NEWPORT are almost within reach of a second South Wales Premier League title in three years but know they must guard against complacency with just five games of the Division One season left.

Matt Norris and his charges extended their winning streak to a magnificent eight matches when beating Ammanford by 66 runs last weekend, consolidating top spot in the process.

Callum Taylor smashed 10 fours and a six in an 88-ball knock of 101 to help end the visitors’ run of eight successive victories, as Newport maintained a 28-point advantage over second-placed Neath.

Imran Hassan and Mark Wallace also chipped in with 72 and 40 not out respectively, with Ollie Burland adding a very useful 30.

Newport host Neath on August 11 in what could well be the pivotal fixture in this summer’s race for the championship.

But before that, Newport must overcome St Fagans, the only side to have tasted success against the leaders in 2018.

Tomorrow’s encounter at Spytty Park will see Newport look for revenge after their four-wicket loss on the outskirts of Cardiff on May 26.

On that day, a number of Newport players got starts with the bat but no-one could make a really big score as they reached 193-8 at the end of 50 overs.

Taylor (34), Norris (24) and Joe Voke (25) all appeared to find their range before losing their wickets, while Josh Aston finished unbeaten on 28.

The main damage was done by Andrew Leering who ripped through the top order and ended with figures of 5-39.

Opener Jeremy Lawlor (87) scored big in reply as St Fagans, title challengers themselves in the first half of the campaign, won with four balls to spare.

However, since then the Saints, promoted from Division Two last term, have slid down the table to fourth and are out of the running for top honours.

They go into tomorrow’s clash on a run of five games without a win, not exactly the best form before a meeting with a strong Newport side.

In Division Two, Malpas now find themselves at the foot of the table and in real need of stringing some positive results together if they want to avoid dropping straight back to the South East Wales League.

A 10-wicket thrashing by former basement boys Llanelli sent Malpas to last place, and they face another crucial match tomorrow.

They are involved in a bottom-of-the-table fixture for the second Saturday running, with Panteg arriving at Malpas’ Bettws Lane ground on the back of a 54-run reverse against Newport Fugitives.

The Fugies, one point off fourth-placed Carmarthen Wanderers, welcome Penarth, in third, to Gwent.

In South East Wales League Division One, leaders Miskin Manor gave Newbridge hope last weekend when they were edged out by Croesyceiliog.

Croesy did their Gwent rivals a huge favour as they held their nerve to record a one-wicket triumph, while Newbridge got the better of Brecon to close the gap on Miskin to 12 points.

James Morgan’s troops are at Pentyrch tomorrow, hoping that one more Miskin slip and top spot is theirs.

The table-toppers host fourth-placed Sudbrook, Chepstow entertain Usk, Abergavenny go to beleaguered Tondu and Croesy could climb a few places with a win away to Cardiff Gymkhana.