DIVI­SION 3 SEC­OND X1

Glamorgan Gazette - - Sport -

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.

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