19 April 2021
Two memorable milestones marked Monmouth School for Boys’ return to cricket action at the weekend, after last summer’s disappointment caused by the pandemic.
Captain Harry Friend carried his bat for an unbeaten century in Monmouth’s opening match of the season, against Glamorgan Academy.
Harry is part of the Glamorgan Academy and he relished battling to three figures against the team he would normally represent.
And Sophia Smale, a student at Monmouth School for Girls, became the first female player to represent the school’s first team in a competitive fixture.
Glamorgan Academy had plenty of their own to celebrate with Morgan Bevans and Alex Horton making centuries in a 106-run victory for the visitors.
Saturday’s 50-overs-a-side match at Monmouth School for Boys’ Sports Ground was played in glorious conditions on a wonderfully prepared batting pitch.
Sophia Smale made an immediate impact on her historic debut, opening the bowling with her left-arm spin.
Sophia, who plays for Wales’ women and is now part of the Western Storm Academy, delivered seven economical overs for 30 runs.
The school picked up a couple of wickets, reducing Glamorgan to 41-2, before Morgan Bevans, who plays his club cricket for Abergavenny, and Horton, from Newbridge, repaired the innings and put the visitors in the driving seat.
Bevans struck 101 from 120 balls, including five fours and two sixes, while Horton cracked 113, containing 11 fours and a six, from just 101 deliveries.
The Glamorgan duo put together a 229-run stand for the third wicket that proved influential in lifting the visitors to an imposing 293-4.
Ed Sivak was the most successful bowler from the school, claiming an impressive 3-37 from eight overs, while Harry Friend took 1-43 and leg-spinner Sam Swingwood bowled 10 overs for 37 runs.
In reply, Monmouth School for Boys batted sensibly against an accurate Glamorgan attack as Harry Friend dropped the anchor.
Harry Friend was backed up by Joe Harris (31) as the pair added 77 runs for the second wicket.
There were double figure contributions from Josh Middlecote (13) and Henry Hurle (12) as the Monmouth batsmen spent valuable time at the crease.
Harry Friend eventually completed a deserved century, finishing on 105 not out from 153 balls after hitting six fours and two sixes, as the school closed on a respectable 187-7.