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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!

Sport

Collins’ stunner earns win for Veterans

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A STUNNING strike from Hakin left back Adam Collins ensured that the Veteran Vikings earned maximum points and remain top of the Welsh Veterans League after a hard fought 4-3 win at home to Coedeva Athletic last Sunday (Feb 17).

However, on a very windy day, the Vikings found themselves behind early on as Gareth Hinwood scored from the penalty spot.

Hakin were soon level though, when Stuart MacDonald set up Matthew Price to score from close range.

Richard Nash gave Hakin the lead scoring via a deflection and Paul Andrews levelled matters for Coedeva before the break, as his shot from distance also took a deflection.

Early in the second half, Michael McCarthy beat the Coedeva keeper to a ball to make it 3-2 from close range and almost immediately, Coedeva were level after another Gareth Hinwood penalty.

Inside the final quarter, a stunning left footed strike from Adam Collins found the top corner from distance to give Hakin the win.

Hakin next play on Sunday, March 3, at home to Swansea University in the semi-final of the Welsh Veterans Cup.

Hakin United: Jason Morgan, Nigel Armstrong, Richard Bland, Nigel Delaney, Adam Collins, Shaun Mills, Richard Nash, Stuart MacDonald, Michael McCarthy, Matthew Price, Leighton Edwards. Subs: Leigh Walters, Simon Rocke, Jamie Phillips, Gary Dawes.

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Saints do the double

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ST CLEARS completed the double over Neyland as they earned a 4-0 win on Saturday (Feb 16).

The Saints, who were forced into a re-shuffle at the back and without one of their midfielders, had beaten them 5-2 at home the previous week and Neyland would have been looking for some revenge.

However, it was the Saints who started strongly and took a deserved lead from a short corner. Jonny Thomas found Steve Thomas unmarked in the box and he headed home.

Both teams had chances to score but Saints keeper James Dickson made a few good saves to keep their 1-0 lead in tact.

The visitors eventually got the second goal of the game following good individual play by Will Evans.

Evans then added his second directly from a free kick to make it 3-0. They then rounded off a good day as Sean Seymour Davies latched onto a long ball to score and make it 4-0.

On Saturday (Feb 23), Neyland are away to Goodwick while St Clears welcome Merlins Bridge.

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Jones’ late drop goal earns win for Blues

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HAVERFORDWEST moved up to second place in League 3 West A on Saturday (Feb 16), as they beat Neyland with a late drop goal.

It was a tight game with both sides battling well but it was the Blues who went ahead early on as Craig Barnett scored a penalty.

Barnett then scored another soon after to put the visitors into a 0-6 lead and it remained that way until the half time whistle.

Early in the second half Neyland were back in it as they scored a penalty to make the score 3-6.

Mark Riley then put Neyland ahead as he was credited with a pushover try but the conversion was missed and the All Blacks led by two points.

Haverfordwest pushed on looking for a winning score and when a try wasn’t forthcoming the ball was sent back to Mikey Jones who kept calm to send a drop goal through the posts.

That put the Blues one point ahead at 8-9 and there was little time for the home side to respond.

The All Blacks do pick up the consolation of a losing bonus point but that will not do much to lift their spirits after they were dropped to fourth in the table following other results.

The Blues now sit second with Aberaeron breathing down their necks having played three games less.

There is no game on Saturday (Feb 23), as Wales take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The sides return to action on Saturday, March 2, when Haverfordwest host Llanybydder and Neyland host St Davids.

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