the star of the show for Tywyn as he finished not out on 66.
Talybont knew they would need to bat well in their reply to reach their target but they made a slow start as opener Ben Harper was run out by Morgan York for a score of 5 and Tibby Joseph was run out by Dave Jenkins for a score of 2.
Philip Abraham also made five before he was caught by Dave Jenkins off the bowling of Richard Rees.
Josheff Joshi and Dave Shaun played well together with Joshi making 45 before he was bowled by Callum Taylor.
Ed Hughes then had Sojan Varghese trapped leg before and Graison John bowled.
Dave Shaun top scored with 80 for Talybont but he was then caught by Taylor off the bowling of James Bradbury-Willis.
Hughes also had Vinod Mathew caught by Bradbury-Willis and when Kevin Jenkins was caught by Matthew Maslin off the bowling of Rees it looked as if they have a secured a tied game.
However, Nijo John scored the one run needed to help his side over the line with the last ball of the innings.
Also on Sunday, UWA Commoners earned their fifth win of the season as they beat Aberystwyth Seconds by 127 runs.
The Commoners batted well and made an excellent total of 245-5 in their innings before bowling the Seconds out for just 118.
There are no fixtures on Saturday (Jun 30) with teams returning to action the following week.
On Saturday (Jul 7), Aber Seconds are at home to Aberaeron. On Sunday (Jul 8), Talybont face Aberystwyth and Tywyn host UWA Commoners.
Swans grab last gasp play-off spot
WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).
Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.
The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.
The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.
And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.
The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.
Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.
The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.
But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.
John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.
Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.
Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.
Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.
But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.
However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.
Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.
With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.
Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.
With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.
Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.
However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.
Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.
Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.
They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.
The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.
And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.
Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.
Glamorgan launch new kit
GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.
Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.
Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.
The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.
The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.
Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.
“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.
“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”
Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’
Wembley trip for Giggs’ men
CYMRU will travel to Wembley Stadium on Thursday 8 October for a home nations international against England.
Ryan Giggs’ side will return to action this autumn for the first time in 10 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, kicking off with the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League campaign. The match against England will be one of two additional international matches scheduled as triple headers in October and November. In keeping with current Government guidelines, this fixture is scheduled to be played behind-closed-doors.
Since their first encounter in 1879, England are Cymru’s second oldest opponents with 102 matches in total producing 14 wins, 21 draws and 67 defeats. Cymru’s last visit to Wembley Stadium was in 2011 for a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier, with Ashley Cole scoring in a 1-0 defeat.
Ryan Giggs’ side will be using this match to prepare for the rescheduled EURO 2020 finals next summer where they hope to return to Wembley, one of the host stadiums, for the latter stages of the tournament.
Looking ahead to the autumn, Cymru are in Nations League Group B4 alongside Bulgaria, Finland and the Republic of Ireland with fixture dates as follows:
Thursday, 3 September – Finland v Cymru (7:45pm)
Sunday, 6 September – Cymru v Bulgaria (2:00pm)
Sunday, 11 October – Republic of Ireland v Cymru (2:00pm)
Wednesday, 14 October – Bulgaria v Cymru (7:45pm)
Sunday, 15 November – Cymru v Republic of Ireland (5:00pm)
Wednesday, 18 November – Cymru v Finland (7:45pm)
All fixtures are scheduled to be played behind-closed-doors for the foreseeable future.
The FAW will continue to adhere to relevant Government guidelines and supporters will be notified should arrangements change and tickets become available.
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