A SUPERB all-round display from Australian all-rounder Kaine Harmsworth helped Menai Bridge cement their spot at the top of the North Wales Cricket Premier Division with a commanding eight-wicket win over local rivals Bangor.
In a match which pitted Harmsworth with fellow Sydney native and ex-teammate Blake Dean, it was 23 year-old Harmsworth who stole the show with a 73 not out knock and two wickets, to give Bridge took the bragging rights on this occasion.
On the hottest day of the season so far at Bangor’s Ty Newydd, Menai Bridge skipper Robbie Jones elected to put Bangor into bat first.
Blake Dean and opening partner Ben Garnett struggled to get to grips with the Menai bowling attack.
Although they put on an opening partnership of 61, it took 23.2 overs to accumulate those runs.
After Garnett (23) fell, Faisal Khan added 15 before leaving the crease.
With the score on 87, Carl Thomas got the prize wicket of Blake Dean, trapped LBW for 36.
Only Skipper Dave Winter (26) offered any further resistance as Bangor finished their 50 overs on 148-7.
The pick of the Menai Bowlers were Ashley Wood (3-25) and Kaine Harmsworth (2-33).
Menai Bridge's response was swift, with openers Danny Creek (22) and Luke Jones (8) putting on 28 in seven overs before they departed.
Enter Harmsworth to partner skipper Robbie Jones.
A partnership of 92, with Jones unbeaten on 16 and Harmsworth unbeaten on 74 with a strike rate of 121 saw Bridge ease to victory by eight wickets and a 14-1 scoreline.
Idrees (2-40) was the top bowler for the hosts on an otherwise tough day.
The win leaves Bridge three points clear of Connah’s Quay at the top of the table, while defeat sees Bangor fall to eighth.
Menai seconds suffered a five-wicket defeat at home to Bersham in their Division One match.
Paul Lucas (23) provided the only plus point of a weak start from the Bridge batsmen.
The mid-order came and went quickly before Gareth Riley (23) and Aled Hughes (32) made vital contributions to help Bridge post a competitive 125 total.
Bersham started well, with opener Mohamed Nilam Jayman (58) showing his side the way.
Despite increasing pressure from the home bowlers, a 25 not out knock from Gareth Pugh steered Bersham to victory in 30.2 overs for the fall of five wickets.
Andrew Wannop (2-19), Brennan Bachman (2-35) and Andy Goodwin (1-14) were Bridge’s wicket-takers.
Valiant Bodedern were put to the sword in a Division One thriller at Conwy on Saturday.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Conwy’s Phil Davies (6) was soon removed before Rajjenu Britto (17) followed.
Their successors demonstrated some terrific batting however, with skipper Daniel Davies (84), Shaun Davies (31) and Rob Miller (53) propelling the home side to an imposing 288-8 score from their 50 overs.
Bryn Hughes (3-26) and Terry Warner (2-70) took wickets on a tough afternoon for the Boded attack.
The visitors’ reply was hampered by the early loss of Ed Gadsby (5), but with opener Matthew Jackson at the crease, they soon regained their bearings.
Carl Jones (31), Gareth Thomas (26) and Australian signing Scott Fagerlund (50) all made good knocks as they partnered Jackson.
He accumulated 103 runs before finally being dismissed by Luke Jones.
The wicket gave the Conwy bowlers an added impetus and although Boded were closing in on the target, they displayed great determination to bowl the visitors out 16 runs short, for 273.
Jones (3-74), Billy Gledhall (3-59) and Shaun Davies (2-6) were the pick of the Conwy bowlers on a successful afternoon for the home side.
Bodedern seconds defeated Division Four opponents Anglesey Aluminium to claim the island bragging rights.
Batting first, hosts Boded posted 164-8, with Martin Roberts (49) and Kevin Williams (28) top scoring and Ben Sims, James Taylor and Chris Rowlands claiming two wickets apiece for Aluminium.
Ian Sims (36) and Mike Will (28) led a brave batting effort from the visitors, but a terrific 6-49 spell from Kevin Williams helped end the Aluminium challenge.
BETHESDA experienced a weekend of mixed fortune with differing outcomes from their two matches.
They breezed to a seven-wicket triumph at Connah’s Quay seconds on Saturday in their Division Two trip.
The Pesda bowlers had the Quay batsmen all out for just 77 in 33 overs, and despite the loss of three wickets, the visiting batsmen guided their side towards victory in just 24 overs.
They followed it up on Sunday by exiting the Welsh Cup at the hands of Premier Division outfit Llanrwst.
The Gwynedd side posed a threat with the ball and managed to bowl the hosts out inside 36 overs for 141.
However, their pursuit for runs never reached the same levels of success as the batsmen found the Rwst bowlers tough to cope with.
They were eventually skittled for just 70 in 26 overs, to bow out of the competition.
A depleted Bangor seconds side suffered a 10-wicket thrashing at Brymbo seconds in their Division Three encounter after collapsing to 44 all-out in their innings.