THE destiny of the South East Wales League Division One title still lies in Newbridge’s hands despite their lead at the top of the table being slashed to just a single point, according to captain James Morgan.

They looked odds-on to clinch the championship with something to spare after starting the season with six wins from seven.

The top tier’s other teams appeared to be battling it out for second place when Newbridge beat Usk on July 8, but since then things have gone slightly awry for Morgan’s men.

A one-wicket defeat to title rivals Malpas was followed by a washout against Croesyceiliog, while seven days later a capitulation with the bat resulted in a big defeat at Brecon.

Tomorrow they return to their Welfare Ground home for a derby clash with basement boys Blackwood, a side Newbridge overcame by six wickets earlier in the campaign.

“We had a bad day at the office last weekend,” said Morgan, whose troops were bowled out for only 49 in their Brecon reverse.

“We batted poorly and they bowled very well.

“But the title is still in our hands and I’m confident we will get there in the end.”

He added: “We need to do better against Blackwood.

“They might be bottom of the table but form always seems to go out the window when we play them.

“I thought they would have done a little bit better this season.

“They lost a couple of players but are still not a bad side.”

Malpas could go to the summit if Newbridge slip up and they get the job done against Brecon, while Chepstow, Croesyceiliog and Pentyrch host Pontypridd, Usk and Sudbrook respectively.

Meanwhile, in the South Wales Premier League, Newport’s hopes of retaining their Division One crown really are being dented by the weather.

Last weekend’s game at Bridgend was abandoned, the third successive Saturday the reigning champions have been hit by the rain.

They are now third in the standings, 33 points behind leaders Cardiff with Pontarddulais taking over in second.

It is Port Talbot at Spytty Park for Newport tomorrow, two months on from a draw between the teams at the New Mansel.

In Division Two, the chances of a side from Gwent taking the trophy are also ebbing away following disappointing outcomes for Panteg and Newport Fugitives last time out.

With four fixtures left, Ian Bird’s Panteg, who lost at home to Clydach, have 35 points to make up on frontrunners Tata Steel.

They will attempt to close the gap at Ynystawe this weekend.

While the Fugies, whose clash with Tondu was called off, entertain Miskin Manor looking like they will have to settle for a mid-table finish.

A titanic tussle could be on the cards in Division Two as leaders Abergavenny host second-placed Rogerstone.

And there is a big match in Division Three where pacesetters Crumlin go to third-placed Monmouth.

On Sunday, Newport Fugitives host the Monmouthshire CCA Macey Shield final (3pm) between holders Panteg and 2016 runners-up Newport.

Newport team: Oli Burland, Mark Wallace, Imran Hassan, Mike Clayden, Callum Taylor, Matt Norris (capt), Joe Voke, Tom Evans, Mo Aqdas, Dave O’Sulllivan, Jack Wright.

Panteg team: Ian Bird (capt), James Reid, Dan Wilkinson, Acktar Balouch, Lloyd Smith, John Glover, Dave Filer, Chris Mee, Jack Mayers, Chris White, Aaron Edwards.