County Division Two: Newent 1st XI 300-6 (40) Cinderford St John 1st XI 138-8 (40) – Newent win by 162 runs.

MORGAN Evans hit 84 and there were two other half centuries as Newent set a mammoth target of 301 for Cinderford to win to at Three Ashes.

The home side had 103 on the board when Richard Howell became the first wicket to fall, caught lbw to Mark House.

At the midway point, Newent were 140-1 and a mighty total looked on the cards.

Cinderford paceman Jack Weaving gave the visitors some hope when he took a couple of wickets with three balls.

First he took the big wicket of Morgan, hitting the stumps with the score on 163, and then Richard Henry.

Henry, who had put on 60 for the second wicket with Morgan, went for 37 when Mark Roberts took a low, diving catch with just two more runs added.

Morgan had been replaced by Paul Carter and he was joined in the centre by captain Jack Cowles and both would go on to make half centuries.

Going into the last three overs, Newent needed 30 to hit the 300 mark and the intent was plain to see as the batsmen targeted the boundaries and ran every possible single.

The partnership between Carter and Cowles yielded 109 before the skipper was bowled by Balasingam Sivathas to make it 274-4.

Cowles had scored 58 including seven fours and two sixes.

Tom Morley was caught for three off the bowling of Mark Roberts with Newent 11 short of the 300 going into the final over.

Carter’s innings came to an end when he was bowled by Andrew Cottrell.

He had contributed 58 which – like his captain’s innings – included seven fours and a couple of sixes.

The 300 was achieved with the last ball of the innings when Neil Roche’s shot slipped through the fingers of the covering fielder.

Set a run rate of seven and a half an hour, Cinderford were restricted to a slow start by the opening combination of spinner Simon Clark and fast bowler Richard Henry.

Clark picked up the wickets of openers Simon Gwynne on 17 and Kuwait Theivendran for four, both to catches.

Cinderford’s top scorer was Mark House with 36 who was caught leg before by Adam Curtis.

Despite being well behind the required rate, Cinderford put in a gritty performance with the bat that enabled them to see out all 40 overs for the loss of eight wickets and denying the hosts maximum bowling points.

The 21-point win puts Newent in second place in Division Two, 25 points behind unbeaten Lydney.