Radyr Cricket Club

RCC – Review of 2021 Season

At approximately 4.15pm on September 11th, Rhys Lloyd hit the boundary which won the game for the First XI at Lisvane by 3 wickets and proved to be the last action of a packed season. The highlight of the last game was a hat trick, his first, by Tom Shrewsbury, and the first at this level for the club in over twenty years. (For those interested the moment when it happened can be seen from two angles on Twitter). 

The year for the First XI ultimately proved successful, as having got promotion in 2019 to the top division of the South East Wales Cricket League, consolidation was the aim. Finishing in mid table was the perfect end and was helped by being undefeated in the last four games: the three wins and a tie took the side well away from any idea of relegation. Thoughts however go to games we should have won, especially twice against Sudbrook, where we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. However mid table would have been grabbed with gusto if it had been offered before the season started.

The Second XI also had the same aim of consolidation having been promoted to Division 3 in 2019. This level of cricket meant that for the first time, the club would have neutral umpires for its top two sides and for the seconds the difference was palpable. The season ebbed and flowed, winning when they were destined to lose and losing when it seemed impossible to do other than win. However in the end, despite a terrible run of injuries and Covid interventions, the team got the necessary number of points to avoid the dreaded drop. Next year will be quite another challenge, especially early in the season, when quite a few of the stalwarts are away in University, but hopefully injuries and Covid will relent.

The Third XI, as with the top two sides, were basking in a 2019 promotion season. However unlike those sides, the team found the going tough in Division 4, playing against some exceptional clubs and ending second from bottom in the table and therefore contemplating life in a lower division. Despite some early wins, the knock on effect of availability throughout the club took its toil and relegation was confirmed a few weeks before the end of the season. This was a bitter pill to swallow for the skipper and his loyal group of players, but I have no doubt that 2022 will see a fresh impetus from the Third XI as they once again aim to climb back into the higher division.

At the start of the season the club asked Daf Marsh to skipper the Fourth XI and to achieve promotion out of Division 10, which had cruelly eluded his predecessor for a number of years. Moving up the divisions was felt to be vital to close the cricketing gap between the 3rds and the 4ths. The skipper, his first ever captaincy role, like his team, got better as the year progressed and by the last game of the season, they knew that a win might just be good enough for promotion. The side did what it could with a comprehensive victory and then the agonising wait for the result of our closest rival. Slowly rumour turned to fact and the news seeped out, the Fourth XI were promoted and the team fashioned out of promising young cricketers plus a few more senior individuals had become the talk of the club.

The 2021 season was for a number of reasons a year of firsts, with one of them being the Fifth XI finally taking the field. After a stalled year due to Covid, Steve Sanders took the helm, with the aim being to end above mid way in an eighteen team division. This was achieved as they finished in eighth position and not before his players scored three centuries in achieving seven brilliant victories. The only drawback was the need for their home games to be in Pontcanna rather than Radyr, though the club are looking at all possible avenues to bring them home. Throughout the year they played some great cricket, introduced youngsters to the game and at the end of the day enjoyed themselves enormously. The 2022 season can’t come soon enough.

The other main first was the inaugural full season of the Womens XI which was an enormous success. The side finished in third place in the South West Womens Regional Premier League, which saw visits over the water to Bath and Bridgwater Cricket Clubs, plus more local south Wales matches. The triumph at the latter of the English clubs saw the side chase down over two hundred and fifty to win the game by eight wickets, with captain, Lydia Clements making an undefeated hundred. She was nobly assisted by Beth Gammon, who later in the year was given her Western Storm debut at Chester Le Street. The ladies have in a short space of time become an integral part of the club and added to an already fun environment. Their dedication and no little skill will see them undoubtedly prosper over the next few seasons. It should also be mentioned that the Ladies Soft Ball team won the Division 3 Cup and from the photographs seen they had a great time afterwards.

The Under 19s weren’t quite as successful this year as in 2019 though at the start and end of the season they triumphed against Gorseinon CC, who are about to take their place in this year’s final. The Junior teams continued to introduce young boys and girls to the joy of cricket and produce youngsters who will grace the senior sides. Another first was the club’s association with the University of South Wales CC. Unfortunately the early season weather saw all but one game called off, though the club has great hopes of developing this relationship into the future. Finally a big thank you to our main shirt sponsors, Michael Graham Young and CGI, plus all those who advertised in the Fixture Card and around the ground.

