DIVISION 3 SECOND X1
VALE ........................ 207-8 CREIGIAU ............... 211-5
THE hope now in the Vale camp is that the old sinking feeling isn’t about to return, writes Tony Poole.
In recent times the boys from leafy Corntown have made great starts to the season only for the wheel to soon come off their promotion bandwagon.
And having lost last time out to Pontymister & Cross Keys, back-to-back defeats are following an all too familiar pattern.
It’s left Creigiau leading the way on 80 points from Hopkinstown 72, Sully Centurions 69 and Vale 68.
Without hitting the heights, Vale batted steadily in reaching 207-8 off their 45-allotted overs with Harry Withers (27) and James Snelson (8) opening up with a stand worth 32 runs.
Solid foundations continued under ex-Ynystawe star Brendon McCay (37) and young Alex Upham (35), who forged a second-wicket partnership of 40.
The stage was then set for Dean Oram, who was making an emotional return to the game, to become a headline maker.
To a degree he did in cracking 38 and during the last nine overs 50 runs were added to the total.
Callum Bassett-Jones with liquorice allsorts was the pick of the Creigiau attack with figures of 5-029-2.
Whether 207 was going to be enough was always questionable, and as time dragged on it became a case of wicket-keeper Dafydd Taylor being pitched against the Vale attack.
Ultimately, Taylor won the battle with a key unbeaten 95 along with second-fiddle contributions from Chris Marusza (24) and Tommy Innes (23).
It led to Creigiau moving smoothly on to 211-5 off 44 overs with captain Jon P Davies 7-0-28-1, Sean Rowland 4-1-10-1 and Tom Gingell 2-0-11-1 the only bowlers to slow things down.
Vale now have two key games – home to Hopkinstown on Saturday, and the week after away to Sully Centurions.
CREIGIAU SECONDS 115 VALE SECONDS ..... 224-5
CAPTAIN Matthew Thomas maintained his love affair with runs, as table-topping Vale Seconds won for a fifth straight time this season, defeating Creigiau by 109 runs, writes Tony Poole.
Having opened the season with a sizzling 126 at Ponthir, he followed it up with scores of 67, 44 and 6 ahead of a bustling 116 at Creigiau for 359 runs this term and an average approaching 72.
That’s remarkable form in anyone’s language, and the innings of the day from Thomas helped to set up another commanding win.
His magnificent contribution contained four sixes and 17 boundaries, and an opening stand with Stephen Hiles (10) was worth 72 runs.
Mark Francis (23) joined him in a 34-run partnership for the second wicket while mischievous top tonker Paul Sheppard also joined Thomas in the run fest.
Sheppy hit a six and two fours and given his pace it was strange to see him getting run out for 22, making it 194-4.
Though Thomas eventually fell for 116 with the score on 220-5, the damage had been done and Vale went on to total 224-5 off their 40-allotted overs.
Raj Chittineni with 8-225-2 was the only Creigiau bowler to demand respect and when it was their turn to bat, wickets tumbled from the word go.
They stumbled from 2-2 onto 28-5; a recovery left them 106-7 before being bowled out in the 37th over for 115.
Only Peter O’Hanlon with a lusty 59 (one six, nine fours) held Vale up with the best bowling coming from new ball men Idris Merry 7.2-4-125 and Gregory Andrews 7-2-14-1 along with Tom Lazarus, who sent down 6-2-14-2.
This Saturday, Vale Seconds have another away fixture, and this time they head for the compact little ground in the heart of the Rhondda Valley at Hopkinstown.