LLANDUDNO suffered a fatal blow in their defence of the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title with a 31-run loss at championship contenders Menai Bridge.
Jack Rimmington’s side have failed to replicate the success of last season and are now out of the title race, but they will still hope to finish the campaign on a high starting at Brymbo on Saturday.
Rimmington got his side off to a flyer with the early wicket of opener Ashley Wood for two, while Tom Thornton took the prized scalp of wicketkeeper Jack Gower after the dangerous batsman made 24. Skipper Dion Holden made just 14 before he was run out by Robin Smith, but a stunning century from Robbie Jones turned the game on its head at a crucial stage of the innings.
The gifted star smashed his way to 102 to put his side in the ascendancy, and a knock of 57 from Arwel Thomas ensured the visitors set a target of 231-6 from their 50 overs.
Double-figure scores from Smith (24) and Danial Evans (44) got the hosts off to a good start, while schoolboy Will Sissons made a promising 18 before he was despatched by Asghley Wood.
Holden then produced a fantastic spell to decimate the middle order, taking the wickets of Matty Lambe (28), Kevin James (17), Ajay Dhawan (27), Rimmington (3), Andy Christian (18) and Thornton (2) to end a devastating 11 over spell with figures of 6-40.
That proved to be the difference between the two sides as the reigning champions fell narrowly short as they mustered 200 all out in reply.