The 2021 Award winners at the brilliant celebration night I early September were as follows:

First XI Player of the Year, Mick Sullivan Award – Rhys Lloyd

Second XI Player of the Year – Tom Wilbraham

Third XI Player of the Year – Matt Tyler

Fourth XI Player of the Year, George Edwards Award – Evan Rhys

Fifth XI Player of the Year, Mary Norman Award – Peter Lamb

Womens XI Hardball Player of the Year, Geraint Thomas Award – Lydia Clements

Womens Softball Most Improved Player, Paul Adams Award – Kath Cook

Young Player of the Year, Denis Towill Award – Archie Clegg

Club Person of the Year, George Helyar & Gomer Cosker Award – Becky Thomas

Adam Shantry Award – Peter Lamb

Can I say bon voyage to a number of members who are off to pastures new: Matt Swindlehurst is moving to London to further his career and George Pickering is off to, he doesn’t know yet, in his career as a Civil Servant. You go with our deepest thanks and wishing you all the best in whatever life throws at you. To those off to University for the first time it’s au revoir, to Archie Clegg, Alex Griffiths, Cian Morgan, Jack and Will Jones and Sophie Thomas. Also to Alfie Rogers who is about to start his apprenticeship in Cheltenham. Hopefully we’ll see you at the club in one piece as soon as you’re home.

So the 2021 season is at an end. Thanks to all members, LVPs, VPs and all the club’s friends and sponsors and hopefully see you all in 2022.

Chris Hitchings – Chairman

14 September, 2021

Radyr Chain – October Article

The season at Radyr ended with an amazing Awards Ceremony held on the outfield in front of the pavilion. The photograph shows the fantastic numbers who attended and enjoyed a long evening. It was without doubt the best and most well attended of these ceremonies we’ve ever organised and showed the diverse nature of the membership of the club. It was wonderful to see members as young as seven years of age receiving their prizes and the sheer joy on their faces and of their parents will live long in the memory. The barbecue and bar did a roaring trade and it was a celebration of everything that is good, in this most sociable of cricket clubs. 

The season was one of consolidation after the major triumphs of 2019, the last full season pre Covid. The Fourth XI were the most successful senior team and achieved promotion on the last day of the season. The captain and his players justifiably celebrated long and hard, in a side combining the youngest and oldest of the club’s players. They will be extremely competitive in the higher division in 2022 and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if more success followed.

It was also a season of firsts as the club embarked on a Fifth XI and at long last the Womens XI. The former was incredibly successful and gave great enjoyment to those players, again young and old, who played throughout the season. The only drawback was that their home games had to be played away from Radyr due to pitch constraints. It is something the club needs to urgently remedy and alternatives are being sought. Unfortunately cricket pitches are not ten a penny in Radyr or Morganstown but the search continues. With regards the Womens side this was more successful than the club could have imagined. In the end they finished third in the South West Womens Cricket League, the top level of women’s cricket in this area. The photograph shows the team after their game at Bath, who are one of the power houses of both male and female recreational cricket. I have no doubt that this section of the club will go from strength to strength and their fun attitude has made the clubhouse a great place to be on Saturday evenings.

The Awards Ceremony also showed off the wonderful facilities that the club enjoys. I think it is unlikely that many clubs in South Wales enjoy conjoined grounds of such quality with changing rooms to match. The sadness was of course that due to Covid restrictions it was only in the last few weeks of the season that these could be used: in fact the cricket tea, that institution of the recreational game, did not reappear until the last game of the season. The off season will see a number of areas improved, a few walls repainted and fences upgraded. The grounds have already had there annual weed and feed and throughout September and October works will conclude on tidying up the squares in preparation for 2022. Truly work never ceases at Radyr Cricket Club.

So whilst I take a few weeks to get my breath back, planning for next year begins in earnest in November. Firstly the AGM will make the decisions that set the club’s path towards 2022: this is quickly followed by the League’s version, when all the playing conditions are agreed. Indoor nets will follow on shortly thereafter and some of the members will play the indoor variety of the game. Then the big moment, the arrival of the fixtures before the year end and the thought that cricket is once again just around the corner.

