Dafen started the day in the wobbly position of 8th place in the first division of the SWCA and travelled to Carmarthen to play the Wanderers who were promoted last season. The day promised the possibility only of showers, and the wicket looked slow and low. Stand in Captain Jamie Mansel won the toss and decided to bowl first, conscious that he was a bowler short as usual captain Matthew Evans was on his summer holidays.
Because of this, there was another new opening attack for Dafen as Andrew Rowlands and Chris Hudson took first use of the new cherry. They immediately established a vice-like grip upon scoring. It wasn't until the 15th over that runs overtook overs and by then Hudson had removed Rhys Thomas and Owain Davies to injudicious shots.
Rowlands gave way to Phil George who continued the control and steadily worked his way through the Carmarthen batting order. Carmarthen inched above 2 runs per over by the 40th over but were by then 6 wickets down and hoping for a third batting point for 120 runs. It wasn't to be as George claimed 4 wickets in his last six overs to finish with 6-29 from 15 overs and Carmarthen closing on 118 all out.
The wicket was as expected, and also expected to be hard work to chase in the second innings, so there was some trepidation in the Dafen camp as the chase began. With justification is soon proved as Rob Jones fell early and then three wickets all with the score on 38: first Dafydd Nicholas for 26 scintillating runs, second Chris Randall for a duck and finally Nick Davies for a cautious 8. The early tremors became a mid-innings minor earthquake when Sean Evans and Phil George were out and Dafen tottered on 69 for 6 with still 50 runs needed and 20 overs remaining.
But then came the defining partnership between the acting captain Mansel, as ever guiding his team home with narrowed eyes and calm aplomb, and the original pocket battleship himself Andrew Herbert. Though some feel he is more of a tramp steamer, he was resplendent in shiny new daps and initially with doughty defence and latterly with some big biffs he saw Dafen home with Mansel how scored an undefeated 38 to Herbert's 29 both not out.
They put on 52 for the seventh wicket stand and carried Dafen home to win by 4 wickets and claim 26 points. Now elevated to 7th place, Dafen host Gowerton in their last home league game of the season next Saturday.
Taliesin - 11/08/2013
Dafen Weather Forecast