Following a rollercoaster ride with the England team over the past few weeks, we return our attention to our 2019 Barmy Army Clubs.

Carmarthen Wanderers

A great weekend for the seniors and juniors of Carmarthen Wanderers saw the first and second teams pick up comfortable wins, with the U13 and U15 sides remaining on course for league and cup success.

The firsts chased 233 with relative ease, running out 7-wicket winners. Steven Mills finished unbeaten on 67, while openers Inward and Davies also made excellent contributions at the top of the order. The seconds’ chase was somewhat easier still, which is hardly surprising given the 55 they required. For them, Simon Rogers (10-4-13-6) starred with the ball before Andrew Harley and Lewis Byng selfishly knocked the runs off themselves.

The juniors, meanwhile, are looking at the very real prospect of a finals day at Sophia Gardens. They have both won their respective leagues, meaning qualification for the play-off semi-finals, and are also in the Welsh Cup regional finals. The cup competition is the one that anyone looking for a day out will be paying the most attention to, but silverware is a definite possibility for the younger members of the club either way.

Draycott and Hanbury CC

After much rain and lots of hard work by the club grounds team, Draycott and Hanbury were at least able to get a game on this weekend.

The skipper continued his poor record at the toss and was duly asked to bat, with the ball doing all sorts. At 71-6, a partnership between Simon Ashmore and Jack Montgomery (U16) saw 73 added, boosting their total to a competitive 171 for 8.

A few early wickets were then snared by veteran Dave ‘Wacko’ Walker, who finished with 3-18 from 8 overs. Only Tutbury’s James Cooke stayed long enough to score any meaningful runs (31) before Ryan Ayling (4-19 from 9.1 overs) had him bowled. A very tight finish saw Draycott pick up an invaluable win in difficult circumstances, setting up a potential title decider with Ashbourne next week.

The seconds travelled to Clifton village in the Derbyshire County League, where one of the club’s promising talents starred with the ball. Jack Stride (U15) took 5-45 from 11 overs to halt an impressive display of batting by the home side. The game ended in a draw after Paul Holmes made 50 on his league debut and another junior, U13 Luke Taylor, made a very useful 31.

Tong Park Esholt CC

Following the excellent performances of Carmarthen and Draycott & Hanbury, it would have been nice to report a clean sweep for our featured clubs. Unfortunately, Tong Park Esholt ensured a poor weekend all round!

Despite Mick Scott’s 5 wickets, league leaders Saltaire CC took the Tong Park bowlers for 295 from their 50 overs. An interesting run chase was on the cards at one stage before a lower-order collapse saw Saltaire continue their title-winning form.

The seconds and thirds also registered losses, but the club were still able to make the most of the weekend in the form of their annual beer pong tournament. The evening consistently raises important funds for the club, and this season was no different.