It only remains for me to thank our shirt sponsors, Michael Graham Young for their support, the Community Council for all their kindness and the residents of Radyr and Morganstown who always help the club enormously. Should anyone wish to become part of Radyr Cricket Club, in any capacity, at any age, either boy or girl, from player to groundsman, from sponsor to scorer, please do not hesitate to contact me on christopherhitchings@btinternet.comand I can assure you, you won’t regret it.

Christopher Hitchings – Chairman

Weekend of June 12 & 13 June

Once again it was four out of five wins for the club’s Saturday’s league teams. This week the party poopers were Miskin Manor 2nd XI who beat the Seconds by just one wicket off the penultimate ball: the game however was a belter with 484 runs shared between the sides. Rod Lloyd with 77 and Iwan Llewelyn 71 no, were the best of the batters whilst the pick of the bowlers was the skipper, Ben Wakeling with 4-27.

The First XI got their third win out of four by beating Blackwood at Radyr by 90 runs. Winning the toss and batting, RCC reached 256-8, with Archie Clegg 63, Tomos Morris 56 and a destructive 45 no from Tom Shrewsbury in 26 balls, being the main stay of the innings. Replying Blackwood reached 97-1 before losing wickets at regular intervals to end on 166-10. The wickets were spread out with Rod Lewis, Rhydian Morgan, Alfie Rogers and Rhys Lloyd taking two each.

In the Fourth Division the Third XI visited Abercynon to play their First XI, usually a daunting prospect. Well not so this time, as RCC recorded a 7 wicket win with almost 5 overs remaining. Winning the toss RCC decided to field first and restricted the hosts to 204-6 off their 40 overs. The star of the show was Matt Tyler who took 4-26, including a hat trick. He then put his pads on and opened the innings with Pete Clegg who scored a fantastic 113, being out with only 4 required to win. Pete was assisted by Will Jones with a well struck 40.

The Fourth XI continued their good form with a home win by 123 runs. Winning the toss and batting, RCC reached an impressive 207-6, with Gwion Tyler for the second Saturday running carrying his bat and scoring an unbeaten hundred: this time it was 133 no. A wonderful effort from a 15 year old, who got the call up for the First XI’s Welsh Cup match the following day. When taking the field Dinas Powys were never in the hunt, once their opener was dismissed by Evan Rhys, who went on to have figures of 3-1 off 6 overs with 5 maidens. The rest of the bowlers chipped in with the pick being George Pickering with 3-12.

Another brilliant performance by the Fifth XI saw them triumph by 36 runs. After losing the toss they scored 225-8, with Jamie Morgan scoring 97 in his first innings since August 2019. A belligerent 27 from Saffan Arian, which included 26 in boundaries, helped the side to such a formidable total. Vale CC opened with an 84 run partnership which was ended by Zachery Lewis, who took 3-16. Despite an unbeaten 6th wicket partnership of 42, the side were comfortable winners.

On Sunday the First XI played their re-arranged first round Welsh Cup tie at home to Upper Rhondda CC and won by 8 wickets. The visitors won the toss and batted but were dismissed for 75 in 14 overs. The wickets were shared around with 3 apiece for Gwion Tyler, on his debut, and Tom Wilbraham, with a hat trick to finish off the innings. RCC responded with 77-2 off 10.5 overs with Ben O’ Neil unbeaten on 32. It’s now off to Creigiau for the next round at the end of June.

Last but not least was a wonderful 8 wickets win for the Radyr Womens team away at Devizes. The hosts won the toss and posted 161-6 off their 40 overs, with Anna Stephenson’s 2-8 being the pick of the bowlers. When RCC replied, Mari Friss 41, Bethan Gammon 37 no and Lydia Clements 34 no took the side home, with a score of 162-2, with almost 7 overs to spare.

Saturday 5th June

Despite all five captains losing the toss for the second Saturday running, the club again achieved four wins, with the “black sheep” this week being the Second XI: bowling poorly early on proved decisive. However what was clear in all the games was the huge contribution made by the club’s younger members. In each side one youngster could be signalled out.

