Ammanford edge closer to title

TITLE-CHASERS: Ammanford maintained their lead at the top of the table thanks to a three-wicket win at Dafen.

TITLE-CHASERS: Ammanford maintained their lead at the top of the table thanks to a three-wicket win at Dafen.

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SWCA Division One

Dafen (118) lost to Ammanford (119-7)

Ammanford maintained their lead at the top of the SWCA with a narrow three-wicket win at Dafen on Saturday.

On a poor track that held little promise of improvement, the home team decided to bat first after winning the toss.

Matthew Fisher broke through quickly with two early wickets while Craig Maloney at the other end helped himself to a further two.

Only Chris Randell with a half-century offered any real resistance to the Ammanford attack, and Dafen folded on what looked like a straightforward target of 118 after 40 just overs.

Fisher and Maloney took four wickets each, the other two being picked up by Matthew Roberts.

What looked like a straightforward target at the tea interval looked distinctly less so half way through the Ammanford innings.

They lost six wickets for just 54 runs, with front line batsmen such as Alun Evans experiencing a rare failure with the bat.

Fortunately for Ammanford, wicket-keeper Gareth Slade was on hand to halt the decline, as he has done on more than one occasion for the league leaders.

With Hedd Wyn Jones at the other end, Slade took the score to 84 before being caught for 30.

On a deteriorating pitch, not helped by fraying nerves, there was still plenty of work to do, but Jones (28no) was up to the task.

Helped by young Sam Jones (9no) at the other end, he took the leaders through to a three wicket victory in the 49th over which had earlier looked beyond them.

The victory kept Ammanford on top of Division One with a 28-point lead ahead of Tata Steel.

The remaining three weeks of fixtures throw up some key battles for the leaders as they look to secure the title in their first year following relegation.

Ammanford entertain third-placed Carmarthen Wanderers next week, before Wanderers take on second-placed Tata Steel the following week.

Their final match sees Ammanford play Tata at the Park, by which time they hope the title will already have been decided.

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