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Harrison Allen Final Preview

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Cresselly v Lawrenny; at Cresselly, Sunday, August 5

CRESSELLY and Lawrenny will try again this weekend (Aug 5) for the biggest prize in Pembrokeshire Cricket as they contest the Harrison Allen Bowl Final.

The final had to be abandoned last Saturday (Jul 28) due to heavy rain and with the forecast not looking good for the rest of the day, time was called on the game.

Sunday’s forecast looks more favourable and we should have some good weather for the final.

Both sides have played well to get to the final, which is being played at the home of Cresselly, and they will both be itching to get their hands on the trophy.

There is also the added spice that just less than four miles separates the two teams and a big crowd will be expected for the derby clash.

Lawrenny were last in the final in 2001, the last time they won the tournament, and they will be eager to get their hands on the trophy for the first time in 17 years.

Lawrenny have shown what they are capable of throughout this season in beating last season’s Harrison Allen winners Neyland and both Cresselly and Haverfordwest in the league.

They began their route to the final with a nine wicket win over Pembroke Dock in the second round to ease into the quarter finals where they beat St Ishmaels by five wickets having restricted them to 157-9.

In the semi-finals they came up against Llangwm who had previously beaten Saundersfoot and Pembroke.

Llangwm scored 126-7 in their innings with Rob Williams taking three wickets and Brad McDermott-Jenkins taking two.

Lawrenny then reached their target thanks to scores of 44 from Simon Cole and 43 from James Phillips.

Although they lost three quick wickets, Patrick Elliot and Joe Kidney finished unbeaten to see Lawrenny over the line.

Cresselly have reached the final in the last two seasons but were beaten on both occasions and they will be hoping it will be a case of third time lucky. They last won the tournament in 2009.

Cresselly began their route to the semi-finals with a hard-fought win over Kilgetty after scoring 185-5 before bowling their opponents out for 151.

They then beat Neyland in a repeat of last year’s final being bowled out for 112 before restricting Neyland to 107-5.

In the semi-final, Cresselly took on a Narberth side who beat Carew in the second round and Burton in the quarter finals.

However, Cresselly proved too strong as they reduced Narberth to 44-7 before they eventually finished their innings on 115-8.

Cresselly were untroubled in their reply as they reached their target with Adam Chandler finishing not out on 38 and Dan Sutton unbeaten on 63.

The teams have already met once this season and it was Lawrenny who got the better of their rivals.

Lawrenny batted first but were all out for 184 with scores of 59 from Harry Thomas, 27 from Simon Cole and 25 not out from Joe Kidney.

Dan James, Tom Arthur and Mike Shaw all took wickets for Cresselly who were unable to reach their target despite scores of 30 from Phil Williams and 21 not out from Neilson Cole.

Lawrenny’s Brad McDermott-Jenkins in action in the semi-final

Brad McDermott-Jenkins took four wickets for Lawrenny while Jamie Lewis and Rob Williams were also amongst the wickets to bowl Cresselly out for 143.

That win in June saw Cresselly slip out of top spot in Division 1 but they currently sit just three points behind leaders Haverfordwest.

Saturday’s game will see the two teams play two 22-over innings each and both will be looking to make a good start and get an advantage at the halfway stage.

Lawrenny Captain Joe Kidney told the Herald: “We are coming into this final on the back of a brilliant season thus far and we have the confidence and belief to embrace the occasion and win.

“With the majority of our side never playing in the final, we have a few “old timers” in the squad that have played in 1 or 2. They have been encouraging us to enjoy the day but realise that the chance to win the bowl doesn’t come often down Lawrenny so we have to go all out and claim the day!

“Cresselly have a great line up and their bowling has been underrated this year in my opinion. Obviously Cresselly’s batting is the major threat but we will just focus on our game and be fearless as we are the underdogs, with nothing to lose.

“Beating Cresselly in the league this year won’t be any benefit in the final. However the win is a reminder that we are capable of beating anyone on the day.

“I’m very proud of the team, hopefully we will earn the respect we deserve and make it a final to remember.”

Cresselly Captain Neilson Cole told the Herald: “I am very proud to lead the club and we are all very excited to make the bowl final again.

“For me, big game experience will be key. We are fortunate to have this running through the squad. Going into a match like this it will be invaluable in the high pressure moments of a bowl final.

Iwan Izzard: Played in the final last year

“Both teams have strong batting line-ups and anything can happen in one innings, but over two innings is very different. One poor innings and it’s likely the game will be out of reach, it will be about consistency.

“I did actually feature briefly in the final 17 years ago, an injury to one of our players meant I had to field for most of the game. Both teams played well and Lawrenny deserved to win on the day, but the result hurt us. Since then we have reached 8 finals and we are looking forward to this derby face off.”

The final starts at 12pm and it sure to be an entertaining game! Good luck to both teams and may the best team win!

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Nigel Owens hosts virtual rugby quiz for Pembroke Panthers

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PEMBROKE Panthers RFC enjoyed a rugby return during lockdown after winning a competition which saw international referee Nigel Owens host their own virtual clubhouse quiz, thanks to Principality Building Society.

The women’s squad at the Pembroke club beat more than 1000 entries to win Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz competition. With many clubs affected by widespread flooding at the start of this year and now closed indefinitely due to coronavirus, the building society is continually looking for ways to support grassroots rugby clubs in Wales.

Pembroke Panther Lucy Neale, 30, entered her team with the hope of bringing the players together online. She said: “We’d usually see each other up to five times a week between training sessions, matches and socials, so it’s been a really strange time. I thought I’d enter the club thinking it would be a nice pick-me-up for us all, but never actually expected to win so it was an amazing surprise.”

The team were tested on their rugby knowledge by world cup referee Nigel Owens over video conferencing platform Zoom, where players won tickets to Welsh internationals at Principality Stadium, signed rugby shirts and balls, and tickets for a tour around Principality Stadium. The quiz included a guest appearance from former Welsh international Tom Shanklin.

Lucy continued: “It was such a memorable and special evening for us all. We’re usually quite a lively bunch but we behaved well for Nigel. We’re so thankful to Principality for putting on the quiz and allowing us to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience as a team.”

As sponsors of Principality Stadium and the National Youth Leagues for grassroots clubs in Wales, Principality has a strong relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union and knows how much rugby means to communities across the country. With matches on hold currently, the building society wanted to be able to bring the buzz of the clubhouse to the home.

Clubhouse Quiz host, Nigel Owens, said: “Principality’s Clubhouse Quiz was a fantastic way to bring one team closer together and Pembroke Panthers really showed off their rugby knowledge. Rugby plays such an important role in Welsh communities and I know they’ll be missing the action on the field right now, so it was lovely to have been part of this experience to bring this team together. Thankfully, I didn’t have to sin bin any of them either.”

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said: “Many rugby clubs across Wales have had a really difficult year, with flood damage to pitches and clubhouses now followed by coronavirus. This was our chance to recreate the camaraderie of the clubhouse for one team and we hope that it brought plenty of laughs and memorable moments for Pembroke Panthers at this challenging time.”

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Wales v Scotland postponed

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WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.

“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

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Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.

The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.

The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.

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