AMMANFORD IN THE TITLE CHASE
AMMANFORD got their season firmly back on track with a decisive eightwicket victory over local rivals Pontarddulais at the Park in the South Wales Premier League.
It was a good toss to win for Ammanford, since the covers had been on all week due to the ever-present showers.
Matthew Fisher put Bont in to bat and reaped the reward in the first over when opener Gary Arrowsmith was unluckily run out while backing up from the bowler’s end.
But from there on it was the home side’s bowling and fielding which took control.
Opener Paul Rees (40) put up the only real resistance as Bont were dismissed for 137 in the final over.
Josh Davies and Andrew Salter took three wickets each and Dan Roberts picked up a further two.
The excellence of the fielding was exemplified by Rhys Davies with three catches, the third of which was a spectacular effort.
With 50 overs to reach a modest 138, Ammanford’s openers Rhys Culley (27) and Elis Richards (37) provided the perfect response.
Refusing to be hurried in any way, they clung tightly to their respective wickets and built an invaluable opening stand of 77.
When they eventually departed, Andrew Salter (35no) and Dan Roberts (19no) were given licence to finish the game in dramatic fashion with eight boundaries and two sixes.
Ammanford eased past the Bont target with eight wickets and 11 overs to spare.
The win takes them up to fifth in the table, only 22 points behind leaders St Fagans in what is turning out to be a wide-open title race.
On Saturday they are away to bottom side Newport. The reigning champions stopped a run of five successive defeats by beating Port Talbot Town at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Ammanford Seconds crumbled to an ignominious 76 all out at Clydach. That was despite a half-century opening partnership between Rhys Jones (23) and Adam Lyons (16).
Clydach had no difficulty knocking off the runs in just 21 overs, losing only opener Jason Appleby (24) in the process. Jonathan Donne (16no) and McKenzie Squires (24no) saw them past the post.
For Ammanford, Matthew Warnes (0-3 from five overs) and Finley Jeffries (0-12 off six) were economical. Steffan Phillips took the only wicket.
And Ammanford’s third XI lost by seven wickets to their Clydach counterparts at Ynystawe.
Batting first, Ammanford could only amass 90 and were all out inside 39 overs.
Iestyn Jones carried his bat for 25. Clydach took just 27 overs to pass the undemanding total, thanks to a second-wicket stand of 64 between Dan Rees (43) and Ioan Martin (22).
Cian Roach took 2-4.
Felinfoel batsman Julian Griffiths lashes out against Skewen. Foel lost their South Wales Cricket Association division two clash by three wickets.