Derby win calms worriesSummer arrived on Saturday when Dafen travelled the briefest of journeys to take on local rivals Llangennech in a crucial bottom of the table clash. Only a couple of points separated the teams with Dafen being ahead in 8th to Llan's 9th. There is the spectre of 3 teams being relegated this year should the bottom two in the premier league be from West Wales. Big game then.
That's the premier league, at another level it seemed to be all about West Wales cricket; the single carriaged train on the Heart of Wales line chuffed up the line to Pontarddulais, Cynghordy and beyond watching over two teams of local players striving for bragging rights next the Llwchwr. There was the added spice of Aamir Ikram (all but a native west Walian) playing for Llangennech against Dafen whom he had left before the transfer guillotine at the end of June. And of course all bathed in sunshine and warmth as all rural idylls are.
But enough, the teams' captains tossed and Matthew Evans for Dafen won inserting Llangennech on their home wicket that promised to be slow low and with a little movement. Thus it proved, Dafen had several changes to the previous week, the opening bowler Andrew Rowlands being absent amongst others with Andrew Herbert, Rob Jones and Sean Evans coming in their stead. Rowlands was replaced a opening bowler by Chris Hudson, recovered from his shoulder injury suffered in the defeat to Tata last week.
Llangennech made slow progress against accurate bowling and the occasional ill-timed exhortation from mid-off, such that the run rate struggled to keep up with the overs. Evans (M) nipped out Paul Cameron, sharply taken at gully by Dafydd Nicholas while Hudson dismissed first Huw Williams and then Nathan Richards so that after 15 overs Llangennech were teetering at 15-3. They started the slow road back from there, Atif Hameed and Gethin Long battled to 42 before Hameed fell for 13. Long went shortly afterwards for 20. James Taube top scored with 25 being the 4th LBW victim, emphasising the low bounce. The Dafen bowlers did not loosen their grip with Evans finishing with 4-34, Hudson 3-25 from their 15 overs each. George claimed 2 and Andrew Herbert delivered the coup de grace by bowling Simon Clement to close the innings at 96 all out.
After the usual sumptuous tea, Dafen nervously addressed the task at hand. The experienced pair of Matthew Evans and Nick Davies played cautiously but were never becalmed, faced by the wiles of leg-spinnning Ikram. The knowledge of being dismissed for less than 60 twice already this season unspoken but not far beneath the surface. Ikram went wicketless unable to replicate the efforts of Dafen's tweakers, Llangennech rotated the bowlers but to minimal avail. Evans fell, another LBW, but Davies top scored with 43 not out smashing the winning boundary over extra cover, and the ebullient Dafydd Nicholas a brisk 13. Dafen won by 9 wickets and with one bound had leapt free of the relegation zone, but Llangennech are in the mire. Maesteg Celtic won which has sent them to the bottom.
Local bragging rights secured, Dafen entertain Cowbridge next week.
Taliesin - 07/07/2013
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