VALE SECONDS ..... 174-3 CROSS KEYS & PONTYMISTER SECONDS 172-7
VALE Seconds made it four wins on the trot with a seven-wicket home victory over Cross Keys & Pontymister, writes Tony Poole. In another fivestar display from Matthew Thomas and his merry men, they successfully chased down 173 to remain top of the table.
Thomas won the toss and made the right choice in inviting the Mister Men to have first use of the wicket. Though they batted out a full 40 overs, in the main it was the home bowlers who held sway throughout the innings.
Nicholas Mole dug them out of hole in top scoring with a wholesome 39 with the remainder comprising bits and bobs.
Young pace man Richard Cole fired some telling blows in a fiery spell of 7-0-43-2 while Tom Lazarus also kept the ball up to the bat in 8-1-29-2.
Pride of place went to Gregory Andrews whose fine stint of 8-3-20-3 really applied the brakes.
They were backed up by enthusiastic fielding from a young side, and it was a job well done in holding the Mister Men to 172-7.
However, when Vale set out to hunt down 173, they soon lost captain Thomas for just six runs.
But a wonderful 95run stand for the second wicket between Stephen Hiles (30) and Gareth Kelland confirmed Vale were heading towards victory.
At 101-2, the last thing the Mister Men wanted to see was prime tonker Paul Sheppard. While Sheppy cracked four boundaries in 30, Kelland followed up an unbeaten 67 the week before against Machen with an equally influential undefeated 76 (seven fours). All this led to Vale getting 174-3 off 39.1 overs, and the unbeaten record now goes on the line this Saturday away to Creigiau in the league.