Newport relishing trip to the capital

NEWPORT captain Michael Clayden believes a trip to the Swalec Premier League leaders and biggest rivals Cardiff is just what the doctor ordered for his under performing side.

The Spytty Park outfit were beaten for the second Saturday on the spin last week after a debatable decision to bat first against Mumbles backfired, the hosts reduced to 53-5 before fifties from Gary Wood and Nathan Millichip gave them hope with an at least competitive total of 198-7.

However, the Spytty surface has proved a bit of a batsman’s paradise this term and Mumbles made hay thanks to their Glamorgan connection.

Current bat David Brown scored 97 and former Glam man Darren Thomas 57, adding 136 for the third wicket as they coasted home with ten-and-a-half overs and six wickets to spare.

However, Clayden is confident a trip to pacesetters Cardiff is just what is required.

“We always have good games against Cardiff and for a side struggling as we have been, what better incentive than playing your rivals who are also top of the league,” he said.

“We have been playing a little better than recent results but we definitely need a win, we need to get a little bit of luck maybe, but I am not looking for excuses.”

Indeed, Clayden admits you don’t need the insight of Mike Brearley to see where his side has struggled.

“We’ve been bowling pretty good, doing well and with one more wicket, we might have really got at Mumbles,” he said.

“But we are not doing enough with the bat, we’re not giving the bowlers a good enough support.

“We haven’t been scoring enough runs and when that is the case you are always up against it.”

Two Gwent derbies should provide a great deal of entertainment with pride on the line in the Thomas, Carroll League, Division One fixtures this weekend.

Of the seven Gwent sides, four meet head-on, Chepstow hosting Blackwood and Ian Bird’s Panteg the hosts as Abergavenny come calling.

Abergavenny and Panteg are both currently in the top three of the division, alongside rivals Usk.

Leaders Panteg will likely be a dangerous animal after losing for the first time this season last weekend as a suicidal attempt to sneak a run to tie with Blackwood back-fired, costing Panteg four bonus points.

Blackwood will chase another scalp over neighbourly opponents tomorrow when they visit Chepstow.

Rogerstone, who won for the first time this season last weekend against Croesyceiliog, will look to make it two on the spin with Tondu the visitors and Croesy’s attempts to get back on track will take place at Penarth.

Sudbrook have been heading in the wrong direction and a narrow defeat at St Fagans last time out didn’t help matters, with a trip to Pentyrch no easy task for them.

Usk are also in action making the trip to Cardiff to face St Fagans.

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