Roberts snares five as Amman beat Aberdare

WINNING START: Ammanford’s Tom Maynard delivers the first ball of the season as they defeated Aberdare by six wickets. Picture by SDD

WINNING START: Ammanford’s Tom Maynard delivers the first ball of the season as they defeated Aberdare by six wickets. Picture by SDD

First published in Sport

AMMANFORD began their 2014 league season with a six-wicket win against Aberdare at the Park.

It was their first match back in the South Wales Cricket Association since they won it to go up to the Premier League four seasons ago.

Ammanford skipper Alun Evans won the toss and cautiously, given the unfamiliarity of the visitors, invited Aberdare to bat.

Ammanford paceman Tom Maynard broke up the Aberdare opening partnership with the score on 27. But then a century stand between Steve Manning and ex-Glamorgan veteran John Derrick put the visitors in the driving seat, at least for a short while.

Manning was finally dismissed for 56, caught and bowled by Matthew Fisher, with the score on 129.

Fisher was joined by fellow spinner Matthew Roberts and these two turned the screw on Aberdare’s batsmen, forcing them to take risks to get runs.

John Derrick seemed to be aware there was little his colleagues could do against the spinners and he kept one end going until he was dismissed for 66, the sixth wicket to fall.

The Aberdare innings was truly one of two halves, the first 25 overs bringing a healthy 112 for just one wicket, the second 25 yielding a parsimonious 48 for seven wickets.

Aberdare closed on 160-8, with Matthew Roberts (5-29) proving to be the pick of the bowlers. Fisher also chipped in with 2-53.

Craig Maloney and Rhys Culley opened Ammanford’s innings, posting a sedate but solid 37 in 15 overs before Maloney (10) became the first man out.

Skipper Alun Evans endured a tough start and was sent packing for seven, but then Culley was joined by Fisher as the pair stayed together until there were just four runs needed for victory.

Both decided to miss the rush for the showers by holing out before the target had been reached.

Fisher went first for 66, fol lowed by Culley for 59.

The match was finished by Rhys Davies and Matthew Roberts, who quickly knocked off the runs.

The six-wicket win was achieved with nine overs to spare, bringing Ammanford a welcome 23 points to send them top of Division One.

Next week they visit Ynystawe, who managed winning draw against Skewen on the opening day of the season.

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