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Davies and Thomas Think Hard Work Is Paying Off

Ynysygerwn CC have had an indifferent start to the 2017 season, losing the first game of the season against Cardiff CC off the last ball was disappointing before a losing draw against newly promoted Penarth CC was followed by huge defeats at the hands of Pontarddulais CC and Mumbles CC.

But the hard work put in by head coach Darren Thomas, Team Manager Mark Davies and skipper Richard Grant seems to be paying off. Winning Draws against local rivals Neath CC and Ammanford CC have seen the village side come off the bottom spot and close the gap to 7th place Penarth CC to just 6 points ahead of Saturday's derby against Port Talbot Town CC.

The positive results, as well as victory in the Welsh Cup over neighbours Neath CC has been down to hard work during practice nights as well as on the field as Team Manager Mark Davies said "Gary Player once quoted - the more I practice the luckier I get - and the first 5 weeks of the season have certainly proved that theory. Practice nights have been well attended and the intensity has been something many of the players have taken a while to adjust too, and bruised knees and gazed elbows are now a common sight on a Thursday evening."

Darren Thomas has also been impressed with the teams efforts in training "Our training and turnouts on a Thursday evening has been good, access to grass nets to face bowlers is essential for the players to get used to our home conditions - there has been visual improvements in our fielding which I'm targeting. We are also seeing healthy competition coming from the second team players."

The second XI have started the season well and currently lie in second place behind Mumbles CC.

Despite coming close to gaining a draw at Cardiff CC on the opening day of the season, scoring runs seemed to be a problem in the opening four games as Head Coach Thomas explained "The start of the season was a difficult one. Some glaring things were evident, roles and responsibilities within the team were slightly changing because of availably issues - saying that our batting line up has been relatively set, and has been the main area of concern only scoring over 200 once this season."

Pre season was difficult as weather and unavailability meant we only managed 2 friendlies as Thomas continued "It's probably fair to say we were behind the eight ball in terms of match preparation. A lot of Premier League teams have young aspiring players who are either in University, Academy, College and are playing or training regularly - which is tough to compete with. We would have probably have to play 7 or 8 matches pre season to be anywhere near prepared as some players/ teams in the Premier League."

Now 6 weeks into the season the hard work in training seems to be paying off coupled with a good team spirit Ynysygerwn seem to be on the rise as Davies reflected on "The past 2 weeks have seen an upturn in performances with good results against Neath and Ammanford, followed up with a close win over our near rivals Neath in the Welsh Cup has brought a healthy dose of confidence with some of our younger players Adam Sylvester, Nish Delevaye, Scott Thornton and Dan Davies performing well in pressure situations."

June and July is an important stage of the season with League and Cup matches coming thick and fast as Thomas continued " The very encouraging thing is we have shown fight and discipline over the last few weeks. A toughness which has seen progress in results. The Neath {League} match on the new part of the square has really kicked off a belief in the group which is starting to spiral. The next month of cricket sees us playing some tough games in the league against Port Talbot Town, Newport and then Cardiff at the turnaround, we also play Swansea in the SWCA cup and Port Talbot in the Welsh Cup - if we can come away from these games with some decent results it will put us in a positive mind-set for the rest of the season."

Davies is also keen to keep this good run of form going adding "The key now is to keep going and not take our foot off the pedal and with the next few weeks seeing us play Port Talbot and Newport, there are plenty of tough games ahead."

The junior section have also had a good start to the season with our Under 11s winning their only game played, the Under 13's winning 5 out of 5 game played so far and the Under 15's have won 2 our of 3 games.

This has combined with the new All Star Cricket camp for children been 5-8 years old and our new Under 10's side. Thomas was quick to point our this is essential to a village club saying "Another encouraging thing has been the turnout fore the All Stars Cricket and Junior Section on a Saturday morning. It has been great seeing Rich Curtis spending enjoyable time with 5-8 year old. The Under 13's and 15's have benefited from having extra training sessions with Scott Thornton, Gavin John, Nish Delevaye and myself."

Any Junior players wanting to join the club please feel free to come netting every Friday evening from 5:45pm at Ynysygerwn Cricket Club.

This weekend sees a packed weekend of cricket. Saturday the First XI entertain local rivals Port Talbot Town CC at Ynysygerwn CC. Wickets pitched at 12:30pm. While Second XI travel to the New Mansel Ground for the reverse fixture also starting at 12:30pm. The 3rd XI are also on their travels as they play Gowerton CC 3rd XI. Sunday sees the start of the SWCA T20 competition where we travel to St. Helens to face Premier League 2 side Swansea CC. Wickets pitched at 2:00pm.

#Cricket #2017Season

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