“LOOK out Premier League, Malpas are coming!”

Mark Carnevale, as you can see from the statement above, is already looking forward to the 2018 cricket season.

This summer’s campaign was another one to remember for the Malpas chairman, with his club’s first XI securing successive promotions.

Skipper David Martin guided the Bettws Lane outfit into division two of the South Wales Premier League after a dramatic end to the term.

Having overtaken long-time South East Wales League frontrunners Newbridge, Malpas clinched the Division One title by just a single point on the final weekend of the season.

Martin finally got his hands on the league trophy, presented to him by former England bowler Angus Fraser, last Friday.

Now he, his players, Carnevale and everyone else at Malpas can turn their attentions to life in the second tier of the Premier League.

“You’ve got to have various things in place to go up and we’ve done them all,” said the chairman.

“There are certain criteria you need to meet and we were keeping on top of them throughout the season.

“We’ve now got under-11, 13, 15 and 19 teams, and Sunday and midweek sides. It shows the hunger everyone has got for cricket, they all want to play.

“We’ve got kids who have come right the way through our youth ranks to the first XI and we want to see more of that.

“Last season we had two, three or four 18 and 19 year olds in the first team who had come through the youth system.

“We’re not on the lookout for more players per se, we’re looking to keep the kids we’ve got and help them develop.”

He continued: “We’re looking forward to playing some different teams next season, and the second XI know they have to raise their game as well.

“Realistically, we’re just aiming to consolidate our place in the league to give the guys a chance to play at that level for a couple of years.

“Look out Premier League, Malpas are coming!”

Reflecting on this season’s success, Carnevale believes the one-wicket defeat of closest rivals Newbridge on July 15 was crucial in the grand scheme of things.

He added: “Beating Newbridge at home was probably the key result because there was only one point in it at the end of the season – that was a big victory for us.

“That win gave us a lot of confidence. After that we felt that if we could beat Newbridge then we could beat anybody.”