IT’S been a while in the making, but Denbigh have finally sampled defeat.
The Ystrad Road side’s excellent unbeaten run in the Premier Division of the North Wales Cricket League drew to a close at the weekend as they found themselves being defeated at Mochdre.
This six-wicket reverse was Denbigh’s fifth defeat of the campaign - but it was their first since way back on May 30, when a total in excess of 300 wasn’t enough to secure a positive outcome at Pwllheli.
Denbigh embarked on a seven-game unbeaten run after this loss, although only three of them ended in victory as wet weather caused four games to either be cancelled or abandoned.
There were no concerns regarding the overhead conditions on Saturday and Denbigh made first use of the batting track after visiting skipper Stuart Griffiths called correctly during the pre-match toss.
A solid start was in the offing courtesy of a decent opening stand compiled by Gerallt Lyall and Sean Danaher.
The duo put on 53 for the opening wicket before Danaher departed for 26, when he was caught by Matthew Humphreys off the bowling of Kyle Brown.
Despite this setback, Denbigh continued to have the better of the early stages and they appeared to be in a decent position when Lyall and number three batsman Harrison Jones guided the visitors to 95-1.
Lyall was the leading light courtesy of his knock of 50 and Jones scored 31 as Denbigh looked to compile a big total.
However, Mochdre came roaring back into the contest and they picked up five wickets for just 34 runs to leave their opponents in a spot of bother.
Adam Jones (2-24) and Gareth Davies (2-20) caused the bulk of the damage at this point and Denbigh were suddenly reduced to 129-6.
A seventh wicket stand of 42 did improve matters somewhat from the perspective of the visitors, as captain Griffiths (32) and Andy Thomas (12 not out) led Denbigh to 171-6.
With 200 being the target for the innings, Denbigh will have been disappointed to lose their last four wickets for just six runs as they were bowled out for 177 in the 49th over.
Doing the damage at the end of the innings was Taylor Williams (3-52).
Needing a bright opening to their spell in the field, Denbigh couldn’t have wished for a better start to proceedings after tea.
Alec Lewis was quickly among the wickets as he dismissed Mochdre opener Alex Davies for a duck, aided by Andy Clarke’s catch.
Another wicket arrived when the home side’s tally reached 31, but a couple of decent partnerships after this ensured that it wasn’t going to be Denbigh’s day.
There was a third wicket stand of 67 for the home outfit to celebrate, while the fourth wicket partnership realised 51, helping Mochdre to reach a winning 178-4 with six overs to spare.
Matthew Humphreys’ knock of 72 was key to this success, while James French finished up undefeated on 32 when the innings drew to a close.
Denbigh utilised no fewer than seven bowlers in their efforts to turn things around and the main wicket taker turned out to be Alec Lewis, who snapped up 2-40 from his nine overs.
The remaining wickets were shared by Andy Clarke (1-10) and Harrison Jones (1-39).
Mochdre were able to claim the majority of the points on offer in a 13-2 split.
DENBIGH 2NDS 100
MOCHDRE 2NDS 199-5
MOCHDRE completed a weekend double over Denbigh with success in the 2nd XI Premier Division clash.
Batting first at Ystrad Road, the visitors managed to rattle up an imposing 199-5 from their 45 overs.
Sean McHale’s unbeaten 88 from 90 deliveries was the main performance on the day, while Dan Miller struck a patient 38.
Denbigh’s wicket-takers turned out to be Ian Hall (2-19), Matthew Lewis-Williams (1-11), Sion Jones (1-24) and David Schrimshaw (1-55).
Things were going to be tricky when it was the turn of 10-man Denbigh to repond, but by reaching 100 they at least secured one point from their efforts.
Matthew Lewis-Williams completed a good all-round showing by top scoring with 22 and a trio of other batsmen got into double figures.
They were David Schrimshaw (18), Simon Robertshaw (14) and Stuart Moulden (10).
There were a number of impressive bowling performances, most notably from Martin Roberts (3-21), Jacob Molloy (2-15) and Dan Miller (2-15).