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Review of the 2010 season


September 16th, 2010 – the final day of the season - was dubbed by journalists as Glamorgan’s day of destiny, but it turned into a day of despair as the Welsh county, who had been in the promotion race for the bulk of the summer, were pipped at the post on the last afternoon of the season by Worcestershire, a side who Glamorgan had comprehensively defeated both home and away in their tally of seven wins – ironically, the same number as Nottinghamshire, the winners of Division One.


Having been in the box seat to gain promotion during the final month, Glamorgan saw their position steadily whit- tled away before the Midlands side completed a run chase at New Road against top of the table Sussex, whilst Glamorgan failed to beat bottom of the table Derbyshire at Cardiff. Some may point to the loss of four sessions in the Derbyshire match as being a vital factor, but a more salient point might be first innings totals of 198 and 166 in the final two home games of the season as a potential of ten bonus points went abegging.


Despite being completely outplayed by Sussex in the opening four-day match, Glamorgan were in the promotion race throughout the season, and during the first half of the summer, they topped the table with a 25-point lead over Sussex and Gloucestershire. Indeed, they enjoyed a fine April and May, winning five out of eight matches, including four in a row for the first time in six years, as consistency and confidence became the hallmarks of the team’s play.


In particular, they developed a knack of clinically dismissing sides in their second innings, as shown at Colwyn Bay against Worcestershire, as well as at the SWALEC Stadium against both Northants and Gloucestershire. The previous summer, the visiting tail-enders had clung on, but the side of 2010 went for the jugular, with some outstanding bowling, supported by smart fielding with a string of excellent catches being taken close to the wicket. With the seam bowlers being rested and rotated, it meant that for much of the summer the Glamorgan attack rarely contained weary souls. David Harrison, especially at Worcester and Leicester, plus James Harris produced some standout performances with the new ball, whilst Huw Waters grew in confidence, bowling noticeably faster than in previous years, and it was Waters who delivered the match-winning spell against Middlesex as Glamorgan ended their Lord’s hoodoo by recording their first Championship win at the ground since 1954.


As winning became a habit, the squad collectively grew in confidence and recorded victories when previous Gla- morgan sides might have crumbled under pressure. An example came at Grace Road, where Glamorgan were dismissed at 4.15pm on the second day, surrendering a lead of 125 to Leicestershire. But within twenty-four hours the game was all over as the rampant Welsh attack swiftly disposed of the home side for just 71 before Gareth Rees and Mark Cosgrove shared a vibrant opening stand of 198 as Glamorgan raced to a ten-wicket victory which stamped their authority on the Division Two table, and left nobody in any doubt that they were serious contenders for promotion.


After a five week break, the Championship campaign briefly resumed at Northampton. It was though just like the Sussex match, as the Welsh side lost heavily to surrender the top of the table spot with the players looking jaded after the hurly-burly of the hectic Twenty20 campaign. A fortnight later, the four-day matches continued in earnest with Leicestershire visiting Swansea, but the visitor’s snail-like batting, plus the loss of 70 overs to rain, prevented a positive outcome. The points for a draw allowed Glamorgan to rise back into second place, five points ahead of Gloucestershire who they then met at Cheltenham. The visit to the College ground revealed the true character of both teams – Glamorgan scrapped hard and long, after being in an uncompromising position several times on the first two days. Feisty centuries from the two Mark’s - Cosgrove and Wallace - took the game away from Glouces- tershire who meekly folded on the third afternoon in the face of some spirited bowling with the evergreen Robert Croft wrapping things up with a hat-trick.


A fine all-round performance then followed at Colwyn Bay where Worcestershire, who five days before had suc- cessfully chased 339 on the final day at Cheltenham, tamely collapsed to 175 after being set 417 by the buoyant Glamorgan side. The comprehensive victory was set up by quickfire innings from Cosgrove and Tom Maynard, plus a purposeful century from Ben Wright, all of which gave the bowlers plenty of time in which to dismiss a seem- ingly dispirited Worcestershire side.


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But the victory in North Wales proved to be Glamorgan’s last win of the season, as the final month of the season saw Glamorgan fail to consolidate on their position at the top of the table. A poor batting display against Middlesex at The SWALEC Stadium resulted both in a six wicket defeat and the Welsh county surrendering the lead to Sus- sex, with whom they then went head-to-head at Hove the following week. As with all of the matches in the last four weeks of the season, the weather interrupted the game, but the Welsh attack made decent inroads into the Sussex batting. However, the loss of 121 overs meant that both sides had to settle for a draw. The weather again disrupted the match with Surrey at The Oval, but the home team’s star studded batting line-up struggled against the visiting bowlers as once again the Glamorgan bowlers claimed a clutch of early wickets.


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