Preview: A look at the 12 clubs of the North Wales Cricket League Premier

Bangor were Premier Division champions in 2019. How will they do this season?

Here’s a look at the 12 clubs who will contest the Icon Sports North Wales Cricket League Premier Division this season.

Bangor

Crowned champions in 2019 to make it two top division titles in three years, Bangor are raring to go.

New skipper Matt Haswell will look to get the Ty Newydd club off to a flying start when they visit Llandudno for their first game on Saturday, May 1.

He said: “We are really excited at the prospect of getting started playing competitive cricket again after last season’s stop/start season.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to secure the services of Franco Kasner this term, who took lots of wickets and scored lots of runs in the last champions season.

“We have, however, managed to secure the services of Ash Khan, who looks like an exciting spin bowler, so it will great to see how he goes early in the season.

“Another big loss for the first part of the season is Owen Reilly, who is playing cricket in South Wales whilst at university. 

“His wickets and runs will be a miss but gives a great opportunity for others to make some match-winning contributions with bat and ball in what should be a fantastically competitive season.

“Things couldn’t start much tougher for us after a minimal pre season, than against a very competitive Llandudno side, steeped in experience and talent.

“Jack Rimmington has been one of the leading bowlers in the league for many a season, there’s no doubt he and his team will offer a stern test for us. “It’s up to ourselves to step up and get our season off to the best possible start. Here’s to an exciting season of cricket.”

Brymbo

 
On the playing front, Brymbo have four signings to report.

They have signed Nathan Aldridge, a hard-hitting batsman and very handy seam bowler. He comes to the club after not playing cricket for a couple of years.

The Steelmen have also added talented wicket-keeper batsman Rocco Franco from Buckley CC. Rocco has scored a lot of runs for Buckley over the last couple of year and Brymbo hope he can continue this form for them.

The third winter addition is Will Roberts. Will is a top order batsman, who joins from Corwen CC.

Finally, Brymbo welcome back to the club batsman, Fraser Smellie. Fraser is a gifted batsman, who took some time away from the game for a few years after a very promising start to his cricketing career.

The club also looks forward to giving Joe Norman his Premier debut, having had a very successful time last season in his first year at the club.

Brymbo’s junior section continues to go from strength to strength under the watchful eye of head coach Gareth Boys with high numbers regularly attending the Friday night sessions.

They have also launched their very own Brymbo Bears section for children aged 5-9 with nearly 40 signed up for free weekly cricket sessions.

Off the field, the committee have worked extremely hard to improve facilities at Brymbo, renovating the pavilion, building new sight screens and having brand new state of the art nets built.

Conwy

Having won the Division One title in 2019, Conwy take their place in the Premier for the first time.

They would have competed in the Premier last year but for coronavirus restrictions causing the abandonment of the usual format.

Their first opponents will be familiar ones, as they travel to Llay Welfare, who came up with them from Division One in 2019.

Denbigh

Gerallt Lyall

No doubt the loss of long-serving skipper Harrison Jones to Northop Hall will be a blow for Denbigh.

Nonetheless, they have a number of other talented players at the club capable of making their mark in 2021, not least ever-consistent opening bat Gerallt Lyall.

Tom Schrimshaw is captain this season, following in the illustrious footsteps of his dad, former first team skipper David.

Denbigh start their season with a trip to Mochdre.

Gresford

The 2015 Division One champions have not pulled up any trees in their four seasons at Premier level to date, but they have always managed to hold their own.

They begin their season at home to Northop.

Danny Williams is first team captain this season and he will benefit from having players of the calibre of Matthew Cree and Chris Ellwood in the side.

Llandudno

Ajay Dhawan also plays football for Llandudno Albion

Good luck to Llandudno’s new captain Ajay Dhawan as he leads the club for the first time in a competitive season.

Ajay took over from Jack Rimmington last year, but the normal league format was scrapped due to coronavirus.

Now the experienced all-rounder looks forward to the ‘real thing’ when 2019 champions Bangor visit The Oval on Saturday.

Tudno’s promising young spinner Matthew Jones left the club to join Boughton Hall last summer, but the Seasiders still possess plenty of young talent.

Ajay said: “We have a few young lads coming through into first team cricket who we hope to see more of this season. Hopes are to get a full season of cricket in!”

Llay Welfare

Llay Welfare are looking forward to competing at the higher Premier Division level following their 2019 promotion from Division One when they were runners-up to Conwy.

The club has one new player who has moved into the area from Nottingham, Tom Randall.

Jack Parry has joined Colwyn Bay and Welfare will be missing Chris Woodcock due to work commitments, in addition to Jack Aplin, who is still at university in Cardiff.

John Lloyd will also be absent long-term due to family commitments, so a lot of young lads will be stepping up to the plate this year.

Menai Bridge

Bridge were in awesome form last year but unfortunately it did not count for a lot with no official league format because of Covid-19.

But no doubt the 2014, 2015 and 2018 champions will be one of the teams to beat as always.

Opening bowler Patrick Glover returns as he has now moved permanently from Australia to the area.

Gethin Roberts remains first team captain.

Mochdre

After winning promotion from Division One in 2018, Mochdre made a cracking return to the Premier in 2019, finishing in third place.

More of that type of form could make them a lively chance for honours this summer.

Skipper Matty Humphreys said: “Our squad remains very similar to the last two seasons. Our aim as always is to push for the title. It is going to be a very competitive league this year and we can’t wait to get started after a short season last year.”

Northop

Since winning Division One in 2017, Northop have performed really well back in the Premier, finishing fifth in 2018 and sixth the following year.

The experienced gained in recent times should stand them in good stead for a mid-table position at least in 2021.

Pwllheli

Since earning promotion from Division One in 2017, Pwllheli have had two steady seasons in the Premier where they have staved off the threat of relegation with some big performances.

St Asaph

St Asaph’s new signing Ben Mason. Picture: Andre Pepper, eventphotowales

Definitely a team to watch this season with the amount of talent they possess.

Former Pontblyddyn skipper Ben Mason is an exciting new addition at Elwy Park Grove.

Opening bat Mason scored more than 4,000 first team league runs and claimed almost 200 wickets in his time at Alder Meadow.

Unfortunately star batsman Duncan Midgley broke an arm two weeks ago and is out for a while now.

First team skipper Will Ryan said: “It’s a similar side to last year so we’re hoping for a good year! Looking forward to getting back out there playing.”

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