CROSS KEYS & PONTYMISTER ................... 136-4 VALE ........................... 132
VALE surrendered an unbeaten record in disappointing circumstances away to Cross Keys & Pontymister by six wickets, writes Tony Poole.
Having opened the season with victories over Monkswood, Barry Wanderers and Machen, this was a definite setback for the boys from leafy Corn- town. But with Creigiau - the other club who entered the fourth round of fixtures with an unblemished record – also losing, they now hold league leadership on 61 points from Hopkinstown 60 and Vale 59.
And with this in mind, the clash on Saturday between Vale and visiting Creigiau will give an early season indication of where the real power lies in this division.
Put in to bat, Vale were caught on a drying pitch and there was no substantial partnership during a run of the mill score of 132. Opening bat Harry Withers hung around to contribute a top score of 27 while Mark Francis got a sweet 16.
The onus was on the lower order batsmen. With that in mind, Scott McCutcheon (17) and Tom Gingell (12no) did their best, but Vale were dismissed for 132 in 41.5 overs – Jimmy Baker taking 5-22 and Mohammed Asif 2-24.
It was now left to the Vale bowlers to get them back into the contest, but on the day young Alex Upham was dubbed luckless.
McCutcheon also proved a handful – reflected in 6-0-15-1 – but they failed to get early wickets to sow the seeds of doubt.
Ultimately, the Mister Men moved smoothly on to 136-4 off 34.1 overs to end a Vale unbeaten start to the campaign.