AFTER the bowlers produced the goods in a winning start to their South Wales Premier League defence, Newport will hope their batsmen thrive out west against Mumbles tomorrow.

The champions started 2017 with a comprehensive 129-run win against Pontarddulais at Spytty Park last weekend.

On a turning track, Newport batted first and posted 222-9 from their 50 overs with former captain Michael Clayden top-scoring with 59 from number five.

The bowlers then produced the goods for a 21-point haul by skittling the visitors for 93 with seamer Harry Powell the pick of the attack with three for 13 off 7.3 overs.

“It was a great start,” said skipper and opener Matt Norris. “It was quite a dry pitch and we didn’t bat particularly well but it was enough.

“Michael Clayden showed his experience and his partnership with Joe Voke (33) gave us something to bowl at.

“We are a very strong batting side but it was the bowling that did it for us with Harry Powell very tight up front, Dave O’Sullivan bowled nicely on debut, Callum Taylor continued from where he left off last year and Nick Selman’s spin helped out.

“It was important to start the season on a high and now we hope to take that on to Mumbles and build on the performance.”

Clayden handed over the reins to Norris at the end of last season and the opener is relishing the challenge of calling the shots.

“I’ve not got much captaincy experience but I was a vice-captain back home in South Africa and my job is made easier by our side,” he said.

“I guess some would be daunted by captaining a side with the experience of the likes of Mark Wallace, Clayden and Imran Hassan but I’ve got plenty of players to turn to if I want advice.”

The Gwent duo in Premier Two also enjoyed fine opening weekends with Panteg thrashing Tondu by 158 runs and Newport Fugitives winning by eight wickets at Ynystawe.

Panteg will be among the favourites for the title after being pipped to promotion by Penarth last season and will look to stay in the winning groove at Miskin Manor.

Signings Ian Thomas (72) and Dan Wilkinson (101 not out) impressed last weekend after their arrivals from Port Talbot and Blackwood respectively.

The Fugitives made an impressive start to Premier life and the South East Wales Cricket League champs aim for a home success against Carmarthen Wanderers.

IT’S opening weekend in the South East Wales Cricket League with Chepstow looking to go one better than last year when they were edged out by the Fugitives.

They open up at Croesyceiliog while new boys Malpas entertain Pentyrch after being promoted as runners-up to Brecon, who travel to Pontypridd.

League chairman Jonathan Wellington hopes that 2017 can build on the success of last year.

“It was an enjoyable, competitive season and it is felt that the move away from average to aggregate points was, overall, a successful one,” he writes in his foreword to the club handbook.

“There may be occasions when certain clubs suffer with isolated weather issues but it is important to consider the bigger picture and try and ensure that as much cricket is played as possible.

“While the summer was average at best, it is clear that clubs are putting an increasing effort in to try and get the games on.”

Premier Division One: Ammanford v Bridgend Town, Mumbles v Newport, Neath v Port Talbot, Ynysygerwn v Penarth.

Premier Division Two: Miskin Manor v Panteg, Newport Fugitives v Carmarthen Wanderers, St Fagans v Swansea, Tata Steel v Clydach, Tondu v Ynystawe.

Premier East Division, Seconds XI: Bridgend v St Fagans, Cardiff v Newport Fugitives, Newport v Tondu, Panteg v Miskin Manor, Penarth v Tata Steel

South East Wales Cricket League, Division One: Blackwood v Sudbrook, Brecon v Pontypridd, Croesyceiliog v Chepstow, Malpas v Pentyrch, Usk v Newbridge

Division Two: Abergavenny v Cardiff Gymkhana, Lisvane v Ponthir, Rogerstone v Ebbw Vale, Welsh Asians v Barry Athletic, Whitchurch-Heath v Radyr

Division Three: Creigiau v Machen, Crumlin v Vale, Monmouth v Monkswood, Pontymister & Cross Keys v Barry Wanderers, Sully Centurions v Dinas Powys

Division One, Second XI: Chepstow II v Abergavenny II, Newbridge II v Usk II, Pentyrch II v Whitchurch Heath II, Pontypridd II v Welsh Asians II, Sudbrook II v Lisvane II

Division Two, Second XI: Barry Athletic II v Brecon II, Cardiff Gymkhana II v Croesyceiliog II, Dinas Powys II v Rogerstone Welfare II, Ponthir II v Blackwood Town II, Radyr II v Malpas Wales II

Division Three, Second XI: Barry Wanderers II v Pontymister & Crosskeys II, Ebbw Vale II v Sully Centurions II, Machen II v Creigiau II, Monkswood II v Monmouth II, Vale II v Crumlin II

Division Four: Abertillery Town v Cardiff III, Brynmawr v Abercarn , Hopkinstown v Newport Wales III, Llanarth v Abercynon , Llantwit Fardre v Welsh Asians III

Division Five: Cefn Fforest & Maesycwmmer v Undy and Magor, Christchurch, Wales v Pontnewynydd, Penarth III v Blaina, Radyr III v Upper Rhondda, Ton Pentre v Mountain Ash