First XI – on Friday evening, Alfie Rogers was called into the side to make his debut at Usk CC, a place where bowlers have often been given a hard time. Hiding a debutant in the field might have been thought the safest option but there was none of that on this occasion. Bowling his full compliment of 10 overs of off spin, his figures were quite remarkable: 1-17 with 4 runs in one over being the most conceded. His bowling spell undoubtedly went some way in achieving victory.

SecondXI – despite being on the losing side Tom Wilbraham finished on 62 not out, his second half century in consecutive games. He currently has 124 league runs at an average of 62. In addition he took 2 wickets on Saturday to take his season’s tally to 11, at an average of 12.73.

Third XI – Jake Wakeling was back from school on his half term holidays this weekend and showed what a great cricketer he is. He firstly hammered a quick fire 18 when runs were required, then picked up the ball and took 2-11. He played a major part in the opposition going from 80-0, to 80-4 and ultimately 103-10, by taking the first and third wickets to fall.

Fourth XI – Cian Morgan moped up the tail of Abercynon’s innings taking 3-24 off his allotted 8 overs and ensured his side remain top of the table.

Fifth XI – it was a red letter day for Gwion Tyler as he scored his maiden century for the club, as he opened the innings, carrying his bat and ending on 118 not out. This helped the club chase down a huge total of 218 which was done with 3 of the 40 overs to spare. Earlier in the day he had also opened the bowling and taken 1-43 in his 8 overs. 

A great day all round for the youth of RCC.

Radyr Chain article

For club cricketers the time when all things ought to be in place is the middle of April. This is our D Day, when the check list is finalised and the preparations are complete. This year was slightly different because only a few weeks earlier the lockdown restrictions had been eased and the net facility reopened.  New players who in normal circumstances would have joined indoor winter training were still contacting the club whilst existing members, like creatures waking from their hibernation, were suddenly aware that the season was imminent. This winter at RCC had been like no other however. The reseeding of the second ground had taken hold and produced a better surface than ever before. With the new path along the river’s edge, walkers had their own dedicated avenue, which has allowed the outfield of the main ground to be the better than ever. New sight screens, mobile covers (paid for by grants from the ECB and the Community Council), a major refresh of the electronic scoreboard, new sets of stumps for all sides, a new clock on the second ground and a smell of new paint as the pavilion walls and shutters were given a major overhaul. The club was ready to go.

With April slowly disappearing the club invited Councillor Huw Jones, the Chair of the Community Council and the Lord Mayor, Councillor Rod McKerlich, to view the ground and the works carried out by the club. The Community Council have been so generous over the last few years, it was an opportunity to say thank you and show them both what the grant money had been spent on. The main beneficiary has been the pavilion extension, which alone with works carried out in the existing building, now gives the club four magnificent changing rooms, all with en-suite facilities plus an umpires room second to none. I also took advantage of their presence and the fact that it was the club’s first junior game of the season to arrange the presentation of the prizes to the two winners of the Xmas quiz, run in the December edition of the Chain. The attached photographs show the Lord Mayor presenting a shirt to Lydia Bell and the Chair of the Community Council to Mollie Richards. 

Disappointingly May didn’t play the game weather wise and early on more games were cancelled than completed: Saturdays were more conducive to wellingtons than flip flops. However what this hiatus allowed the members to do was chat about all things RCC and the issues affecting the villages. One such topic that kept constantly being raised, regarded the playing field and the “island” in Morganstown, and the railway works that could affect them for sometime to come. As someone whose formative years were spent in Heol Syr Lewis, the playing fields were my Cardiff Arms Park, Wembley and of course Sophia Gardens: Lord’s was an unknown joy, only to be discovered years later.  It was here that mine and some of my friends great love of sport, and especially cricket, dawned, as we all tried to emulate our particular heroes. It was from here that we started on our particular journeys, and which for a number of us ended up at RCC, so hence the interest.

