Maesteg Celtic visited Dafen Park on Saturday in the days key relegation battle. The day started with Dafen in 8th place with Maesteg in 9th and 9 points behind; it is possible that three teams could be relegated depending on events in the premier league.
There had been rain overnight but the pitch was dry, Maesteg batted on winning the toss to reflect the soundness of the wicket. But it was slow progress, there was a little early seam movement for the bowlers and few wayward balls as Nick Poole and Ian Herbert inched forwards. 24 for 0 from 10 became 42-1 after 20.
Matthew Evans and Andrew Rowlands had given way to spin twins Phil George and Chris Hudson but still there was no respite for the batsmen as they crept forward, eschewing rash shots in the face of some turn and more accuracy. 68-1 from 30 was then 101 for 2 after 40 overs surely the onslaught would come. In a way it did but not with runs as 6 wickets fell in the last 10 overs for 42 runs.
Phil Poole top scored with 59 while George claimed 3-37 and Hudson 4-50. The effort aided by keeper Daniel Vaughan's 2 stumpings and 2 catches.
So the run chase started after tea, a brief stumble when Captain Evans was run out, but taken forwards by the form batsmen for Dafen Nicky Davies (29) and Dafydd Nicholas (67 not out). Though Davies was out when the total was 66 and Rob Jones shortly afterwards Captain emeritus Jamie Mansel made a patient 16 to assist Nicholas to see the side home with 18 overs to spare and 7 wickets in hand.
Dafen have now put some daylight between them and Maesteg Celtic, but now need to chase those above them to secure 7th place and the certainty of safety. Next week they start this phase of the season by visiting Carmarthen Wanderers.
Diogenes - 04/08/2013
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