Record 8th Wicket Partnership Between Chris Cooke and Michael Neser Secures Glamorgan Draw

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

Glamorgan battled hard in their LV County Championship Division Two game against Leicestershire to earn a third draw of the season, moving up to 5th in the table.

Leicestershire piled on the runs in their first innings, posting 407 thanks to a sublime 95 from former Australian international Peter Handscombe and 90 from England’s Rehan Ahmed. But the Welsh county fought back in the second innings, scoring 465 themselves.

Despite losing captain David Lloyd early on, 51 from Eddie Byrom and 64 from Marnus Labuschagne settled the nerves, but their dismissals started a small-scale collapse in the middle order.

However, an important 40 from Sam Northeast and a record eighth-wicket partnership of 211 between Chris Cooke and Michael Neser steered Glamorgan beyond Leicestershire’s total. Glamorgan were eventually bowled out for 465, with a lead of 49.

Despite the early wicket of Solomon Budinger, who nicked off to Michael Neser, a 103 partnership between Rishi Patel and captain Lewis Hill all but ended any hopes of a Glamorgan win.

But with Leicestershire on 252-3 in their second innings the sides shook hands as the game remained deadlocked on the fourth day. The Welsh County left Leicestershire with ten points as they continued their unbeaten start to the season.

It was a fantastic weekend of sports action in Wales, none more so than the events that kicked off on Friday night, as Welsh boxing held its National Championship Finals at the Sport Wales National Centre.

Leah Reach (Llanrumney) beat Josie Lewis (Caerau Dragons) in the 50kg final before Scott Richards (Pontypridd ABC) became a two-weight Welsh Boxing Elite Champion, holding off Jack Collier (Premier) and winning the bout by split decision.

There were further wins for Commonwealth Games athletes Zoe Andrews (Britton Ferry) at 54kg and Owain Harris-Allen (Apollo’s) at 57kg. Joe Louis Wright (Army) and Carys Mainwaring (RAF) also won titles at 60kg, while Daniel Walshe (Prince of Wales) and Kian Davies (Prizefighter) won in their weight categories.

Benjamin Edwards (Llynfi Valley), Lewis Parfitt (Maerdy), Haaris Khan (Grange), Joshua Mellor (Cardigan), Connor Williams (Premier), Alireza Maleki (Caerau Ely), and Sophia dos Santos (St Clare’s) all added further wins.

In squash, Wales’ men’s and women’s sides created history over the weekend, reaching the semi-finals of the European Team Squash Championships for the first time.

The women’s side, headed by Tesni Evans, picked up a bronze medal, while the men’s side, which featured world number 10 Joel Makin, finished in fourth place.

In table tennis, Commonwealth Games Champion Joshua Stacey made a fine start to Paralympic qualification, taking silver in the men’s class 9 of the Greek Para Open.

Stacey had swept aside Japanese World number 7 Koyo Iwabuchi to set up a mouth-watering final against Belgian Laurens Devos. The 22-year-old Devos, who is a two-time World and Paralympic Champion, quickly raced into a 1-0 lead.

The Welshman, Stacey, hit back but lost the second game 11-7 despite leading it 6-1. Stacey took the third game, but the Belgian sealed the title with a 3-1 win overall, continuing his remarkable unbeaten run since 2015.