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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Two photographs showing the newly completed players patio from inside and outside the recently erected fencing. They also show the door to the pavilion extension which is nearing final completion. Fingers crossed for some nice weather and cricket.