A THREE-wicket burst from opening bowler Tony Brennan was the highlight in Monmouth 1st XI’s 135-run defeat at St Fagans Thirds in the South-East Wales League Division 7.    

Brennan snapped up 3-28 from eight overs as a depleted Monmouth, sponsored by Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, gained the upper hand in the early stages of last Saturday’s clash. 

The returning Jon Despontin did well in his first wicketkeeping appearance for four years and teenager Tom Russell took two excellent catches at point. 

Aled Jones (2-34) and skipper Gareth Jones (1-41) picked up wickets for mid-table Monmouth before former Leeds United and Cardiff City footballer Ryan Nicholls took centre stage. 

Nicholls battered a quick-fire 75 not out, containing seven fours and four sixes, as St Fagans piled on the runs in the closing overs to storm to 245-7 from 40 overs. 

Kit Skailes (0-18 from four overs) and Duncan Delreeve (0-32) delivered tidy stints for Monmouth, while Richard Elliott (42) and Martyn Deverell (40) made contributions for St Fagans. 

After the interval, Monmouth’s understrength batting line-up struggled against an accurate home bowling attack and were dismissed for 110 in the 26th over. Skailes (23), Tony Brennan (17 not out), Will Hickmott (17) and Paul Brooks (11) all reached double figures for Monmouth, but St Fagans completed a comprehensive league double. 

This Saturday, Monmouth will be aiming to bounce back when they host Dinas Powys 2nds at the Sports Ground (12.30pm start). 

All-rounder Jonathan Roberts hit a fine half-century but Monmouth Seconds slipped to an agonising one-run home defeat against old friends Llanarth Seconds in a tense Division 12 East local derby. 

Nick White (40), Dave Myatt (31) and William Evans (26) all made impressive contributions as Llanarth reached a respectable 149-9 from 40 overs at the Sports Ground. 

Roberts (3-23 from eight overs), Sam Brennan (2-24 from eight) and Nick Robinson (1-21 from eight) all bowled incisively for Monmouth. 

Tom Willgoss (1-1 from four), Lauren Maguire (1-44) and Kieran Shaw (0-25 from eight) also delivered good spells for Monmouth, while wicketkeeper Russell Giblin held a catch and made a stumping and there were also catches from Roberts and Robinson. 

In reply, Roberts led Monmouth’s assault and was backed by Nick Holt (24), Willgoss (22) and Giblin (13) but Llanarth’s bowlers kept the hosts pegged back. 

Monmouth endured three run-outs as they attempted to lift the scoring rate and, in a thrilling climax, fell just one run short – closing on 148-7 from 40 overs. 

Andrew Hilditch (1-10 from eight overs), Shah Fahad (0-11 from eight), Anthony Morris (1-13), Zac Williams (1-28) and Evans (1-30) all shone with the ball for Llanarth. 

Monmouth 2nds, sponsored by Latorre Consultancy, are fourth in the division and travel to face Abercarn Seconds this Saturday (12.30pm start). 

Greg Thomas and Marta Fernandez both hit their highest scores for the club in Monmouth Thirds’ battling six-wicket defeat at Malpas Thirds in Division 13 East.  

Thomas top scored with 21, while Harry Williams (18) and Fernandez (13 not out) reached double figures in Monmouth’s 102 all out in the 36th over. 

Spinner Haddon Sullivan (2-6), who snapped up his first wickets for Monmouth, and Craig Cook (2-48) made Malpas’ batters work hard. 

Alun Jeremiah (0-16) and Sam Uttley (0-8 from four overs) also bowled accurately for Monmouth Thirds, sponsored by Gwalia Consulting Ltd. 

However, opener Lewis Rouse (57 not out) and former Pontymister all-rounder Tapan Bhatt (23) eventually saw the Newport club to victory. 

This Saturday, Monmouth 3rds host third-placed Blaina Seconds at Chippenham Fields (12.30pm start). 

Meanwhile, Monmouth’s midweek side went down by 18 runs at Newport Royals in their latest fixture in the Newport and District Midweek League. 

Fernandez took a spectacular running catch for Monmouth, sponsored by Monmouth Dental Practice, as they restricted the Royals to 139-7 from 18 overs. 

Robinson was Monmouth’s most successful bowler, taking 3-30, while Harry Desroy (2-33) and Delreeve (2-39) also picked up wickets and Gareth Tyler and Desroy both held two catches. 

Despite the excellent efforts of Hickmott (28) and Tyler (26), Monmouth replied with 121-8 from their 18 overs in a hard-fought contest. 

Outdoor senior training continues on Thursdays from 5.30pm at the Sports Ground and to sign-up for junior, senior or women’s cricket, please contact chairman, Dave Walters, by emailing [email protected]