However it was interesting that very few people realised the strong connection between the Morganstown playing fields and RCC and I thought the Chain’s readers might like an explanation. In 1893, some three years after the formation of RCC, a new club called Garth CC was founded, on what was known as the Tynant Estate. The exact location of the ground and pavilion are unknown, except to say that the records state it was near to the “island”. For over thirty years both sides competed separately, with Garth CC’s prominent period being before the Great War. However it became clear that the two villages were just too small to run separate sides and an amalgamation was arranged: in 1928, Radyr and Garth Cricket Club was formed, playing at the current ground. When the name simply became Radyr CC is unknown, though probably after the Second World War. However that is not the end of the story, as in 1995, the club’s emerging Third XI needed a temporary home, and they alighted at the Morganstown playing fields. The ghosts of Garth CC had returned home. If you are interested in more historic information about the club and Radyr and Morganstown in general, from 1890 to 2015, please get in touch with me and a copy of an amazing book that the club produced as part of its 125th Anniversary, can be purchased for £5 plus postage and packing. It was so well received that a version can be found in the MCC Cricket Library at Lord’s. My email address is christopherhitchings@btinternet.com

So those youngsters, who I mentioned above, gravitated quite naturally to RCC, in a time before League cricket, when the 1908 built pavilion was still standing and the facilities weren’t as cultured as they are today. Out of the playing fields emerged three club captains, who led the First XI with distinction and who are still stalwarts of RCC. The youngest of these is Howard Stone, probably better known for playing over 300 games for Cardiff RFC and winning a Wales B cap against France. However, with respect to Howard, it is the other two captains who I wish to concentrate on today: Carl Norman (left) and Peter Sullivan (right), and it is they who you see in the attached photograph, standing at the entrance to the club’s pavilion extension. It is these two who have given so much to the club over the years but recently using their building experience have managed the biggest project the club has ever entertained. Now I must be honest and say there have been hitches along the way, but they and quite a few others, have produced a building to be proud of, that will last the test of time. It is quite simply one of the best cricketing changing facilities in the amateur game in south Wales and without Carl and Peter, none of this would have been possible.

Christopher Hitchings

Radyr Cricket Club – Chairman

Ladies Cricket Flourishing at RCC

On Friday evening the club’s Under 15s became Welsh Champions by beating Newport on their patch. RCC scored 145-3 and Newport replied with 72-7. A picture of the triumphant ladies can be seen below. Having qualified from Wales the side now go over the border to play sides from the south west.

On Sunday, on the same ground, Radyr Women’s XI opened their league season with a comprehensive win against Newport by 8 wickets. Winning the toss and deciding to field first, RCC bowled out the opposition for 114. Pick of the bowlers was Jess Clayton with 3-18. In response the Ladies made short order of the run chase concluding with 115-2 off just 16.5 overs, with Sophie Thomas 50 not out in 49 balls and skipper Lydia Clements 34 in 23 balls.

A brilliant couple of days for the Ladies from RCC.

Completion of Pavilion Extension project

On Monday May 17th, 2021 the Building Inspector issued the final Certificate relating to the pavilion extension, which confirms the completion of this project. It is the biggest development the club has embarked on since the rebuilding of the fire damaged pavilion in the early 1970s. Thanks must go to all the funders who helped make the project possible, all the members who assisted in any way and especially Peter Sullivan and Carl Norman, whose skills saw the project over the line: the former has ate and slept the extension since it started on site in August 2019 and was a project manager par excellence.


USW v Cardiff Met

RCC are delighted that the first USW fixture took place on Wednesday at the ground and for the first time in a while the sun shone. Unfortunately the result didn’t go the way of USW who lost by 5 wickets, in a closely fought game. The club looks forward to hosting the next game in two weeks time.


Second Ground back in action

Last night was a special night for the club as the second ground hosted its first game since the flood completely destroyed the surface in February of 2020. The Under 11s were hosting our friends from Miskin Manor CC. The photograph shows the team with their coaches Steve Sanders and Nick Cook, prior to the start of the game

Radyr Chain Competition Winners

Last night during the interval of the Under 11s game on the second ground, the first game since it was completely relaid due to flood damage, the club’s Radyr Chain Christmas Competition winners were awarded their prizes. The two were Mollie Richards and Lydia Bell and they can be seen receiving their prize’s, respectively from Huw Jones, Chair of the Radyr & Morganstown Community Council and Councillor Rod McKerlich, the current Lord Mayor of Cardiff, who were on a visit to the club. Incidentally the two girls had just opened the batting for Radyr CC and show the club’s continuing support for girls/ladies cricket