Wales NC are set to open their 2022 national counties campaign in North Wales against Bedfordshire in the NCCA T20 competition with Bangor Cricket Club making its debut as a host ground – a momentous occasion in their 165 year history.
Brymbo has been the most familiar ground to Wales in the region, after their game against Dorset was abandoned without a ball being bowled in 2015. Prior to that, a 69 run victory over Buckinghamshire in the 50 over trophy back in 2012 was the most recent encounter where the likes of Andrew Salter, David Lloyd, John Glover, Dan Roberts and current coach Darren Thomas all featured against former England international Mal Loye and a youthful Tom Helm.
The T20 competition resumes after a two year pause due to COVID-19 with Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire making up the rest of Wales’ group. Bangor, who were last crowned North Wales Premier Division champions in 2019, were set to host Wales in 2020 and the intention from all parties was to resume hosting duties. Berkshire will travel to Newport in the third round of games on May 1st.
IMAGE: Bangor CC's new pavilion will welcome Wales NC and Bedfordshire in early April to kickstart the National Counties season.
Building off the successful 50 over trophy run last season, Wales find themselves grouped with Buckinghamshire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. Port Talbot will host the competition opener against Buckinghamshire on 29th May after being added to the host grounds list last season – the club doing a remarkable job hosting the quarter and semi finals in testing weather conditions. After visiting Staffordshire, Llandysul Cricket Club is another new addition to the fixture list for the home tie against Wiltshire. The club, known for its idyllic setting in the heart of Ceredigion will host national counties cricket for the first time after hosting several county age group and pathway cricket activity over recent years. It is the furthest West that Wales will have been since their dramatic 2 run victory over Staffordshire in 2013 at Cresselly.
After weather largely prevented Wales from challenging for promotion in the three day championship in 2021, they square off against similar opponents Devon, Shropshire and Cornwall, whilst promoted Herefordshire are replaced by Division 1 relegated Wiltshire. Abergavenny will host Devon in the first round of games, whilst Usk resume championship hosting duties in round three as Wales entertain Wiltshire.
A full NCCA fixture list can be found below – plans are still being finalised for Wales’ pre-season encounters though it is likely Glamorgan 2nd XI and Cardiff UCCE are usual opponents. The annual showcase fixture is also still to be confirmed until the domestic first class schedule is finalised. Wales NC were only one of two national counties (Cornwall being the other) to defeat their professional counterparts when they clinched a 3 wicket victory over Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens last summer.
IMAGE: Llandysul is set to host Wales NC vs Wiltshire in the 50 over trophy - the first ever National Counties game the club have hosted.
NCCA T20 Competition
Sunday 17th April: Wales NC vs Bedfordshire (Bangor)
Sunday 24th April: Oxfordshire vs Wales NC (Wormsley)
Sunday 1st May: Wales NC vs Berkshire (Newport)
Sunday 8th May: Buckinghamshire vs Wales NC (A – tbc)
Finals Day: 22nd May (Tring Park)
23rd May (Reserve Day)
NCCA One Day Trophy
Sunday 29th May: Wales NC vs Buckinghamshire (Port Talbot)
Sunday 5th June: Staffordshire vs Wales NC (Himley)
Sunday 19th June: Wales NC vs Wiltshire (Llandysul)
Sunday 26th June: Dorset vs Wales NC (Wimborne)
Sunday 17th July: Quarter Finals
Sunday 7th – Monday 8th August: Semi Final + Reserve Day
Sunday 28th – Monday 29th August: Final + Reserve Day (Wormsley)
Sunday 3rd July – Tuesday 5th July: Wales NC vs Devon (Abergavenny)
Sunday 10th July – Tuesday 12th July: Shropshire vs Wales NC (A – tbc)
Sunday 24th July – Tuesday 26th July: Wales NC vs Wiltshire (Usk)
Sunday 14th August – Tuesday 16th August: Cornwall vs Wales NC (Truro)