GLAMORGAN failed to manage as efficient a repair job on their first innings as Newport did on their sightscreen as Gloucestershire took command of the County Championship clash at Spytty Park.

In pursuit of the visitors' 463, Matthew Maynard's side were clinging on 222 runs behind at 241/8 to leave the Friday action in peril.

Adding to their woes, captain Chris Cooke was forced from the field on 23 after spraining his right ankle when turning for a second run. His return looks highly unlikely for the rest of the fixture.

Newport, meanwhile, endured the first unexpected challenge of their big occasion… and not of their own making.

There was a short delay in the afternoon when Gloucestershire's David Payne, with the grace of Frank Spencer, somehow lifted the sightscreen at the Traston Lane end off its runners when attempting to shift them along.

His ham-fisted efforts, narrowly avoiding the metal as it crashed down, meant the seamer was something of a Payne in the backside for the Who's Who of Newport stalwarts who were swiftly on the scene.

Thankfully it was just a six-minute delay and a full repair was carried out during the tea break.

If that's the only drama on the return of County Championship cricket to the city after 54 years then it will be a job extremely well done.

And club officials will hope that Glamorgan can fight back to ensure that the game goes into a fourth day after the visitors put the squeeze on in a second successive day of blistering sun.

At Rodney Parade in 1965 the rain led to a draw against Warwickshire but the Welsh county cannot rely on poor weather to save them this time.

Gloucestershire strengthened their position in the morning after resuming on 360 for 6, with all-rounder Ryan Higgins to the fore.

He struck a century from just 89 balls before being out for 103, an innings that included three sixes and 16 fours.

Glamorgan were left to rue and succession of missed chances with Higgins dropped by Nick Selman at slip when on 37.

Gloucestershire were eventually all out for 463 with their centurion the last man out after being caught at deep mid-wicket, leaving an awkward spell before lunch.

Selman failed to negotiate it – trapped leg before by Payne – and Glamorgan continued to struggle.

Payne, bowling with a lot more elegance than his sight screen exploits, struck swiftly after lunch when Marius Labuschange was caught behind to leave the hosts struggling on 14-2.

Charles Hemphrey and David Lloyd steadied the ship with 95 in 27 overs before the latter was stumped for 37 and the former was leg before, both off the spin of George Drissell.

Billy Root was bowled for 18 and was swiftly followed by Jeremy Lawlor for 18 LBW, left-armer Matt Taylor claiming both wickets.

Graham Wagg and Cooke were doing a good job of rebuilding until the wicket-keeper's mishap at the Traston Lane end with the score at 195 for six.

With that Glamorgan's troubles worsened with Marchant de Lange (8) cleaned up by Higgins with an ill-advised heave.

After a five-over lull, Kieran Bull edged Drissell behind (2) before Graham Wagg (45) and Timm van der Gugten (9) saw out the day.