MALPAS will be looking to follow in the footsteps of rivals Newport Fugitives this season and establish themselves in the South Wales Premier League’s second tier after promotion in 2017.

The Fugies clinched promotion from South East Wales League Division One two years ago and went on to finish fifth in the second division of the Premier League last summer.

Malpas were hoping to begin the 2018 campaign with a bang but their opening match at home against Clydach was a victim of the wet weather on April 28.

However, the Bettws Lane outfit didn’t have long to wait to get up and running, and last weekend they claimed a first win of the term, beating the Fugies by 13 runs.

They were supposed to go to Swansea tomorrow but a Principality Premiership rugby fixture means the

famous St Helen’s ground isn’t available for cricket.

The Fugies are in action, away to Llanelli, while Panteg, whose first two matches of the new term were washed out, host Clydach.

Malpas chairman Mark Carnevale is disappointed not to be heading for the seaside this weekend but is still delighted with his club’s start to the season.

“I’m really happy with how it’s going so far,” he said. “The first and seconds did the double over Newport Fugitives last weekend, and that’s no mean feat against a strong unit like them.

“The seconds chased down 250 to win and the firsts scored 190 before knocking them over for 177.

“There’s a really good buzz around the club and both teams winning last weekend is a massive boost for everyone.

“The Fugies are a good club and have had a year in this division.

“It sounds a bit conservative but we want to follow in their footsteps.

“If we can get a good start with a few wins early on then we’ll be able to build momentum and look for a mid-table finish.

“We feel we can make an impression this year.

“In real terms, we want a mid-table position and to aim to establish ourselves and then press on.

“The new can look to move up and compete against the big boys.”

As well as welcoming four new signings, Malpas have new kit, pitch covers and scoreboard for the 2018 campaign.

In Division One tomorrow, Newport welcome Ynysygerwn to Spytty Park on the back of a 133-run defeat of Port Talbot Town at the New Mansel last Saturday.

Abergavenny have back-to-back South East Wales League Division One wins in their sights tomorrow after seeing off Chepstow.

Geraint Leach’s men saw their first game back in the division abandoned without a ball being bowled, but Adam Harrison’s 55 and 3-20 helped them triumph at Mathern Road.

They host Tondu tomorrow, while Chepstow go to Usk, Sudbrook entertain Miskin Manor, Croesyceiliog welcome Cardiff Gymkhana to Torfaen and Newbridge host Pentyrch.

Several Gwent sides are also involved in the Welsh Cup on Sunday.

Abergavenny, Blackwood and Newport Fugitives host Pontypridd, Sully Spartans and Cardiff respectively, while Usk visit St Fagans.

And there are two derby clashes as Malpas and Panteg go to Crumlin and Newbridge.