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Cricket: Brave Hawarden Park unable to halt Connah’s Quay title march

CONNAH’S Quay took a massive stride toward the North Wales League Premier Division title at the expense of county rivals Hawarden Park.

Relegation-battlers Park face an almost insurmountable challenge to stay up with two games remaining of the season, But early on in Monday’s match against Quay, they looked set to pose a problem to their table-topping hosts.

Opener Matthew Fawcett led the chard as he smashed a huge 128, accompanied for some time by Jamie Ducker who put on 57.

But once Ducker went Park did not have the depth to hold out, but thanks to Fawcett they posted 232-9 and asked Quay a serious question.

With the ball Richard Williams had taken four wickets for 65 while Ryan Holloway took 2-3.

After tea Quay provided Park with an emphatic reply.

Despite opener David Fox going cheaply (20) Darren Jones and Martin Burger steadied the ship, hitting 76 and 92 respectively.

Jones carried his bat and was joined by Gareth Jones to complete the win as Quay scored 233-2.

The result means Quay’s lead at the top of the table is now 21 points, and a big win on Sunday at bottom-club Pwllheli will secure the title with a game to go.

In recent weeks the challengers at the top have fallen away leaving the league title campaign a two-horse race between Connah’s Quay and fellow Flintshire outfit Pontblyddyn.

Defending champions Llandudno and Anglesey side Menai Bridge were vying with Quay for top spot at one stage despite both receiving points penalties of 18 and 15 points respectively.

But they have surprised many by running out of steam while Sean Steynberg-Wright’s side have gathered momentum after a minor lull in mid-season.

’Tudno are now officially out of the title race while Bridge’s hopes of regaining top spot are hopelessly slender.

Park meanwhile showed great determination to escape their plight on Monday against their in-form opponents, but as they sit 21 points adrift, they will need a miracle to survive.

On Saturday, two derby matches went by the wayside as Connah’s Quay’s match at Mold was abandoned due to rain while Hawarden Park’s home contest against Pontblyddyn also failed to beat the weather, a waterlogged pitch causing the cancellation of their match.