ST ASAPH 232-9


MARTIN Burger is turning out to be a real thorn in the side as far as St Asaph are concerned.

Last summer, Burger cracked an amazing 232 as Connah's Quay struck 482-7 in a massive North Wales Cricket League Premier Division win over the Saints.

He was at it again over the weekend, scoring a brilliant ton during the latest meeting between the sides, but on this occasion it was St Asaph who managed to come out on top.

A 27-run margin of victory in an exciting contest means that the Elwy Grove Park side maintain their place in the top-three of the Premier Division, level on points with second-placed Bangor.

It was St Asaph skipper Will Ryan who called correctly during the pre-match toss and he opted to make first use of the batting track.

The Saints got off to a solid start with a 22-run opening stand compiled by Mathew Ryan and Nathanael Scott.

This eventually came to an end when Scott was bowled by Darren Leach.

Only a further 12 runs had been added to the total when St Asaph lost their next wicket.

It was Will Ryan who departed as he was dismissed by Mali Auty.

The home side required a steadying partnership after this and that's exactly what was provided.

Opener Mathew Ryan and Paul Fleming improved St Asaph's position with a 91-run stand for the third wicket.

Eventually, Ryan was dismissed for 46.

Fleming and Jason Foulkes continued the positive work after this, taking the team total beyond the 150 mark.

With the score on 152, Foulkes was out for 15 and it was that man Martin Burger who claimed the wicket.

The next batsman to depart the crease was Paul Fleming, who top scored with an excellent knock of 62.

The middle and lower order played their part to make sure the Saints were able to compile a challenging target.

Leading the charge was Danny Ryan, who struck 35, putting together good partnerships with David North, Mike Thompson (17) and Alex Baker (10).

When the 50 overs were completed, St Asaph had managed to reach a competitive 232-9.

David Fox (2-31), Martin Burger (2-41) and Matthew Redinger (2-61) were the main wicket-takers for the visiting side.

After tea, Connah's Quay couldn't have wished for a better start to their reply.

David Fox and Matthew Redinger put together an opening stand of 35, which was ultimately ended when Fox was trapped leg before by David North.

However, the Saints were made to toil in the field after this, with Connah's Quay putting their foot on the accelerator.

They rushed to 90-1 in the opening 10 overs and the visitors appeared to be on course for victory when they reached 124-1.

Desperately needing a wicket, Alex Baker complied by dismissing Redinger for a quickfire 57, aided by Ben Murphy's catch.

Back came St Asaph and they improved their hopes of victory by taking three wickets for just three runs.

Paul Fleming and Alex Baker dismissed Darren Jones and Darren Leach cheaply to drag the home side back into the contest.

The pendulum would swing back in Connah's Quay's favour with a 39-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Crucially, this was brought to an end as Richard Marsh Evans accounted for the wicket of Darren Pritchard.

This sparked another Connah's Quay collapse as they lost a trio of wickets for just three runs once more.

Marsh Evans and a run out did the damage at this time, reducing the visitors to 169-7.

When a couple more wickets from David North saw Connah's Quay slip to 187-9, the match looked almost over, but the visitors still had Martin Burger at the crease.

He put together a last wicket partnership of 18 with Nick Pratt, but Jason Foulkes had the final say and he dismissed Burger for a brilliant 124, leaving St Asaph victorious by 27 runs.

Connah's Quay were bowled out for 205 and they will be kicking themselves, as they still had more than 18 overs available to bat.

David North (3-51) was the pick of St Asaph's bowlers, while there were also wickets for Richard Marsh Evans (2-18), Alex Baker (2-40), Paul Fleming (1-39) and Jason Foulkes (1-57).