NEWPORT Fugitives can claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season and move away from the bottom of the table when they travel to Gwent rivals Malpas tomorrow.

Malpas edged the reverse fixture in May by 13 runs and will go for a double over the Fugies sitting two places and six points above their opponents in South Wales Premier League Division Two.

Last weekend saw Nathan Millichip’s Fugies clinch victory for just the third time this summer, easing past basement boys Swansea with Jack Thorpe-Yon hitting 71 and John Berry taking 3-34.

It’s a Bettws Lane derby this time around, a match the Fugies go into with the same XI as that Swansea triumph.

Assessing the campaign so far, skipper Millichip, who has taken over from Matthew Evans as captain, said: “We had a difficult start. There were a lot of low scoring games that didn’t go our way.

“Last week we were very good with bat and ball, and we picked up confidence to take into a local derby against a Malpas side who are doing really well.”

When asked why the Fugies weren’t clicking before, he added: “The wickets weren’t great because we had a lot of rain in April and the games were low scoring.

“We were on the wrong end of those results and just lacked a bit of luck.

“Availability is much better now and, fingers crossed, we can look towards the top half of the table.

“Everyone can beat everyone else in this league and there are only 13 points between fourth and ninth, so if you win three in a row you’ll be in the top four.”

Millichip’s men finished fifth last year in what was their debut season in the Premier League.

Malpas are in the same position this time around and Millichip is impressed with the start they have made.

“Malpas are where we were and have done really well,” he said.

“They’ve come into the league and batted and chased well.

“We were fifth last year so we’re hoping to replicate that, and with a bit more luck and a couple of good results we’ll be where we want to be.

“We probably punched above our weight a little bit last season and found our level.”

Also in Division Two, Panteg, in fifth, entertain Carmarthen Wanderers, the side they are level on points with.

In Division One, Newport, who extended their lead at the top last time out, take on Port Talbot at Spytty Park.

Sparkling batting displays from Imran Hassan (116), Callum Taylor (81) and Joe Voke (55) ensured Cardiff could only get to within 110 runs of Newport six days ago.

And with second-placed Miskin Manor dropping points in a tied game with struggling Ynysygerwn, Newport went 22 points ahead of the chasing pack.

Meanwhile, Newbridge are now 20 points adrift of South East Wales League Division One leaders Miskin Manor.

However, while Miskin and eight other teams played last Saturday and Sunday, Newbridge only took to the field once, meaning they have a game in hand on the table-toppers.

It’s Chepstow away for Newbridge tomorrow, while Abergavenny host Croesyceiliog, Sudbrook play Pentyrch and Usk welcome Pontypridd to Monmouthshire.